As I was standing at the stove last night, making dinner, I had a bit of a realization. It came as I was making ‘turkey tacos’.
I mixed half a packet of taco seasoning in water and poured it over the ground turkey, browning in the pan alongside finely diced red pepper. I retrieved the multigrain tortilla shells (with flax seeds) from the fridge. (In lieu of the crispy, crunchy taco shells from Old El Paso.)
Suddenly it dawned on me. I’m one of those moms.
The kind of mom who darts down the cereal aisle so her kids can’t see the Lucky Charms boxes and ask for those, instead of the customary frosted mini-wheats. Or raisin bran. The kind of mom who slips water into her kids’ juice cups, ostensibly to ‘cut the sugar’ a little bit. Who serves them multi-grain bread instead of, horror of all horrors, white. The mom who tosses red pepper in with lightly seasoned turkey and calls it taco meat. And folds said meat into the aforementioned tortilla-shells-with-seeds; calling it ‘turkey tacos’.
And it’s not as if I’m particularly health-conscious. I mean, maybe I am more health-conscious than the blatantly un-healthy average person. But I let my kids eat plenty of candy and chocolate. And cookies and muffins and coffee cake. (It would be utterly hypocritical for someone with a sweet tooth like mine to insist her kids eat only whole wheat toast and fresh fruit.)
So why do I think it’s essential that my kids eat whole wheat bread, or tortilla shells with flax seeds. Or raisin bran – which probably has as much sugar as Lucky Charms if those powdery raisins are any indication. And why do I refuse to buy apple juice at the store….but I don’t think twice about doling out a handful of gummy candies?
Haphazard approach to nutrition aside, some day very soon, my oldest will leave the house and discover a whole world he didn’t know existed. A world with television, and video games. And sloppy joes made with Manwich on bonafide hot dog buns. And greasy tacos made with hamburger and lots of seasoning in crunchy, very-bad-for-you taco shells. He’ll discover his friends eat Golden Grahams and Cap’n Crunch for breakfast….with undiluted juice. And my ‘gig’ will be up.
He’s only in preschool and already the lights are starting to come on for him. The last week or so he wants his apple with the peel OFF (presumably after having peel-less apples for snack at school.) This from a kid who has been eating the peel all of his life! Surely the peel is the part that is most laden with pesticides, but, aren’t you supposed to eat the peel? Isn’t it the ‘healthiest’ part of the apple?
I figure I have about a year, maybe two, before the comparisons set in and the demands for change begin. Until then, it’s whole wheat toast with natural, unsalted, peanut butter all the way.