Friday, January 21, 2011

Chewing Is Overrated

Today I took inventory of my pantry and came to an undeniable truth:

My kids eat a lot of crap.

Yet another oath that I made to myself pre-kid that has been broken, shattered like so many cheap, plastic, Made In China toys clogging Rollie's toybox. At some point between Elsa's 1st and 2nd birthdays, I have slipped into the habit of purchasing prepackaged, preservative-laden food, some in ungodly hues, loaded with refined this and processed that. You know how many boxes of fruit snacks I currently have in my pantry? Three. You know how much fruit is actually in fruit snacks? Less than none. Fruit snacks are like negative fruit. Anti-fruit. If you were to place fruit snacks and actual fruit in a particle accelerator and slam them into each other, an atomic explosion would occur. I think I smell a plot line for Dan Brown's next novel. He can thank me later.

My freezer is full of chicken nuggets, french fries, frozen chocolate chip waffles and neon-colored popsicles. I have sqeezey yogurts and juice pouches in the fridge, cereal bars and every flavor of Goldfish crackers in the pantry (the chocolate graham crackers ones mixed with the pretzel ones make a great snack...if you have raging PMS). I have yet to buy these things called UnCrustables--premade, frozen PB&J, but I'm sure it's not far off. Especially considering the mental turmoil I go through each time I make Rollie a sandwich by hand. Damn you, John Tesh.

Did you know they even make applesauce in a pouch? Applesauce. Let's take the most basic, easiest thing to eat in nature and make it even easier by removing the need to physically transport the applesauce from a spoon to your mouth--just stuff one end of the pouch into your pie-hole and suck. Soon they'll start selling pre-packaged foods that are already partially digested. All your kid has to do is swallow it and it goes straight to their blood cells. Cuts out the middleman altogether. Besides, your kids need to save their energy for more important things. Like watching five episodes in a row of UmiZoomi. Plus, then your kids would never need to poop, thus eliminating the need for potty seats, enemas, and any more time spent wondering when the hell your seemingly capable child will ever learn to wipe himself.

I didn't plan on being a convenience-food mom. Not that I was going to make my children's baby food by getting a bunch of produce from local organic farmers and throwing it into a blender with some wheat germ. But I sure wasn't planning on bribing them to pick up their toys with Pop-tarts and Cheetos, either. Sure, they're lowfat Pop-tarts and baked Cheetos, but I'm still thinking this will not garner me a top prize in the Heathy Children's Culinary Awards. Slim Goodbody would be so disappointed. And Richard Simmons. Unless they are the same person. I get their perms confused sometimes.

All I can say is, Thank God my sisters had children first, so I had the chance to pass plenty of judgment on what their kids ate before having my own. That, plus I learned a lot from watching their children eat. I had no idea kids could subsist for weeks at a time on peanut butter crackers and Crystal Light. Or gummy worms and Ovaltine. Or marshmallow fluff sandwiches and root beer. Now I use my sisters as sort of justification for my own kids' diet. Sure, Rollie had a cookie as a reward for eating his Lucky Charms. But Amy's kids eat Lucky Charms for dinner. At least my kids have the decency to eat Toy Story-shaped Macaroni and Cheese for dinner....before sucking down their brownies-in-a-tube.

Stay tuned on a future blog entry: How I Came To Foot The Bill On My Pediatric Dentist's New Mercedes.

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