Ok, so I made up that headline. No scientific evidence whatsoever backing it up. I am kinda conducting my own research to support it though, and I dare any of you to contradict it. My sister recently wrote about it, which sparked my enthusiasm again. I was still pregnant with Blake when I decided that, with my own child, I could do a little experimenting. Not so much like a lab rat, but we all have parenting theories, and now I get to try mine out. And much to my sister and brother’s dismay, I have had the privilege of learning from their mistakes (and successes!! ;-)). Please don’t take this blog as a criticism of them, they are spectacular parents, I’ve just made observations along the way and this is something I’ve come to feel strongly about. I’ve been in a million restaurants with a million kids and I see one primary order that appears to be preventing children everywhere from trying anything new: chicken nuggets!!
So my experiment is this: to see how long I can keep my child from eating a chicken nugget. This is not a matter of health, I’m aware that the other things he might choose are not spectacular for him, but my hope is that, without the kiddie crack, he will try different things! Because once they know chicken nuggets exist, that’s all they want! They crave them. People end up in Mexican, Italian, Indian, and Chinese restaurants and order chicken nuggets off the children’s menu. What the heck is going on here?? Now, there are secondary foods I plan to withhold as well. Mac and Cheese from the blue box (see Daina’s blog where she offers her homemade mac and cheese and her children demand to have “the real thing”), french fries (surely nobody can deny the kiddie crack in those), and generally prepared food coming from a box. I know there are some people waiting to see me get pregnant again, sick, and fail at this valiant attempt at health (mostly because it will make them feel better about what their children are eating -admit it), and it very well might happen. And I know for a fact I will not always be great at this (good grief, look at my own eating habits), but you can bet I am making it a personal goal of mine. The idea is simply that maybe, hopefully, he won’t argue with me quite as much if he doesn’t know any better.
Stu and I recently read In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan (he also wrote The Omnivore’s Dilemma). It is basically an observation of what the western diet (processed food) has done to our health as a nation and how to get back to simply eating REAL food. No low fat, low carb, low sugar, just food that has not been messed with. His mantra is, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” I highly recommend the book, it was startling.
I am fully aware that keeping my child away from “messed with” food will require a great deal of work on my part, and I already see where my child will fight me. He already does this thing where he puts certain foods in his mouth and then shakes his head, “no” while letting it fall out of his mouth. There’s not rhyme or reason to this, I think it might be a consistency thing. But I know trouble when I see it coming. So just know I’m doing my best, and I’ll keep you posted on our lab baby.