Getting my kids to eat healthfully shouldn’t be so hard, right? Lots of fruits and vegetables, some protein and carbs, throw in a treat here or there and you have a healthy diet. Simple. But somehow, it doesn’t quite work out that way when you add in the snack at school, the extra treat on a playdate, or the sugary drink at a sporting event.
For example, here are some things that slipped into my kids’ stomachs during the past week:
- A ring pop that my daughter got at a friends house (sugar, corn, and some nice Red 40 dye)
- A lunch consisting of chips, chicken nuggets, and a Rice Krispie treat (a lot of fried stuff and not a single vegetable)
- A hot dog, popcorn, and peanuts at a hockey game (pretty sure that hot dog was your basic sodium nitrate-filled variety)
- A sports drink after hockey practice (nice dose of high-fructose corn syrup and some artificial colors)
- A soda at a book club “because everyone else got one!” (another hit of high-fructose corn syrup)
None of this stuff is too dramatic, but it's a little scary when you add it all up. Documenting these things and pointing them out to my kids seems like a good first step, but do any other parents out there have successful strategies on how to limit the junk?
Francesca Olivieri is co-founder of sage baby, an online eco-friendly baby store offering everything from organic clothes and skin care to furniture. She also runs a green consulting business; blogs for The Family Groove and Scenic Hudson; and contributes to Daily Candy Kids, YogaCity, Citiscoop, and NRDC’s Simple Steps. Please visit her website at FrancescaOlivieri.com.