I haven’t had a good rant in a while and I’m due.
The issue is the talk about regulating the marketing of junk / highly processed food to children.
Here are the major issues—marketers are pushing high fat, salt and sugar food with loads of preservatives and flavor enhancing chemicals to children through electronic media, the second is that childhood obesity is linked to sedentary lifestyle.
My question is: Who is raising the kids? Madison Avenue or parents?
Don’t want to answer that, do you?
The recipe for the cure is very simple, doesn’t cost any more than the families are spending now and anyone can do it.
The ingredients: minimally processed food (families have to buy food anyway, they just need to choose better) and a parent with a spine.
Shut off the TV, computers, video games and mp3 players allow 1 TV program, and 30 minutes of video games at predetermined times each week. The kids will miss most of the brainwashing the corporate media provides. Their friends will influence them to some point, but by the time they get old enough for it to be a big issue the parents would have the kids trained to eat real food. They will whine, but no one ever said that parenting is an easy job.
The second step is to push the children outside to play.
When they come back inside give them a piece of fruit and a glass of water or a peanut butter sandwich and push them back outside. When dinner time comes the parent chooses an appropriate meal of minimally processed nutrient dense food, which the child eats because no other options are offered. If a child refuses to eat the minimally processed food, put it on the plate any way. If they don’t eat it the first second or third meals, don’t sweat it. They will eat it when they are hungry and kids get hungry pretty quickly.
This is where the spine comes in, the parents can’t bend to the child’s pleas for junk. The parents cannot have junk food in the house, except on specific occasions such as birthdays or holidays because they will eat it if it is there. (The parents might lose a few pounds too doing this!)
Repeat daily until the children are old enough to learn how to cook and then integrate Kids Cook Nights. Then the parents will get served things like borscht, squid stir fries, chicken with noodles and veggies, baked chicken with baked potatoes and a salad by their children, like I get served by my child. She is eight, she can do most things except drain boiling liquids on her own (I’ll admit that she has been in training on/near my hip since she was an infant). She is going to bake and frost my birthday cake next month, from scratch.
When it all starts to work the parents need to brag about it to all their friends, so that it becomes a standard expectation for parents and other people will follow them.