Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Parenting Fail, Food Edition

I fail at parenting every day.  Typically, I can go to bed and relive the day’s mishaps with only a cringe or two before my eyes close, but on days that I fail at contributing to my kids’ health and eating lifestyle, the nights are a little longer, and by longer, I mean that guilt prevents me from sleeping.

I take all the blame; I choose what the people in my household eat to a large degree, except for my husband, who has his own set of food choice issues that I won’t get into here.  I’m the meal planner, grocery shopper, chef.  I try to eat healthy foods due to my body’s intolerance for anything delicious but bad for you, yet I still manage to feed my  kids things that will never decompose in a landfill.  Here’s a list of terrible foods I feed my children that keep me up at night:

  • Fast Food.  Tonight we did McDonald’s drive-thru for dinner, where I purchased one child a cheeseburger Happy Meal so she could have the toy she wanted plus a chocolate milkshake, and the other a Large bacon cheeseburger Value Meal so I could have the free glass that came with it.  And a large chocolate milkshake.  Then we came home and I ate a salad and drank a large glass of water out of my free glass.

  • Mac and Cheese.  This dish is one that my children love unconditionally, in any form.  Frozen, boxed, or homemade, it doesn’t matter – my kids will eagerly lap it up any time, any temperature, any level of freshness.  I make it with an entire log of Velveeta, and they will eat it for weeks on end.  It never goes bad.  On the last day we have mac and cheese, I cry a little into my pillow, from relief that it’s over and shame at what I’ve done.

  • Leftovers.  This goes with the indiscretion above, but when I see their hands reach for a second helping of three-day-old corn, then a scoop of questionable mac and cheese, my self-loathing balloons.  I have time to cook fresh, healthful meals.  What kind of mother am I?

  • White bread.  I buy wheat for my own turkey and tomato sandwiches, but for their lunches that I pack every day, I buy white sandwich buns.  White POTATO buns.  I might as well make their sandwiches with pound cake.  Or maybe marshmallows.  I won’t even say what kind of sandwiches they take to school.  Sometimes they include marshmallows.

  • Ice cream.  They eat gallons of ice cream until we run out.  Then they eat cake.  That I bake.  For them.  They each just finished a second piece.

  • Fruit.  You might think I made a mistake adding this to the list, since fruit is healthy.  Except my kids eat very little of it.  My son will take an apple or some grapes to school every day, and he will bring an apple or some grapes home from school every day.  My daughter hasn’t eaten fruit since 2005.  Sometimes we make her eat a piece of pear or pineapple, and she will vomit.  She takes carrot sticks to school every day, but she also takes a vat of ranch dressing to dip them into.  So… yeah.

We don’t drink soda, but they drink Gatorade.  Sugary cereal.  Candy, cookies, bacon.  Potato chips, corn chips, cheese curls.  Pancakes once or twice (TWICE!!) a week.  The list goes on.

Maybe someday they will come to their senses and make the right choices.  Maybe their bodies will retaliate against them like mine did.  Maybe they won’t.  And if they don’t, it’s all on me.

Where’s my Ambien?

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