Well, Tony the Tiger has found his way back into our house. (Blame a poorly-timed grocery trip and having lost the will to day ‘no’ this time. As my friend says, being consistent and reliable over and over, means you get to say “yes” sometimes too-like ice-cream for breakfast on vacation, or DQ for an afternoon snack- I just don’t make a big deal about it. ) Anyway, breakfasts are our toughest meal around here. M doesn’t really like traditional breakfast foods like pancakes, eggs, French toast or the two whole wheat breads Dad and I eat. She most often would eat some dry cereal, perhaps some bread with cinnamon sugar or butter, sometimes her rye bread with ham, clementines or bananas or raisins… It’s a meal where we don’t all eat the same things, as there is no cooking involved and we can put foods out to chose from. (Note, she’s not into eggs now, but this is always subject to change, so I still will often scramble a few eggs and put the plate on the middle of the table. I also served French toast this weekend and she enjoyed it after refusing the last several months. Always keep serving the foods you want to eat as a family.) I just trust that she will grow up and enjoy a wider variety of foods, as Dad and I do. On another side note, she is eating her Frosted Flakes with milk and drinking more milk in general, which I like, though without praise or comment.
So, more than the fact that I don’t love cereal with 11 grams of sugar per serving, I really don’t like what’s on the Tony box. I have to say it still makes me a little wacky when all she eats is frosted flakes, no milk, no nothing. So the other day, I mentioned that only eating cereal doesn’t give you very long-lasting energy. She quickly pointed to the back of the box with kids playing soccer and said, “No, Mom, see? This cereal gives you really good energy!”
Then I read this on the side of the box. “On your Mark! Eat your breakfast. It can help you start your day! (no problem so far I suppose!) Become a star in and out of school! Get Set! Make a list of healthy activities and foods you should include in your day. (Ugh, here we go, “healthy,” “should”, and I can pretty much gaurantee the concensus of any nutritionist is that a cereal with 11 grams of sugar per serving is not “healthy.” When companies or teachers ask kids to do the meal planning, they are expecting the child to do the adult’s job with feeding, that is deciding what is being served.) If you can stick to it, you’ll have fun and stay fit! Go!!! How many sit-ups or push-ups can you do during commercials of your favorite TV shows? See how many times you can ride a bicycle around the block without stopping.”
Anyway, lot’s of marketing to kids, lots of developmentally inappropriate messages for kids, and ones that are not proven to work, and might be counterproductive. How many of you pop up to do sit-ups during commercials? It’s a particularly annoying piece of advice in my mind. I’ve seen it before. “Have kids do jumping jacks or run around in circles during commercial to prevent childhood obesity.” Sounds fun. How would you have reacted if your Mom tried to get you up during Happy Days to do jumping jacks… Just not developmentally appropriate, and sets parents up for MORE power struggles, oh, and the notion that it would “prevent obesity” is also false. It’s way more complex than that.
How many food products for kids have some kind of “health” or “obesity” messages on them? Check it out and let me know! (The gift bag from a pizza and cake bouncy party had a doozy which I will save for another post-calorie counting and all!)
On another tangent, the family went to Wood Lake Nature center yesterday. If you’re local, check it out. For a fee, the family can join for a year and rent Snow-shoes and Cross country skis free! If you go even twice, it’s a great deal. M enjoyed her first cross-country skiing, with only a few tears on the hilly part She went a whole mile! I expressed surprise at how cheap the pass was for all the gear rental, and the lady said, “Well, we’re here to help people be able to enjoy being outside!” Now that is a message I can get behind!