Oreos are not the anti-christ

I am so sick of hearing parents preach about food to their kids.

Not once while growing up do I remember my Mom launching into a speech about the evils of certain foods or how “we don’t eat that in our house” and why (at great, mind-numbing length).

Food was just food.   It was there to eat.   We had meals which included lots of red meat (my parents raised beef cattle) and which were fairly well-balanced overall.  At least from what I remember.   There were snacks.   Ruffles and Oreos were my favorites.   My Mom wasn’t big on desserts but I don’t remember missing out on sweets.   In the summer we would have sliced tomatoes, over which I would dump a ton of white sugar.  Yum.

I drank Coke.

Mom has told me that when I was a toddler and we would go out to dinner, all I would eat was saltine crackers and french fries.   Apparently nobody made a big deal about that.

When Joshua and I were first married, he said one of the things that amazed him the most was that I had absolutely no issues around food.

I believe it’s because nobody made food an issue in our house while I was growing up.

Oh sure, you can argue that the overall quality of the food was somewhat better then – less GMOs and hydrogenated oils – but the current level of paranoid obsession over every single thing our kids put in their mouths, along with our rabid need to PREACH TO THEM ABOUT IT has gone beyond any reasonable limits or levels.

Is this just a New York thing?   Maybe.  Maybe it is.

I know that my lack of interest in keeping all traces of junk food out of my house has caused at least one family to sever ties with us.   I cannot be trusted to responsibly feed their child.   I’ve had parents come into our house with their kid and blatantly lie and tell them that the junk food in my pantry is for a special occasion and that’s why their child isn’t allowed to have any.    I have also had kids preach to me about the evils of Diet Soda; kids who are so young that I know they are simply regurgitating what they hear at home.   Repeatedly.

You know what happens when those kids get a little older and they come to my house without their parents?   Well, if I’m not paying close attention, they gorge on junk food.   They pound down as much soda and snacks as they can handle in the few hours they are here.

Can you say “eating disorders”?

I’m not sure when parents lost the ability to approach food with the idea of “everything in moderation”.    I’m not sure when it was decided that food must be a constant source of anxiety and that we need to preach to our kids about it.

Most of the time I wish parents would just shut up.    Feed your kids relatively healthy stuff but resist the urge to go on at length about why.  Especially resist the urge to preach the evils of all the foods you think they shouldn’t eat.   Buy some damn Oreos already and don’t hand them out as though by prescription.

If you don’t make a big deal about food, it is less likely to be a big deal for your kids.   Model a healthy, moderate approach to food and eating.  Don’t be miserly.    Enjoy seconds sometimes without loud, anxious regret.

Have a cookie.

You’ll survive.  I promise.

About Amy

Amy Milstein was born and raised on a farm in Indiana, but after 20+ years considers herself a full-fledged New Yorker. She is married with two kids, who do not go to school but are instead life learners. This means they learn by living in the world (real life ) instead of hearing about it and simulating it in a classroom. With her family, Amy loves to travel, read, watch movies, write, sew, knit - the list is endless.
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3 Responses to Oreos are not the anti-christ

  1. M says:

    (chuckle) and you got to experience both ends of the spectrum; two very different grandmothers.

    • Amy says:

      Yes, but although one was a no snacks person and the other a many snacks person, neither of them really harped on food. It just was the way it was…. :-)

  2. Susanna says:

    Hey, Amy. I feel myself relaxing just reading your post. Here’s one for ya: On line at the store at an upstate apple orchard, I heard a dad tell his kid that they could get the apple cider donuts, but NOT the ones w/ cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. That would just be TOO MUCH SUGAR…! (sigh)