Is Fast Food on the Table?
As I sit here writing, there is a fast food restaurant bag in the trash can at my feet. It's been a stressful few days in our home, so after pre-school drop off this morning, I ran to the closest fast food restaurant and grabbed a medium soda. It was as though I needed that fizzy, sugary goodness to face today's to-do list. I'm one of THOSE moms who subscribes to do as I say, not as I do parenting.. In fact, my children - ages seven and four - have never had so much as a sip of soda, my one addiction. But sadly, they have had the taste of fast food with its crunchy fried coating and added sugar and fat. And even as I stand there saying, "Remember, this is a sometimes food," I know that in my heart it is a more than it should be food in our home.
Best Laid Plans
When my daughter was born, we had a plan. There were rules that involved breast milk, bottle weening, and television watching. Fast food wasn't even going to be in her future as far as we were concerned. Then we had kiddo number two. It's amazing how by the time my second child was three, he was trying his first fast food nugget right next to his five year old sister having hers.
We have managed to choose the healthier options with every fast food visit - apples instead of fries, white milk instead of soda - but the bigger issue is that we've presented fast food to our children as a viable meal option. Now when I ask the kids what they want for dinner, they are just as likely to put in a take-out order as they are to mention a specific food. We generally order take out or grab fast food every seven to ten days as quick option in our hectic lives, but as I've seen the changes in the way my kids think about meal planning, I wonder if even this is too much. Should we really only be indulging once a month?
Hope for the Future
As my kids begin to help out more with meal preparation and clean up as well as increase the range of foods they enjoy, I can see a day where a meal from scratch is nearly as easy as a run to the drive-through. Already my children set and clear the table, and I've begun trusting my daughter with some aspects of serving the food including filling cups. My hope is that by the time we get there, do as I say and not as I do hasn't been overwhelmed by my children's own taste for the quick and the easy.
What are the rules regarding fast food in your home? Do your own weaknesses make you give in or are your kids the ones asking for fast food?