“Oh please. You’ll be in the fast food drive-through before you know it!” That’s what I heard from another parent when I pulled a whole wheat pita, with melted Monterey Jack cheese, from my brown paper bag and handed it to my son when he was a toddler. This parent knew she was talking to the woman who recycles the scallions she buys at the farmers’ market, and grows them as plants, in an effort to share with her children the connection with our garden and the dinner table.
Why are parents willing to give up so fast when it comes to food choices for children? My guys are now ten and six years old and have never had fast food or soda. Yes, we have a schedule of activities, but with a little extra effort, I can make a thermos of homemade carrot soup and wraps, with their favorite chive mayonnaise, if we have to eat on-the-run.
I got into a conversation with one of the chattier teenage checkout clerks at our local market the other day about how my boys get eggs from our friends’ chickens. I was telling him how I make homemade soups, fruit roll-ups, and we use herbs from our herb garden for meals to help my children make healthy food choices. His response? “I wish my mother did that for me when I was a kid. She let me eat all the junk I could get my hands on. I was over two hundred pounds by the time I was a freshman in high school,” said the now svelte young man. From his young mouth to my organic mother’s ears.