One of my biggest struggles these days, as a mother of very small children, is helping my kids eat healthy food. And since my goal is to create a life-style brand for my clothing line, wellness and healthy eating will hopefully play a part in that (on the final website), as I firmly believe we need to reinforce that concept and share knowledge with one another.
I'm not here to lecture anyone on their eating habits, and I certainly won't judge others (not outright, of course) - it's the remarks that I get from well-meaning friends that gets me. It's the peer-pressure my five year old gets from his classmates who bring chocolate-chip pancakes and gushers to school. My problem is feeling that I can't live freely to practice acts of healthy-eating without getting dubbed as a 'health-freak'. (Which I should probably take as a compliment, it's just the negative connotation that bothers me.) It's the comments like - "glad to see you let your kids eat _____ (fill in G A R B A G E), because that means you're normal." Really?! You need my kid to eat yucky-for-your-body-food (which is actually not really 'food' at all) so I can fit this category called "normal"??? Who defined this "normal" box, this 'normal' that all must strive toward? And why are you happy I'm giving my kids something that is obviously not good for them?
Okay, let me back up. I really am not declaring myself a model of healthy eating for others to mirror, I am not saying I know all there is to know about nutrition, and I'm definitely not saying that the entire world is wrong and I'm right. Did it sound that way? Sorry, I'm just blowing steam. What I really want to know is- WHY?
Why are we still eating this way? (“We” as a collective whole.) Why are brands still making harmful, processed foods If we know for a fact that, say for example - sugar is bad for our bodies (is there a scientist, biologist, doctor, anyone anywhere going to say that sugar is good for you? No?) then why are we still eating it????? Why is it in our drinks, in our bread, marinara sauce, snacks, etc... And it's not the only ingredient we don't need/shouldn't have in our bodies. And WHY are my friends/acquaintances not supporting this concept, why do they feel threatened by the word "healthy", and uncomfortable with the way of life I’m trying to live? Why aren't they seeking to care for their bodies and avoid processed, sugary foods? I really don't get it.
Why aren't schools making this part of the curriculum - teaching kids the importance of real food? When my kids eat 'Green Eggs and Grits' at pre-school for Dr. Suess week (no ham, of course), and my son proceeds to use that as evidence that food-coloring is good for you because his teachers gave it to them, that breaks my heart because the school doesn't have my back. Instead of it teaching our kids from the beginning right from wrong, we're letting them, supporting them, even encouraging them to make bad food choices, and then when they grow up they’re expected to “eat right”. Why aren’t we making this easier for them? And for us?
This is making my job extremely HARD. Not only is wellness/health first and foremost on my mind, but in addition, my job is to feed and care for a family of small, picky eaters who want nothing but hot-dogs and grilled cheese. (And gushers.) And these small children need my guidance and knowledge to make healthy choices, they need me to be able to look them in the eye when they’re older and say - I took good care of you. I made sure you ate right and made good food choices that follow you till today.
And really, my pet peeve has less to do with food and more to with my universal truth - there are no universal truths. (Except for sugar ;) In other words, to each his own. Live and let live. Allow yourself and others to be different, it's really ok.
Okay, enough ranting. But please, share your thoughts and struggles with me. I’d love to hear from you!