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Downingtown Nutrition & Weight Management Center

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Parents Fighting an Environment That's Unhealthy

Today I woke up, completely normal day with my kids. Usually, I am with them all day on Tuesdays, which I love.

It all started with a dentist appointment. Both kids got an A plus in that department, but upon check out, the front desk staff asked if I wanted free Chili's kids meal coupons. First of all, I do not like a single thing on that menu that is food. Wine maybe, but the coupon didn't cover that (By the way this is my husband's favorite place to eat....wings of course). The coupons were for some fried item, soda, and desert. Hello I'm at the dentist office, aren't you suppose to promote health? I politely declined the offer.

Next stop, West Chester University. I left my IPAD in a classroom and a miracle worker managed to find it. Pulling the toddlers into an office setting was hectic enough until LOLLIPOPS were offered by a very lovely colleague. I politely declined the offer, and my 3 year stated she just came from the dentist and lollipops are a "once in a while" food. Future dietitian!

Lunch time. I promised the girls we can go do Carlino's for lunch in West Chester(I'm not going to lie, I had a craving for their broccoli rabe, garlic, peppers and olive oil and the place reminds me of my dad). A very nice lawyer and politician (who I'm not going to name!) bought the girls chocolate pretzels. They were not huge or brimming with candy toppings so I agreed. Hey they were dark chocolate!

Errands. I love Acme, even though some of their prices are high, they do have a healthy kids club which allows your child to have sliced apples or a banana. I thought I was a super cool dietitian mama until the lady at the bakery came over (while I was in the produce section) with heart cookies covered in sprinkles. I was too late to the cookie trade off and those cookies were gone before I could grab them. Sprinkle dye stains the girls mouth for the rest of the day.

In the bank drive through, guess what came through with the deposit slip, LOLLIPOPS. Thank goodness the girls didn't see them as I tossed them aside. Next time I'm going to feel like a bank robber leaving a note PLEASE DO NOT GIVE ME LOLLIPOPS OR ASK ME IF THEY WANT THEM.

Back home. As I'm unpacking the food, the girls are playing outside. Our super amazing neighbor comes over with a cup filled with large spearmint jelly candies. Again too late to the hand off. The two year old packed 3 in her mouth and the three year old couldn't even close her mouth, all I saw was a see of glistening green sugar. Then the three year old cries the two year old had one more. My neighbor gives them each six more. It took me an hour to get them away from them, in which I had to resort to "I think I just saw Swiper the fox outside the window" (Dora the Explorer fans) trick as I threw them in the trash.

I felt like my day was invaded by fried food, soda, lollipops, cookies and candy. I couldn't get away from it! Everywhere you go temptations are at every step of your day. It's hard enough for me to say no for myself, yet alone having two kids crying they want some. What's so hard about giving kids sparkly pencils, dinosaurs, stickers, or erasers as presents or rewards. Our environment is built on these dessert like incentives and rewards. Its wrong and I am sick of it as a mom, a dietitian and a public health educator!

If you see me with my kids at your office, bank, or grocery store, please do not offer any goodies to my kids. And if you want to, please ask me first before announcing it loudly so they can hear. It's hard enough to raise a healthy eater, please do not make it harder for us!


The Dieting Dietitian