Choices

15 Oct

We had visitors last week. My sister and her man were in town visiting from Kansas City. On Friday, we decided we would go to Manitou Springs for the afternoon. Manitou is this cute little town with tons of little shops, arcades and cute eateries. I could literally spend all day there. My little ones, 5 and 7, had the day off from elementary school, due to President’s Day or something. We decided to sit and have lunch at one of the little bistros. It was a beautiful day so we sat on the patio. Our waiter brought us our menus. As my sister and her boyfriend were looking through their menu, I was trying to figure out what my littles were going to eat. The options on the menu were mac and cheese, chicken tenders and fries, burger and fries, quesadilla, and ham and cheese or turkey and cheese on brioche(which by the way, sounded super yummy). Anyway, my 7 year old son, Christian, decided as he typically does that he would get the chicken tenders with fries. But when I turned to my 5 year old daughter, Bella, to tell her the kid’s menu options she said she didn’t want any of the options she just wanted a salad. I thought, wow, way to go kid. But they didn’t have a salad as an option on the kid’s menu. I looked at my sister and she said well maybe they can make her a small side salad. Good point, I thought. The waiter came back and asked if we had any questions and of course I did. I asked him if the kitchen could make my daughter a small salad and he said that they don’t do that in their restaurant. It’s not their policy. They only do the large salads and that we could split one. I thought that was a little weird. I double checked with Bella to make sure she did in fact want the salad. She was adamant that that is all that she wanted. She did not care for anything that was on the kid’s menu.  So I ended up ordering a big salad and split it with her. And she was satisfied. The day turned out great, we played at the penny arcade. The kids had lots of fun.

But I’ve gotta revisit what happened. First of all, the options given on the kid’s menu weren’t that bad. I’m sure they weren’t the greatest in caloric and sodium content. But it wasn’t anything I was going crazy over. I don’t take my kids out to eat every day. I typically cook my family homemade meals. So this was a treat. Now, I know it wasn’t the waiter’s fault that they don’t serve smaller salads for kids either.  I don’t know why the restaurant wouldn’t offer this option to kids, why is this against policy? Maybe it’s not a big money maker. Okay, fine. But I’m not sure how anything on the kids menu would be a big money maker. Most of the stuff they just heat up anyway, right? Anyway, the truth is kids these days just don’t love healthy food. And they are, probably like most restaurants, trying to cater to that. Kids love foods high in saturated fat, fried foods, cheesy food, carb loaded food, I get it. That’s what we’ve groomed our kids to love. I said I get it but it doesn’t mean I agree. I certainly don’t endorse it. I think we need to start teaching our kids at a young age not only to make good choices in their relationships but for their health. These habits develop at such a young age and they are very hard to break.

Here are some facts I obtained from the CDC:

  • Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.
  • The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.
  • In 2008, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.1,2

 

Also, I want to boast about my child for a little bit. Doesn’t every parent just love to do that? First let me say, this child loves her sweet treats. She loves her candy, ice cream, cookies, cake… anything with sugar. Let me just add though…. she only gets these sweet treats in moderation. Never in abundance. Okay… so that afternoon, she choose to pick the healthy option for lunch. Maybe it goes to show you that what you do as a parent, setting a good (or bad) example, really does affect your children. One of my reasons, for staying the course in this healthy lifestyle is to be a good example to my children. So they grow up with good healthy habits as children and adults. It’s very encouraging that at 5 years old, she understands. Of course, she wants sweet treats. Hey I still do sometimes… I had a brownie with ice cream last night. And it was yummy.

 

Smile and have a great day!

S.

 

 

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