Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Food Nazi.

The twins have got to a stage where it is difficult to actually control what they eat out of the house. They are at their grandparents and their grandparents think it is the grandparents' prerogative to feed them junk. They are in school, they have parties in school and on school field trips, the only place that can accomodate such a large number of children is often MacDonalds. That means, I sometimes don't have a say about what they eat.

I wish I did. I am particular about what they eat. On a regular day, their dinner consists of a mixture of brown and white rice, 3 types of vegetable and a meat or fish. They get fruit, eggs and often milk for breakfast. Lunch, they have in school so it's a black hole to me. So whatever is within my control, I make sure that they eat within my rules.

Why am I so nuts about food?

Perhaps it is because at 13 years old, I learnt about macrobiotic and natural science diets. I learnt about uric acid and how it collects in muscles, rendering athletes unable to perform their best. Then I learnt from Jamie Oliver and Supersize Me the evils and conspiracies of the food conglomerates out there. So, I watch what my kids eat like a hawk. Much of what other children of their age, the twins haven't eaten much of. Fishballs (MSG!) (Although occasionally, I give it to them as a treat and then, it is just one!), french fries (deep fried and salted!) (We bake our own and they like it just as much), nuggets (processed chicken beaks, feet, throats with a whole bunch of emulsiers thrown in!) (We make our own). It's my crazy Mom thing. I admit.

Having said that, I won't impose it on other people, so if the kids get invited to parties and such food exist, I let them eat it although often I try to feed them at home first so a) they won't eat so much b) they actually have some good food in them already. At the same time, I couldn't be a full nazi about it because I don't want my kids to grow up weird. I want them to grow up knowing what healthy, good food is and that junk food, on occasion can be acceptable.

So, in recent months, I have become a bit more relaxed with them. They go to MacDonalds. They've had fries. They've had nuggets. They eat the hotcakes and they eat the butter (which in my opinion is about the grossest thing in the world). But they have tired of the hotcakes and they now hanker for the Iced Milo. While I accede to it, I cannot in good conscience give them an entire cup. So, I buy one cup, take away, bring it home, split it into 3 and top up the other 2/3 with fresh milk.

So I adulterate the junk food that they get.

When they discover junk food at home; Packrat loves crisps and I love cookies, we occasionally give them some. Or we tell them the truth. That it's bad for them and it will make them constipate and they can eat it when they are all grown up.

Packrat thinks that when they discover real and unadulterated junk food, they will realise that they've been stiffed all their childhood life! It's like my nephew growing up thinking that red wine tasted like Ribena because when he asked for red wine one Christmas, we gave him Ribena.

I know it is a losing battle and that when they hit primary school, they will eat more junk than ever. But hopefully by then, their early eating habits would come natural to them and it will temper the evils of junk and fast food that will inadvertently be available to them.

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