Chocolate vs. Carrots

On a recent afternoon I heard, “Mama, can I have a Hershey Kiss?”

More often than not lately, I’ve been giving her a thumbs up. What harm can it do? But this time, more out of crankiness than anything else, I denied her request. I’ve been slacking lately. The junk has been creeping into our diet with increasing regularity.

My girl’s response was not a happy one to say the least. I dreaded having to listen to her protests.  But the pestering for sugar has gotten out of hand. And her diet has been dominated by beige foods for the past week or so. Instead of gently and lovingly parenting her back into a place of health and well-being, I quickly reached into the crisper drawer and dug out a neglected bag of carrots.

Despite her extreme displeasure with my decision, she was happily munching on carrots 10 minutes later. She’s not one to let go of a fight so easily. It seems that hunger got the best of her. And she actually ate a colorful food! Lots of it actually.

At dinner I was a lot more relaxed about her eating. The carrots had injected some much needed variety into the kid’s diet and there wasn’t as much pressure to make sure she consumed something resembling a square meal. I realized that I really missed being able to relax at the dinner table. The confrontation was worth it.

I guess my point is that even when you’re writing a flipin’ blog about healthy snacks for children, you’re not always bringing your A game. My new life rule is to stop buying little chocolate treats the minute they become routine or anyone in the family seems to be leaning a little too hard on the stash. After some moderately painful readjustments the family will see the light of day. And as long as there’s some fresh produce in the house, everything’s going to be okay!

Author: Cindy

Born in Charleston. Raised in the Silicon Valley. Live near Hartford, Connecticut with my husband and two children. We have lots of tropical fish.

6 thoughts on “Chocolate vs. Carrots”

  1. More often than not my kid will pick fruit over baked goods or candy, mostly because all her life candy has been limited to a tiny portion but fruit comes in unlimited quantities. Add in recent explanations of science etc. about healthy food and she’s really quite hooked. She even digs raw carrots (but refuses them cooked, which is fine, I’ll hand her a raw one while I’m cutting them for a recipe and then pick out the cooked ones for her so her choice is validated, she feels in control, and OMG MY KID IS EATING A CARROT).

  2. I alternate between setting strict rules about eating junk food, and letting my kids (9 and 11 yrs old) make their own (sometimes unwise) eating decisions. It’s a tough call as they get older. You want them to make their own decisions, but you also want them getting the nutrients they need.

    1. Rivki, Probably the sooner they learn to navigate the giant sugar bowl we all live in the better. I should probably start thinking more about letting my kids figure some of it out for themselves.

  3. I love this post! We have been eating so much junk this summer. On Monday I said enough, it’s time to get back to healthy foods. So yesterday we were at the zoo and my kids were nagging and nagging for me to buy sweets. And they were getting mean and nasty! I swear, it was like watching drug addicts go through withdrawal. Time for an intervention :-)

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