Friday, July 13, 2012

My kids will NOT be eating fast food

were the words that sparked a heated discussion at the dinner table last night.
(said by me, of course)

I have read several articles/blogs written by moms who say
"Their children have never been exposed to FF, and have never asked for it."

Apparently by me saying this, I am "depriving" my (way in the future unborn) children.
Those were not the exact words, but I did not have a stenographer so I do not remember how everything went word for word.
.sue me.

Did I have fast food growing up?

It was not something we did routinely, but it happened.

I just feel that with all the knowledge we have today of how bad fast food is for you, why would I expose my children to it?

Clearly I do not know what it is like to work full time and be a mom full time, so this is where you all come in.

Is my notion of NOT wanting to drive-thru McDonald's for a kids meal that far off?

How am I supposed to be a health coach, who promotes healthy habits..then feed my kids meal worms because it's quick?

Someone help me here?

ALSO said at the dinner table by me:
My kids will not be going to the circus. I do not condone animal abuse.
(yes I eat chicken)
Contradiction observed.

To which I received a response 
" when did you turn into such a hippie?"


  1. My kids will NOT be eating fast food either. I don't care how busy I am, there will always be something different to eat. If I need a "fast" meal and can't make it, I'll be heading for (whole wheat) pizza or something else along those lines which is just as easy to get. The only thing I worry about it the outside factor of friends, babysitters, etc but I think everyone knows (or will know) how important no fast food is to me!

  2. Morning!
    I too said this in my pre-parent days - and heck I still say it. Unfortunately my kids do have the "nuggets" and "cheeseburger" (and I put them in quotes as I'm sure they aren't real food) on occassion. Not by MY choice, but when they are out with family it happens. As they are eating I always explain that this is "junk" food and that we don't eat it all the time and that when we get home the next thing they eat must be a fruit or veggie and they happily do so.

    I think I've done a pretty good job at teaching them about food and what's "healthy" and not. Sawyer will ask for an entire red/yellow/orange pepper and try and eat it like an apple. Sullivan's breakfst is often made up of berries and cheese.

    As much as I would like them not to eat FF, I know it's going to happen so I chose to educate them on what proper nutrition is and at 2.5 & 4 years old they are making the right choices on their own :)

    Hope that helps with your question! One thing I have learned is never to say "My kids will never...." or "My kids will always..." because it has this awesome way of laughing at you in the face once the littles arrive :) <--- Trust me - it happened to me!

  3. Thankfully there are "better" options. If you need something quick, but don't want to hit the burger joints then you can always do Subway, Chipotle or Noodles and Company. All of these offer better options than traditional fast food places. Most of their food is still a little too high in salt, but a couple of times a month won't hurt. I think an all-or-nothing approach is bad for children and for clients. You have to teach them to do their best in whatever situation they are in. I hate the burger places though, so if I am in that big of a hurry my kids often get high fiber cereal and milk for dinner.

  4. I'm totally with Courtney. I had the 'this will NEVER happen in my houses' mentality and it's already bitten me more than once in 9 short months of motherhood.

    I plan on educating my children about healthy eating and making right choices by providing delicious and whole foods at home. However, if Emmie really wants a happy meal once in a blue moon I am happy to get her one. I don't want her to develop negative food associations and I don't think by just not buying fast food will she learn to make good choices.

    I still love me some Chik-FIL-a every now and then too. Plus I don't want her to feel guilty if a friends family takes her for fast food or something.

    It's a lot easier to say broad statements before you're a mom. I said my baby will never sleep in my bed ... And we co-slept on many occasion. I also said she would never have formula and now we supplement one bottle a day.

  5. I was talking about this just the other day! My boyfriend told me that if we get married he'll take them when I'm out of town as a treat. Something tells me that's a little bit backwards. As far as I'm concerned, though, eventually they're going to have to make their own choices. I can just do the best I can and educate them. And then it's up to them!

    Oi. I hope I'm talking about pretty far in the future, here.

  6. I agree - I had fast food when I was a kid, not every night, but sometimes. I just don't think it's necessary, knowing what we know now about the fast food industry. Even employees of those fast food restaurants are telling us not to eat there - I just read this article the other day -

  7. We make a couple exceptions for fast food; maybe once a month we will grab something at Chick-Fil-A or Moe's. But I don't care for McD's, BK, or Wendy's, so it's easy to say no to those things from the get-go. Now, unfortunately, I work in food and beverage, so my kid gets spoiled with reeeaally good food from time to time. Luckily, the worst that can happen from that is that she'll develop a very critical pallet, haha :)

  8. I think you are right on!

    My older son (5) has been to McD's maybe thrice in his life. My younger son has never been. I strive to avoid fast food as much as possible. The 3 times my older son has been to McD's were when we had long road trips and needed breaks and I didn't plan as well as I should have.

    But, I do go to Subway now and then.

  9. I agree. I will do everything I can to limit their exposure to Fast Food. Why set them up for harm when you can make healthy alternatives at home. Plus, more budget friendly when you cook it yourself. Invest in their health by making food at home.

  10. Things happen...birthday parties, long road trips with no other options, need for something edible quickly from a drive-through. Can you make a commitment to healthy food as a family? Of course. Can fast food be the rare exception? Of course. But never is a big word. You can certainly try, but sometimes life isn't that neat and clean. You also don't want to deprive kids of once-in-a-while experiences their friends will have. That can have the opposite effect and they might feel the need to binge at friends' houses on things that are "not allowed" at home.

    But I will never take my kids to the circus either. I refuse to support the elephant abuse. I don't budge on that one :)

  11. THANK YOU!!! I believe in healthy living, and teaching your children to make healthy decisions and have a balance. You can't control everything, and if your children have a cheeseburger there not going to die or be "unhealthy". I can't wait till you have kids, you will be forever haunted by this discussion!! muhahaha.....and I will bring them to the circus, every kid needs to experience it!

  12. I don't believe in Fast food either but my toddler has had a couple Chic-Fil-A's bec we were on a long drive and needed food. Never when we are home and I can cook up something. Even with that, I got her real chicken (not some processed crap shaped into a nugget) and fruit as a side. What did she eat first? The fruit. She has had some junk from daycare/family and I will give her organic fruit lollipops from Trader Joe's as a treat. She licks it a few times and throws the rest. Again, I don't believe in an all or nothing approach. She will be exposed to junk but the best we can do as parents is educate. I tell her if she does have these treats that even though she can have them, it is still not good for the body and too much is bad. She understands that's why at 2 (almost 3) she will surrender her fruit lollipop to me without prompting and w/it not being finished. I think withholding or not exposing her to bad food might lead to bad choices when she is older. It's just human nature to crave something that is "forbidden". That being said, I will never take her to a McD's bec I don't believe they serve anything good there but if necessary (on a long car trip), there are other healthier alternatives.

  13. Hmmm, please follow up to this when you have kids. I'd love to hear if you can actually make it happen. I work full time, am a full time student, run 40+ miles per week and have two children. Sometimes I wake up at 4AM to run, don't get home from work until 6:30PM and have no other option but to bring something home or take my family out so I can still get homework done. Do I like having to do that? No, but it's about balance. A kid having a happy meal with apple slices instead of fries and water to drink is not that bad. I'd probably be making chicken nuggets at home when we're that busy anyway. And to the comment about finding a whole wheat pizza or something like that instead, maybe if you live in a big city or a community where there are those options. But near me we have a McDonald's, a Wendy's, a Taco Bell, and a Dairy Queen. The best I can usually do is getting a salad. There's not even a Whole Foods or organic section in our grocery store!

  14. I'm of the pre-children camp too, so I don't really know what I'm talking about yet. We had fast food at least once a week growing up because both of my parents work, and it can be a little much to feed 4 demanding, hypoglycemic kids. I still eat fast food sometimes now, when I'm not being a good meal planner. My husband and I talk about our future kids' diet quite often, as I'm a (mostly) vegan and he is a ravenous carnivore. I hope to raise our kids mostly vegan also, but eventually, they will probably want to try "Whatever Dad is eating" and the most I can do is educate them on my views, on their father's views, and hopefully they can make their own, and I pray, the RIGHT, healthy decisions! And, maybe we'll have our mothers babysit, so my husband doesn't "Take them to McDonald's!" as he likes to threaten ;) But, I won't rule it out, because life happens!!! Thanks Carolyn!!! :)

  15. I personally feel it's better to expose your children to everything you possibly can (in moderation) and teach them to make healthy choices. My nephew who is 8, for example, will choose to eat salad in restaurants and at home even though he has had plenty of exposure to junk food of all kinds from his grandfather. And I am so proud of my nephew for that because most of the time his mom isn't there to tell him to make the right choice.

  16. I'm with you.. mostly.

    I'm sure my kids will have FF at some point, but I'm going to try my best to avoid that / teach them to make good decisions. My nephew is three, and his mother (blech--awful woman) feeds him nothing but mcnuggets & donuts when she has him (twice a week or so). That's way too often & too unhealthy when the boy LOVES greek yogurt, which is legit $1 each at the grocery store. In moderation, FF is okay. We had to get some on a Thanksgiving road trip, and in that instance it's fine. But after I found out what nuggets are really made of, I told BF our kids won't eat them.

    Completely with you on the circus thing though. No circus trips in my house!

  17. My children will not eat fast food, and frankly I'd be upset if they had a slumber party at a friends and their family fed them fast food. It absolutely is not depriving them... It's looking out for their well being

    They'll know what fast food is. They'll know it exists so its not like we are hiding a whole part of our culture from them. We are just helping them make the right choices. There are plenty of things I never had as a kid and as a result, I'm now more likely to say "I dont like xyz" even though the truth is i jus haven't ate it very much. If ever. The psychology behind it plays a huge role..

    The only fast food id want my children to ever have is chick fil a.. And even then, I'd still prefer they didn't. If I can make the time to make myself & z a meal most nights, why can't I add in more for my kids?

  18. LOL!!!! I love this. My son loves pizza but is attracted to the "toys" but we indulge the subway or slice of pizza way more than FF. in addition tge circus isn't cool after 5 anyways my boy is 8 going on 30. Your not a hippie you just have hippie views ;-p


  19. Not can often get translated to "never." I think people sometimes try to sit on one side of the fence or the other. It CAN BE BOTH. As said above, it's all about education and letting them know that it is not preferred food. It's crap. A lot of it. I eat FF and I run a bajillion miles. I think a crappy cheeseburger from McDonald's is good. I know a burger made at home or from a (preferred) restaurant is much better. Doesn't mean I don't eat a FF burger every now and then.

    My daughter WILL have FF. It's hard NOT to prevent it. I'm not going to make it a habit, but a chicken nugget here and there, balanced by other healthy habits is fine. The key is having healthy eating habits and knowing the difference. You may be a great example. You had it as a child and look at you now... a FitFluential, healthy bad ass. It can be both.

    The "reward" aspect is the tricky one. Have to try to prevent that. In conclusion (LOL), let's not make it the preferred choice for eating locations and understand that life sometimes happens. Oh ya, everything that you say you "will NOT do, or never do" is guaranteed to happen.

  20. I agree with pavement runner. We strive to eat healthy every day and make a conscious effort NOT to go to FF places; but sometimes it happens in our home too. Do I like it no, BUT it's a rare occasion especially when we travel. I take healthy snacks but you can only go so far on healthy snacks with a kid(s). We try to eat at more healthy places like subway etc..but yes the occasional mcdonalds and pizza sneaks in when we are just simply exhausted. We also strive to incorporate being active in sports and or summer running programs. Currently my 6 year old rides his bike weekly with me on my runs and this far he's ridden 12 miles in 3 days, runs 1/2 mile every Thursday at our local running club. We ate very active and very healthy BUT I cannot say we don't or will not eat FF it just happens. Love your blog by the way!

  21. Here's the problem. When someone without children says, "I will NEVER (insert activity here) with my children", the parents in the room hear judgement. It's so easy to say what you'd do before the kids come along.

    Mine are 11 & 8. I no longer have complete control over what goes into their mouths. They are going to make their own choices more & more often. I can tell them what's good for them & what's not. I can hope they make good choices & provide even better choices in my home. But in the end, one happy meal is not going to make or break their entire healthy-life profile.

    And let me be clear, I realize that I have the power to cook for my kids in an easy, timely fashion. Running out of time is rarely the issue. For instance, we spent yesterday in a water park all day. We were all tired & grouchy. We grabbed a pizza on the way home- I made a salad to go with it and we all relaxed together. Today we will not get a pizza... it's a new day.

  22. As a mom of two girls who are 11 and 10, I can safely say there have easily been about 286 things they've done that I said they'd never do. Some were by my choice because I realized my pre-parent expectations weren't realistic. Some have been by their choice, whether I agreed with it or not. I think the best we can all do as parents is model the behaviors we want our kids to emulate most and work back from there.

  23. Hi! I'm a mom and I HATE fast food, I don't Like my kid eating it but some times is impossible to keep them away from it. For example, my daugther was invited to a birthday party and they had mc Donald's happy meals so she had it. Is not like I'm going to pack her lunch for a party. So I think as long as you set healthy habits at home is ok to let them have it once in a while.

  24. Yes I agree with many of the moms who have posted already. We've all said many things we would never do when we have kids but then those little devils/sweethearts come into our lives and whoa do things change.

    I am one who let their kids have it on occasion and now wish i would have been better about things. But when your kid is extremely picky and will only eat chicken nuggets and you have a baby screaming to be fed...well you do things. They get more junk food from Grandma's houses which we are working on. That's a battle. But we are working on it and that's the important thing. As long as you make sure they get other healthy things and they get tons of exercise, your kids will be ok!

  25. Such an interesting conversation! I don't think your comment and well wishes to not give your future kids fast food is far flung at all! I think the difference lies in making it your goal VS. becoming obsessive if they do have the occasional fast food. You can't exactly control what family friends, field trips, and babysitters will do in terms of feeding children, so I think its good to be a little opened minded from that perspective. Also, on road trips where there aren't any other options, sometimes fast food will be the only form of sustenance. I'm with you in that I really don't want to encourage or set out to give my (future) kids fast food, but if it happens, it happens!

  26. I took my kids to McDonald's and to the circus. Maybe I can do better with my grandkids! ;-)

    (do yuo really need word verification to screen comments?)

  27. MINE DOES!!!!
    It isn't a daily think but, IMO, never say never :-)
    she doesnt love the taste of, say, mcnuggets but some chikfila yogurt and ice cream when it is 104 outside and then staying and playing indoors.

    I DO IT.

    for me anything forbidden makes it all that much more alluring. *I* never eat fast food. I never say a word. When it comes down to it at six she still wants to be like I am.

  28. I have 2 young girls (2.5 and 1). We have gone to McDonalds before (and probably other fast food places too). We don't go very often, but when we do, it's because I'm hungry for that kind of food, we're traveling, or a sundae just sounds like fun. I certainly think you can avoid it altogether with your future young children if you choose. I cook 99% of the time, lead an active lifestyle, and own a wellness coaching business- for me, it's all about balance.

  29. I don't think I'll be able to say never, just because sometimes there are situations where you may not have many other options. Growing up we didn't ever eat out a lot, and we rarely got fast food. When we did it was because we were traveling or it was a treat. I'm 22 now and I HATE fast food. I never have been a fan of it, and if i am forced to eat it I go with a salad. I just have no desire to eat it. i like to think that I'm going to be a mom who instills a healthy lifestyle in my children, and make sure they know what's good for them, but I think if you tell a child no, you can't have that ever, then they'll want it more.

  30. I agree that 'never' is a strong word, and, like you, i don't yet have the experience as a working parent yet to justify my stance. HOWEVER... I don't want to poison my children. Knowing what I've learned, I just don't see myself ever, no matter how desperate, feeding my children fast food--as it exists today.

    (NOT that there's anything inherently wrong with fries or burgers or milkshakes on their own, but the way that fast food chains in America makes their "food" today... that's a NO.)

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