Hopped On Pop: Mom Talk
Sugar isn't the only ingredient in soda that shakes our kids up.
On a recent vacation, we struggled to find healthy-ish foods for our son to eat. It's hard enough for adults to mind our, ahem, girlish figures, let alone feed our kids.
I'm not opposed to the drive thru from time to time. I don't expect Jenny Craig to hand me the bag through the window. However, it surprises me how many places don't serve plain white milk.
McDonald's is one place that has stepped up with making meals healthier. Our son loves the apples, certainly more than the fries. He drinks milk almost exclusively.
While on this trip, we met another guest at the inn—a body builder. (Did I say body builder? What I meant is that he was by far the largest man I have ever seen, and that includes several pro football players.) We got to talking about food. Turns out, he is a bit of an expert in child nutrition.
He told us that one of the single worst drinks for kids is pop. That seems a little obvious to me. Yet the way he explained it was eye-opening. Their little bodies can't handle the caffeine. In addition to the standard sugar-induced hyper-activity, their bodies get strung out on the caffeine.
And yet, when I go to parties, I see kids as young as 3 and 4 drink pop after pop after pop. I remember seeing one little girl too big to jump. By age 7, she and her mom both went to Weight Watchers together. What a thing to have to subject a child to.
I commend First Lady Michelle Obama for her Let's Move initiative. It seems trivial but it is so regularly overlooked. Have we really become a society where we need public service announcements to tell kids to go outside and play?
Even Sesame Street has layered in extra sketches about exercise. For example, Jason Mraz changed his popular tune to teach kids to go "Outdoors."
It's hard enough as adults to keep active and healthy. Do we really have to subject our kids to those awful extra pounds so early?
As our new body-builder friend said, people would lose a surprising amount of body weight just by cutting out the pop.
So as we wrap up the last of our summer vacations, let's try to focus on keeping our little ones healthy as well as happy. When they aren't so jazzed up by pop, they behave better, and don't get yelled at as much.
Sometimes, the answers can be quite simple.