Think my family never eats junk food, only eats free-range organic everything, and that my kids have probably never heard of Oreos? Think again.
I’m asked all the time how I handle junk food situations with my family. The truth? It doesn’t bother me that my kids eat junk food sometimes. Youth gatherings, parties, Bible class rewards, extended family get-togethers, road trips – my kids are actually presented with not-so-healthy options pretty frequently. Freaking out about it would mean I’d have to freak out about it pretty frequently. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
We eat as many nutrition-packed foods at home as possible. We put loads of fruits and veggies on our table every day. We make most of our bread products from freshly ground organic wheat. I super-duper care about my family’s nourishment and emphasize the importance of good food to keep our bodies as healthy as possible.
I just recognize that this issue isn’t worth causing rebellion to rise up in my boys’ hearts, nor is it worth hurting relationships with people we love. This is not about making a compromise. I’ve simply decided not make a thing out of what I don’t believe needs to be a thing.
Do I love seeing my boys with a can of root beer in one hand and a Twizzler in the other? Well, I much prefer to watch them choose which kind of homemade dressing they want on their salads. But if in fact they have just burst through the door after a teen event with said junk food items in hand, and their deep man voices are rumbling with fun facts about the evening as they give me the run down of who was there and what the Bible study was about and who won the game they played afterward – I’m pretty sure it would be unwise of me to interrupt and launch into a lecture about red food dye.
And anyway. My kids already know that stuff isn’t good for them. I don’t need to say it again or give them the eyebrow of disapproval. They’re just having fun, being kids, and enjoying their friends and social events. If it means they love hanging out with their Christian friends then I say bring on the root beer.
The older my boys get, the more food choices they make on their own. If you can possibly imagine, they like some of that stuff that comes out of a package. It’s like they’re normal or something.
But they also really like healthy food. They each need more than the fingers on both hands to count all of the fruits and vegetables they love. They understand the dangers of margarine. They love (most of) my nourishing homemade food. They eat loads of great food every day without complaint.
I think it’s important to teach our kids all we can about good health and good decisions. I think it’s important that we provide our families with as much nourishing food as we can. Then, I think it’s important to smile and listen with excitement when talking to our kids about what they did while they were out and what they were offered to eat at a party – even if their tongues are blue and their finger-tips are orange.
What are your thoughts on this? How do you handle junk food situations with your family?