Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Harsh, but True?

I came across an email written by a natural health-guru/doctor, and it struck me, not only with it's harsh nature, but also because I've read some blogs lately that have mentioned childhood obesity and parental responsiblity. I'm interested in your thoughts...

Angry meals on the menu

If you hate your child or grandchild enough to let him stuff his face with Happy Meals, then nothing the health police say will save your little critter.

But that won't stop them from trying. Santa Clara County in the nanny state of California has banned toys in junk-food meals that don't meet targets for fat, calories, sugar and sodium. Soon, restaurants there will face a $1,000 fine if they dare to serve up a plastic toy with their plastic food. That'll teach 'em!

But really, I can't think of a more perfect little message for the age of ObamaCare, where nutrition will be legislated and anyone who doesn't meet some D.C. bureaucrat's carefully negotiated vision of good health will be forced to pay, pay, pay. And believe me, you will pay.

Listen, I know a Happy Meal isn't much more than death in a cute little box... but I don't trust a bunch of politicians, lobbyists and bureaucrats when it comes to setting the rules for a healthy meal. You know they'll get it wrong every single time.

Besides, teaching your kid good eating habits is YOUR job, and if you don't want it -- tough. For most parents and grandparents, a Happy Meal isn't even a meal anyway -- it's a contract with a child: "If I give you fries and a cheap toy, will you shut up for half an hour?" But kids are like terrorists -- you can't negotiate with them. And if you don't have the nerve to tell your child he can't have a Happy Meal, then you're badly unprepared for everything else heading your way as your tot grows up. Remember, hell hath no fury like an overweight sack of raging teenage hormones.

Would you like fries with that?

Never coy when it comes to these toys, William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.

So does this guy have a good point, or has he fallen off his rocker?


  1. Hmmm...maybe a little of both? lol

    I think we need to teach our kids MODERATION. It's okay to have a Happy Meal - once in a while, like once every couple of months, you know? If you deny a kid something, they'll only look to get it later on - that kid turns into a teenager with money in his or her pocket, and voila - they're hanging out at Mickie D's every day.

    I do like the idea of no more toys in the meals - no need to force parents to fight with their kids more than they have to. But I don't agree with the GOVERNMENT getting involved - they have enough to do without deciding how restaurants should serve their food.

  2. I agree whole heartedly that it is a parents responsibility to teach their kids how to eat. My husband and I both grew up in families where there was never any pop, junk food, sugared cereal, etc.

    So when we had the opportunity we just ate like there was no tomorrow! Sleepevers were a way of getting donuts for breakfast, something we never had at my house!

    Fast foward to today. Our kids had access to anything - and you know what? They have an occassional cookie or bowl of ice cream and know that it is available and not an all you can eat because it might not be there tomorrow.

    Does that make any sense? And I used to make my daughter "mommy" happy meals when she was little. All I did was bag up what we were having for dinner and put it in a white paper bag Hannah had previously decorated and put a .10 cent toy in the bottom - it made her happy!

  3. I agree parents do have the job of teaching their kids healthy habits, but I also believe in everything in moderation. I do have a problem with parents that are using Happy Meals as a tool instead of parenting. It seems like some would rather shove fries at a child than listen to them whine. Like Jenn said above, if you never let kids have a Happy Meal they'll go bananas when they can get it on their own. I grew up with a great balance between junk and healthy food items and I really am a well rounded eater. I definitely give my parents credit for that.

  4. It is our responsibility to teach our kids, and when they are very small we really do have a lot of control over their food choices. But when they are driving on their own - that's when our good examples and habits are hopefully apparent.

  5. Ugh- this just adds to my anxiety/stress/panic about not doing the right thing for my boys! I SO don't want to poison my own children.