Friday, May 22, 2009

I guess this makes me the mean Mommy...

I have an Aunt and Uncle that refused to subscribe to cable and kept a little TV in a back room to watch occasional videos. When we were kids I thought my cousins were so deprived. Now I see the merits of life without it and we have been happily cable-free since February. I can't begin to explain just how much the lack of advertising has changed the kids. Other perks include more free play and reading. And since all their TV viewing has to go through the DVD player, I have much more control over content.

The kids haven't really clued in to the fact that they don't get Teletoon like their neighbours do. No, my struggle (and nomination for strict mommy award) comes from the battle over summer treats and this year my kids aren't taking it quietly.

I have always battled weight and work very hard (and spend a great deal of money) offering my kids fresh and nutritious food. I cook from scratch as often as possible. In fact, our 100% whole wheat bread is rising in the kitchen right now. The kids are allowed some treats. They eat McDonald's once or twice a month. They are far from hard done by. What I am pretty strict about are the kids not consuming soda, hard candies, gum and now that summer has arrived, freezies. I hate freezies. Kids eat them all day long under the guise of it being a harmless refreshing treat. Frozen sugar water with artificial colouring. To cool off. Grrrr.

Have you seen the size of some of these freezies? Longer than Izzy's arm! When offered these treats from well meaning neighbours and friends the kidlets are allowed to split a big one. Sometimes. Other times I just say no. It isn't easy though when 20 other kids are running around outside with their giant freezies.

I read an article that talked about the fact that kids tend to gain weight in the summer, even with all the running around because of the hotdogs, extra juice boxes and frozen treats. It is a real shame. My kids wouldn't even qualify as pudgy but I worry about the future. Food has been so altered. Kids eat fruit snacks instead of real fruit. Portion sizes are completely out of whack. Eating well is such an uphill battle when it should be so basic.

So if my kids are hot, they can have water. We'll break out the watermelon and strawberries. Of course we won't ban ice cream (nor could we, especially if you know Rob) but it will be, as they said on Sesame Street, a sometimes treat. I will not be buying freezies though. In fact, I bet if I dig to the bottom of my deep freezer, I can still find half a box worth from two summers ago when I felt bad about not offering them to the neighbourhood kids. I know we gave away more than we ate.

Someday the kids will happy for the choices we've made for them. For now I will just have to stick to my guns and use that age old argument used by our parents, and their parents before them - because I said so...

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