“Mom, you’ve been holding out on me! I had a double Whopper with cheese and it was awesome!” said my 16 year old son yesterday. It was a sad day of mourning; I can no longer protect him from the evils of fast food. I’m only kidding, my children have certainly had food from the drive-thru over the years, but not very often. When they were younger we were more likely to grab a fast lunch before nap time, because we were out running errands and it made life so much easier, but as they got older I slowed down, and eventually stopped, buying fast food.
When the kids started school, I committed myself to cook their meals as much as possible. I like knowing the ingredients that are going into my family, and I prefer the taste of home cooked over fast. Also, I had the luxury of time to plan, shop and prepare balanced meals for our family. If we did eat at a fast food restaurant, it was one that I could tolerate, and there aren’t very many of those. So, until yesterday, my children have never eaten at Burger King or Taco Bell.
There are other things that we held back on over the years, in case you’re not yet convinced that we are freaks. We didn’t offer the kids gum of any kind until they turned five. On their fifth birthdays, each received a large bucket filled with every kind of gum you can imagine. It was a rite of passage, and none of them were harmed because of a lack of gum at an early age. My guy and I are not soda drinkers, so our kids did not have access to carbonated drinks for years. We started to give them opportunities to try it as they got older, and to this day none of them cares for the stuff.
We didn’t set out with a plan to limit our kids with their food variety, we want them to experience many things. In fact, we have encouraged them to try many foods over the years that are seen as ‘adult foods’ and none of them are picky eaters. We simply were not interested in exposing them to convenience food when we didn’t have to. Now that they are older and have their own money and transportation, I know things will be different; I don’t think a Double Whopper with cheese (they actually make those?) is something he needed to have before yesterday.