From time to time, I get frustrated watching my youngest daughter Noff (8) eating junk. Inside my head, I hear the scream, “Help!” I am sure many parents feel like me when their kids eat junk.
This morning, I had a revelation!
You see, in our family, she is the odd one out. If you ask the older kids what is the best sandwich in the world, they will say, “A multigrain roll with tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, avocado and alfalfa”. If you ask Noff, she will say, “Nutella (chocolate spread), Jam or Fairy Floss (Cotton Candy)”.
It is scary for me as a mother to watch her eat.
“Why would you put this poison in your body?” I ask her.
“Because it tastes great”, she says with gleaming eyes.
This week, we discussed food and Noff said, “I think junk is very tasty, especially if it’s sweet and colorful”. She is very smart and summed up her desire in one sentence – junk + sweet + colorful = great food. Everything that is sweet is good and if it has color, it is even better.
Unfortunately, she is allergic to food colors. I said to her it is unfortunate that a girl who loves colors so much (on her face, clothes, linen and even in her food) is sensitive to food colors, but her health is very important and since she wheezes after eating something with food colors, we must monitor what she eats.
This morning, Noff opened the freezer, took out frozen blueberries and ate them in the car on the way to school. Then, I had a revelation.
She ate the blueberries and was very happy and excited about their color.
“Look, Mom, when they are fresh, they are blue, but when they are frozen, they are almost purple”, she said and played with a blueberry with her fingers. She was also happy to take a bite from one blueberry and discover it was white inside.
When I dropped her off at school, Noff asked me to take the empty blueberry bowl back home. “Look Mom, the whole bowl is colored purple-blue now”, she said just seconds before she got out of the car, “I love blueberries”.
She was very happy and I realized we did not always have blueberries in the freezer, because they are a bit on the expensive side. I usually buy them during special sales when I can find them cheaper. In our house, we eat lots of fruits and vegetables and I buy most of them at the market for a fifth of the price, so you can understand why blueberries have been rare for us.
On the way home, I stopped at the supermarket for my shopping. At our local supermarket, to make it easy for us to calculate the cost of things, they have started adding the price per 100gr at the bottom of each price tag. Blueberries cost $1.30 per 100gr, but as I passed next to the colorful candy section, where Noff would love to spend her days if I let her, I checked the prices and was shocked to discover that 100g of sweets cost $3.20 – junk for 2½ times the healthy stuff.
And I thought blueberries were expensive.
Raspberries are red,
Blueberries are blue,
Mangoes are yellow,
And I’ll buy them for you
They may cost a lot,
But they’re not as precious as you,
So I’ll buy costly fruits
For the good that they do
I think this should be the Healthy Mother’s Hymn. Don’t you?
Here’s to raising healthy kids!