We live in a world with so many conflicting messages. We’re told to love our bodies, but are surrounded by images of too-thin women. We’re told to be ourselves, but risk being ridiculed and teased. We’re told ours is the land of the free, the great melting pot, the land of opportunity, but many of your neighbors don’t have the same rights as you, anti-immigration laws at are an all-time high, and poor people do not have the same opportunities as the rich. We’re told that good eating habits and proper nutrition are keys to a healthy life, but our communities are inundated with fast “food” restaurants on just about every corner. How do we make sense of all this for our children? How to we combat the conflicting messages? How do we best teach our youth that “fighting the good fight” really is worth it? One mother thinks it’s by throwing food in the trash.
Video after the jump
And truth be told, I agree with her. Today, The Healthy Home Economist posted a video on its blog that showed one mother’s tried-and-true method for teaching her children how not to want to eat fast food. It’s certain to catch some backlash and criticism because the mother tosses a happy meal into the trash. I’m sure some will even argue that her method teaches more about wastefulness than anything. But I applaud this woman for trying to instill healthy eating habits in her children from very young ages. It’s no secret that children pick things up so incredibly early on in life and that they are visual learners first, so I wasn’t surprised to hear her teenage son say his mother’s method really worked.
I won’t get on my soapbox about just how terrible fast food really is. I’m sure by now we’ve all seen the pink slime videos that reveal exactly WTF is in the “meat” used by fast-food chains. And I doubt anyone will argue that fast food is good for you when we all know it’s loaded with chemicals.
But even with all the ever-evolving evidence that fast food is not only horrible for you and can lead to numerous diseases, we’ve all (well, OK, most of us have) eaten fast food at some point in our lives. Many people still do. And tons of families feed it to their children. While I recognize the horrible effects of fast food, I also realize that for many of our poorest communities, not only is there little education about the dangers of fast food, but there also isn’t much else to choose from.
So how do you teach your children about nutrition? Do you think The Healthy Economist mom went too far? Will you try this with your kids?
Read more of Aela’s writing at Two Moms Make A Right