Mondays for Moms: Confessions of a fluorescent mac-n-cheese lover
What happened to the days when we could saunter down the aisles of the grocery store without being bombarded with 500 options for each item in the store?
Organic. Non-dairy. GMO-free. No artificial flavors. Lite. Fat-free. Gluten-free. Taste-free.
My head is spinning.
Retailers should start labeling packages with the following disclaimer: “Will need nutritionist to assist with purchase.”
Instead of greeters, could nutritionists begin to welcome us at the entrance of the grocery store and offer to accompany us down the aisles?
And while we’re on this topic, could someone for the love of Jesus and all the goodness in the world explain to me what the heck GMOs are? Are they kin to UFOs? Is it a military operative slogan? Are they little cancer pellets hidden away in every bite of my Cheetos? I’m getting worried over here. If you can provide some useful information, could you shoot me a quick message at HelpErinUnderstandGMOs@gmail.com? This is real; send help. Thanks in advance.
Seriously, why can’t we go in the store and throw two boxes of Cheerios, a couple gallons of milk and a box of the latest flavor of Oreos in our carts without enduring relentless stares from other shoppers? Rather than accosting the produce stocker about the origination and growth habits of Hass avocados, you will find me filling my cart with items that do not require such intense, interrogative research. You know items we’ve all been existing on since the beginning of time.
Confession: I’m the momma that occasionally serves up hot dogs and dinosaur-shaped chicken tenders. You know why? Because my kids love them.
I’m going to be real with you guys for a second. My momma, bless her sweet soul, fed me Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, M&M’s and orange soda. And guess what? I’m still alive! With the exception of the obligatory seasonal cold, I’m kickin’ it just fine, folks.
Pre high-fructose-corn-syrup-hysteria, our world was such a wonderful place. We reveled in our blissful ignorance and we survived. We made it. The corn syrup centaurs didn’t come devour us in our sleep, people!
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I haven’t seen a scientifically backed theory indicating that occasional hot dog consumption leads directly to immediate death. But please send that report in if I’m missin’ it.
Get prepared to gasp because I’m not done yet. I’ve also got mac-n-cheese in the ole pantry, too! And, no, not the organic-handmade-by-tiny-food-angels kind. Nope. No way. Not up in here! If you open my cupboard, you are going to find the glorious, fluorescent, glow-in-the-dark orange kind that we all fell in love with in our dorm rooms decades ago. You know, the kind we now crave at 2:00 a.m. after waking up to the baby monitor a few times.
All joking aside, I do think that nutrition is very important. And I completely agree with teaching our kids about the importance of clean eating, healthy food boundaries and coaching them towards a life of fitness.
But I think we walk a fine line. I’m all about providing our babies with the healthiest food options available, but let’s do so without engaging in discussions that result in righteous condemnation.
To the precious mommas who manage to serve pediatric-approved meals on your tables three times a day, you are awesome and superhuman. Could you help a sister out? Show me your ways. And, if any of you wants to write a book summarizing all of these “uber-healthy” options exposing all the superfoods in a graph-like format for ease of reference, that’d be great. (Quick request: provide a dictionary in the back.) I’ll be your first buyer.
Rather than tormenting over the origination of the foods that enter our children’s bodies, let’s spend time focusing on the words they hear, the things they see and the places they go. If we spend more time focusing on that version of input in our child’s lives, we will be doing them and our world a much greater service.
There’s a lesson to be learned here: Consumption is vital. Nutritional, spiritual, emotional, all of it. But I’m afraid we are spending so much time diagramming the sugar content of granola bars, that we are neglecting to measure the growth habits or our children’s patience, kindness and respect for others.
In our final days, it’s not going to matter how many marathons our babies ran or how awesome their homemade compost piles were in their backyards.
What will matter is the lasting legacy they leave and the lives they touched while here on this earth.
So, pardon me if I chunk a few fluorescent mac-n-cheese buckets in my buggy as I saunter through the pasta aisle. No harm. No foul. Just placing my primary focus on a tad bit different intake at our house.
To receive encouragement and read more about thriving rather than simply surviving in motherhood, check out Erin’s book, Cheers the Diaper Years: 10 Truths for Thriving While Barely Surviving here.
Erin Brown Hollis is Yellowhammer’s lifestyle contributor and host of Yellowhammer Podcast Network’s “Cheers to That” podcast. An author, speaker, lawyer, wife and mother of two, she invites you to grab a cup as she toasts the good in life, love and motherhood. Follow Erin on Instagram ErinBrownHollis or Twitter @ErinBrownHollis