Do you feed yourself this line every day (pun intended) that you are trying to teach your kids good eating habits so they will grow up to be healthy eaters, yet as an adult you aren’t always the healthiest eater? If so, then you have just entered…drumroll please, the first phase of the “Food Hypocrisy Cycle” (trademark pending). Are you unsure if you’re a food hypocrite? Well then, here are a few questions for you to ponder. Beginning with the most important…Are you taking better care of your kids than you are taking care of yourself?
Hypocrisy 1 – Vitamins: Have you religiously given your kids vitamins every day since the day they were born, even the smelly brown drops that stain everything? Do you take your own vitamins every day? Did you take vitamins every day when you were pregnant but stopped the minute you popped junior out?
Hypocrisy 2 – Water: Do you drink enough water? Do you make sure your kids drink water? Do you insist they swap other beverages for water especially when it’s hot out? Do you do the same?
Hypocrisy 3 – Milk: Do you drink enough milk? Did you know that 3 glasses of milk a day may reduce your risk of bone fractures and disease? Do you make sure there is always milk in the house for your kids? If applicable, does it concern you that your kids don’t like milk?
Hypocrisy 4 – Eating while Standing: Do you insist that your kids sit at the table while eating? Do you eat your lunch at the kitchen counter? How about breakfast or dinner?
Hypocrisy 5 – Snacking Before Meals: Do you have a firm policy against snacking before meals? Do you find yourself snacking while cooking dinner? Do you find yourself snacking on your kids leftover scraps and therefore not hungry when it is time to eat dinner?
Hypocrisy 6 – Sweets: Do you like to prevent your kids from eating sweets before lunch or before bedtime? Do you sometimes eat a bowl of ice cream while watching TV late at night or pop a few cookies in your mouth every time you walk through the break room all morning?
Hypocrisy 7 – Balanced Meals: Do you prepare meals for your kids that include all the food groups? Do you prepare meals for yourself that have the same stringent guidelines? Do you ever just eat a bowl of cereal for dinner?
Hypocrisy 8 – No Poison Policy: Do you allow your kids to drink soda? Do you drink soda with your own dinner? Do you pat yourself on the back when you order your kids milk with their happy meal but order yourself a large soda? Do you allow your kids to put poisons like Aspartame in their bodies? Do you put the same poison (e.g. Diet Coke) in your own body?
Before I introduce Hypocrisy 9, let’s check in. By this point you may have recognized your hypocrisy and are realizing that by taking better care of your kids than yourself you are providing the perfect example of what not to do. You painstakingly worry about this because it is important to you that they grow up to be healthy and happy adults…yet you don’t act as if you are also important and special enough to be happy and healthy.
For the “fitties” out there (try not to take it personally that the aforementioned people are calling you selfish behind your back, because how could you possibly waste a second of time that you could be worrying about your kids to worry about yourself?) you may be feeling pretty good about yourself right now, but hold on, you have one more hypocrisy test…
Hypocrisy 9 – The Reverse Effect: Do you keep cookies in your house for your kids that you would never put in your own body? Do you pack snacks in your kids lunch boxes that you would never pack for yourself? Do you justify this by thinking that kids should get to be kids? Do you take your kids out for ice cream with all the toppings but get yogurt topped with granola for yourself or none at all?
So, how did you do? Did you pass the test? If you did, good for you, you are more well adjusted than the rest of us. For everyone else out there, try not to beat yourself up too much. Afterall, we are all just trying to do the best we can. Unfortunately, although I had all the questions, I do not have all the answers. But I do believe this, YOU ARE IMPORTANT and despite the atrocious lack of nutritional information that was available when you were a kid, your own mother wanted for you what you want for your own kids. So sit down, eat a meal (preferably one that includes a green leafy vegetable), and on a hot and sunny day share a huge banana split with your kids because they are only kids once and you should get to enjoy every last bite…I mean, minute of that.