Parenting 1 – 0 – Dumb

So, I’m in my favourite city in the world at a conference.  I’m lucky enough that my family was able to come with me so in the evening the other night we go to one of the best restaurants in the area.

Now this restaurant isn’t the best because it has the finest cuts of meat, or savory side dishes.  It doesn’t have an extensive wine list or even desserts that would make Betty Crocker jealous.  This restaurant is one of the best because it has a simple philosophy.  Goodness from the garden to you.

You walk in and are greeted by a 55 foot long salad and vegetable bar.  Four salads that are made like Crunchy Island Pineapple or Spinach and then an array of different greens, vegetables, dressings, oils, toppings, then more cold salads like tuna, or broccoli.

The next choice on the menu is one of six home-made soups with all fresh ingredients like the vegetable medley, turkey and lentil chili, cauliflower or chicken noodle with thumb size chunks of chicken in an almost clear broth!

Baked sweet potatoes, fresh fruit, cottage cheese, a couple of hand-made pasta choices to top it all off.  It is nothing short of spectacular for anyone looking for wholesome goodness, fresh food and no preservatives, additives, artificial colouring or flavours.

And the price…LOL…feeding a family of five for under 40 bucks!!

But, the real reason why I am telling you this is because the other night when we were there a family of four sat near us with two young children who were less than ‘well behaved’.  You might call them freakin’ horrible!!

Mom and dad seemed a little oblivious to their little devils.  And what did our star parents choose to satisfy their arc angels in training while surrounded by the finest God and farmers have to offer?? Mc Friggin Donalds!! That’s right two Miserable Meals for the Brother’s Grimm.

Now I’m not about to begin to tell someone how to parent, or tell a restaurant that maybe they shouldn’t allow someone to bring another restaurants meals in their building.  (I was going to say competition, but that’s like saying I’m competition for Michael Phipps in swimming.)

I wanted to grab the parents and shake them and say, “What are you doing bringing that crap in here and why would you feed it to your children when there is a buffet of incredible colours, flavours and tastes just waiting to be consumed?”

I’m so happy that my children will eat so many different vegetables.  No, it’s not their first choice to grab a broccoli tree, green pepper ring or a carrot stick, but I know that I can take them to a restaurant like this and they will eat well, fill up and not complain that there isn’t anything to eat.

We let them know from a very early age that vegetables were a big part of their diet and they in turn have responded by including four or five varieties in their top ten foods to eat at any given time.

This isn’t the first time that we have seen this kind of thing from parents in restaurants, at least this set didn’t pull out the dvd player to entrance the little darlings, and I know it won’t be the last.

But it makes me wonder, does the over prepared, processed and stabilized ‘food’ that some children consume have any parallels to their behaviour?  OK, truth is it doesn’t make me wonder at all…I know it has a lot to do with it.  Parents that allow their children to drink pop at breakfast, eat sugar for lunch and follow it all up with a healthy fixin of crap for supper are bound to have children that may require a little extra room.

That isn’t to say that children that are fed perfect diets won’t be highly active and bouncing off the walls from time to time, but it’s a whole different type of energy that’s causing that jolt.

Don’t be that parent.  Give your children every possible advantage as their young bodies grow and mature.  Give them great food choices that nourish and build.  Be that parent.




  1. I would be tempted to tell the manager about the contraband food – that family was likely tempting other kids in the restaurant and causing a bit of trouble for the well meaning parents who WERE trying to do their best for their kids.
    I would LOVE to know which restaurant this is!!!!

  2. You asked, “Does the over prepared, processed and stabilized ‘food’ that some children consume have any parallels to their behaviour?” You’re darn right it does! I see this everyday in my Kindergarten classroom, with children who consistently eat that type of food. As I’ve said before, all things in moderation – but so many children have a daily diet high in processed foods these days, which is loaded with salt, sugar, fat, preservatives, etc., and it worries me. Encouraging healthy eating habits and providing nutritious foods can only be the responsibility of the parents, because the children can’t buy the food themselves when they are young (and when their eating habits are established). Something else I see that happens a lot is when healthy foods are presented, they are not chosen in favour of the processed food that ‘tastes better’/is more familiar to them. So, at the class party, the veggie tray isn’t touched but the chips, cheesies, cookies, etc. are totally consumed.

  3. I agree with the behaviour bit as well. It was documented on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution when he worked at chaging school lunches. Teachers kept telling him the differences in behaviour they were seeing.

    Isn’t it scary that these types of discussions are taking place? But who lets their children become this fat? I bet they wouldn’t let a stubbed toe get gangrene or a raging fever burn out of control. It’s so sad. With so many scary awful things that can happen to our children that we cannot protect them from, obesity is something we as parents can guard our children against.

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