Every now and again, the princess thinks about that salmon. But more often, now that her own children are in school and she hears stories from parents and other students, the princess thinks about that three old boy. The one who sat down before the grownups, to eat his microwaved, canned dinner. And the princess gets sad. She's sad that he didn't grow up knowing about good food. She's sad that most of the children in her kingdom grow up eating "kid" food. She's sad when she hears parents say, Oh, my kid would NEVER eat that. She's sad when her children come home and tell her what the other kids at school are eating for lunch every day. She's sad when she hears parents say, My kid will only eat chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. She's sad when she hears about moms who are living the life of a short-order cook every night to please every mouth at the table.
The princess knows that her opinions are in the minority. She's heard all the excuses. But she's tired of feeling sorry for them. Now the princess is mad. Mad about the lack of knowledge. Mad at the excuses. Mad at the parents who aren't teaching their kids what real food is. Mad at the corporations selling garbage in a healthy disguise. Mad at packaging that promotes lies.
Now the princess is pissed. Little kids have the right to grow up eating real food. They have the right to develop their own tastes. They have the right to decide they hate squash, but love beets. As far as the princess is concerned, depriving kids of a healthy diet and the knowledge of where real food comes from, is child abuse. Chef Boyardee, Kraft Macaroni, and Nuggets are not real food. They are a treat, at best. Drive-Thru is for busy nights and special occasions. It takes less than 30 minutes to make something from scratch. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a privilege, not a punishment.
The princess is not suggesting raw kale salads and spinach smoothies should be on the weekly menu. But teaching kids that burgers, chicken strips, pizzas, and fries can be made at home, is just one step on the staircase to healthier eating habits. Set a bowl of grapes or some sliced up oranges on the table with every meal, and they're learning without even knowing it.
It's never too late to teach them the love of food.
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