I always try and have some kind of snack for Lorelei when I pick her up from daycare. I tend to switch it up so as to not build expectations; some days fruit, some days a hunk of freshly baked bread, or a cookie or Nutella Brioche from the Italian deli, and sometimes no snack at all.
So, the other day I gave the kid a peanut butter Cliff Bar. Mind you, I don't tend to eat food in bar form (it's just not my kind of thing) but I wanted something quick and easy to buy. I thought that this might be a neat snack for her; easy to handle, yummy, you know. At first she was excited to get the package, but as soon as I opened it, she turned her nose up and said, "No mama. Poop!!"
"No baby. It's peanut butter Yum. Try it!"
"No Mama! Yucky!"
With a wrinkled nose, and a definitive shove, the treat was rejected.
The thing that is sticking with me is that most kids Lorelei's age (2+ years) must be eating these things all of the time, and that mine is probably the odd one out because she has never been faced with a 'bar' of any kind. Honestly, even as I write this, I have an unease in my stomach. I don't want to talk badly about anyone, but I'm realizing that in my moment of wanting convenience, I became the parent that I never wanted to be; feeding my kid just something, anything to make my life easier. Now, all in all, I made a good choice in the Cliff Bar (organic, natural ingredients) and at the end of the day, my kid didn't want it anyway. But I am realizing that more parents than not are opting for the bars and conveniently packaged "food" for their kids.
It is So So So easy to feed your kids real food. I know I'm lucky that I work in a gorgeous city with a 100+ year old farmers market smack dab in the middle of it, but even 30 seconds in the morning while you're packing their lunch, if you were to pack some grapes or some string cheese in your purse or brief case, that little snack will mean a lifetime of good choices for your kiddos.
Be mindful of your choices, meaning what you choose to eat yourself, so that your kids will know to be mindful of theirs. You don't have to make it like the after school lessons to be learned of 'How to be a good citizen and eat the right thing!' just be the example your kids need (and that you know that you want to be) and they will be better for it.
If you have any questions, give me a shout!! I would be thrilled to help anyone and give them some pointers. Fair warning though, I'm a true believer in tough love.