Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My New Arch Nemesis

By: Christine Cox, The Choosy Mommy

I am going to preface this post by saying I am not the kind of parent who kept her child from fast food restaurants. They are great for meals on the go and treats but beyond that, there are other more suitable options available. However, my daughter who is almost 3, has had her fair share of fast food and now recognizes those golden arches every time she sees them. Regardless if we just had a really nice dinner out at a fancy restaurant or even if it isn’t meal time, she will say, “McDonalds! Nuggets! Fries!”

And I sigh.

Where did I go wrong? Every parent needs a break from a meal and my break is usually the drive thru. I try to make healthy choices for us both, but now I feel like I have created an arch nemesis, the fast food restaurant, because she recognizes and asks for it.
Should I feel like a bad parent because she eats fast food? Should I just stop going to fast food restaurants all together? NO! I am going to educate her on making healthy choices and being choosy when we do go to these kinds of restaurants because let’s face it…I might be a choosy mommy, but I am also a busy mommy and sometimes convenience wins.

I am going to teach my children that:
  • Fast food restaurants are for certain times. We don’t make an extra stop just to drive thru somewhere because my child says so. I make breakfast, lunch and dinner and on those “on the go” days, or when a treat is warranted (successful potty training meant a milkshake in my house!) we will drive through. No exceptions. 
  • There are “healthy” choices on the menu. Many fast food restaurants now have a fruit or yogurt option available for kids and have taken sugary drinks off the menu. And it seems to me that the meal sizes are smaller than they used to be meaning your children won’t eat more than they can chew (get it?!) 
  • A penny saved is a penny earned. Right now this doesn’t mean a whole lot to my soon to be 3 year old, but it can make the choice even easier for parents to not eat regularly at fast food restaurants. IT IS EXPENSIVE! Sure, the dollar menus may seem like a bargain but once you add on a side and drink, then it all adds up. You can make a full meal of food similar to what you would find at a fast food restaurant for a fraction of the cost. 
So even though fast food restaurants are my new arch nemesis, I am not going to remove them from our lives and we will still eat at them occasionally. It is a life lesson that all children need to learn as these restaurants aren’t going away any time soon. Have your children check out the "Choosy Size Me" song and let them know that Choosy says...

"So I’ve just got to use my head
When somebody comes up to me and 
says ‘Would you like a burger and fries?’
Tack on a few extra sides
A jumbo size soda to wash it all down
Is that how you want to be?
(Is that how you want to be?)
Let your brain just waste away 
Sitting home watching TV all day
No thanks. I will just Choosy size me 
(Ooh...)
Just Choosy size me (Ooh...)"


Want more? Check out this fun, printable healthy food activity for your children! Click here to access the PDF and print. 

What fast food stops have you been willing to make and why? 

About the Author: Christine Cox is the blog master and The Choosy Mommy for Choosy Kids. She has always had a passion for writing and is honored to contribute her work to this blog. Most of her writing inspiration comes from her daughter, Capri, who is fun-loving and full of energy, and newborn son Cam. Click here to learn more about Christine.

47 comments :

  1. I used to take my son Every Friday to McDonald's after school. He would run around in the play place and have a happy meal... I cut that down drastically once I became food educated aka but from time to time we still go. Both my kids know it is a Treat to go to fast food. We try to pick better fast food choices. We Love Chipotle!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We like Chipotle too but there isn't one in our town. However, great job on cutting back on the fast food. I bet your kids weren't happy at first but totally understand now :)

      Delete
  2. Such a cute song. Before my kids were born, I said no fast food ever. Now, they also scream French Fries whenever we pass McDonAlds. Ugh. You gotta do what you gotta do sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I said the same thing!!! In fact, for awhile I was very anti-fast food before my kids were born. But like you, sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do!

      Delete
  3. I try to do most meals at home. Just because it is healthier (I like to think) But sometimes, I just don't have it in me. I think it's ok to just go out and get something quick and have dinner in the living room in front of the TV with us all on the couch. I have to admit, I really love those moments!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That does sound special. You could also make dinner together (involve the kids!) and have a picnic in the living room. We often have indoor picnics at my house.

      Delete
  4. I was so healthy a few months back but then you know - I met my boyfriend who is a terribly busy man and also lives hours away and because of his erratic schedule - it was either cook meals for two and end up dining alone or wait and see and probably get take ways... and no matter how delicious chinese is- i really regret it now. I am trying my best to cook more and see how that goes. I dont have a kiddo...

    Lari | www.simplyelegancebylari.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand about the crazy schedule and wanting to eat meals with your boyfriend. Something that I like to try to do is make freezer meals. That way they are already prepped and you can just heat and eat! There's a ton of recipes on Pinterest.

      Delete
  5. My kids do the same. We can leave a restaurant and suddenly they're hungry again when they see the arches, lol. When I watched what I ate strictly, they wouldn't even ask...but since my greedy self would sometimes say "I could use some fries", they started that bad habit too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My grandma used to love McDonald's fries and strawberry shakes. It is a sweet memory but now a bad habit for me!

      Delete
  6. My kids always want McDonald's, too. I don't mind once in a while, but they would eat it every day if I would let them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We literally just drove by one and my daughter said I want nuggets and fries. Well...it's her bday so guess where I am going... I'll find something better to eat when we get home!

      Delete
  7. Fast food is out for me too. Unless its a salad or wrap. My body just can't take the grease anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The grease only helps my hangovers which I haven't had since I have had kids since I don't have time to drink! LOL!

      Delete
  8. I don't have children, so thankfully all the choices I am making as a single gal in the city are for me and me alone! I actually enjoy cooking and prefer seafood, but on occasion fast food is simply the only option (like returning home super late knowing I haven't gone grocery shopping) - we all have those days when we need to rely on fast food!

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is much easier to find healthier fast food for just you rather than trying to please the screaming kid in the back seat :P

      Delete
  9. We use fast food as a treat or when we are driving a long distance. we have several food restrictions so that helps us to not want the fast food because we can't eat most of it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with those times to eat fast food!

      Delete
  10. I've gone the other way. We rarely ever let them eat McDonalds. But it's not all bad if you have them make healthy choices - ie. the yogurt or sliced apples and maybe a small portion of fries and the chocolate milk over the milkshake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My daughter now prefers her apples just like they are in the happy meal, sliced and no skin, but I thought the skin was healthy too!

      Delete
  11. I always nudge my family towards healthy meals on the menu when we go to fast food restaurants as well. When we are on the go all day and all evening, sometimes it's my only choice of feeding the family before midnight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand the busy lifestyle and it is the only option. Do what ya gotta do, right?

      Delete
  12. There is always an occasion for fast food meals but I agree with you that it is more important to go the healthy route.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is important to teach your kids. I'm glad there are more healthy choices on fast food menus popping up though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The way they make the food is better/a little healthier too!

      Delete
  14. I got a happy meal for my 3 year old one time. He told me that the cheese tasted like sugar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is really interesting! So did he like that or not eat it?

      Delete
  15. My kids love the Happy Meals at McDonalds. I don't buy them too often, though, only when there's a toy that they really want.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If there wasn't a toy, would you ever purchase the meal?

      Delete
  16. My kids would love this cute song, and my kids also loves mcdonalds meals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a really good song! Thanks for listening!

      Delete
  17. There is a Canadian burger place - Harvey's - and the burgers are charbroiled so it's a much better option than McDonalds (I never take them there). I may take them for burgers out once a month, if that. Thankfully after being stubborn with them, they've learned what's healthy and what's not. It's important to teach them while they're young.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like making my own burgers at home but I agree that sometimes it's the only way to a meal in the belly!

      Delete
  18. They are bound to discover fast food. It's just better to let them eat processed food in moderation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that...everything in moderation!

      Delete
  19. I cook an healthy food for my family but sometimes i may get busy and have no time to cook we go to the Mcdonalds and it is a favor with the two kids

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good work cooking at home most nights. At least the kids are happy when you go out!

      Delete
  20. I cook for my family just about every night but there are occasions that it just can't happen. We try to pick fast food restaurants that have healthy options.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is your usual choice? I wish we had more than McDonalds in our town.

      Delete
  21. We try to eat at home now a days. Fast food does play a role sometimes though (sports days for sure). We could do better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think as long as it doesn't become a habit then it is OK!

      Delete
  22. This is such a realy battle. I have recently had to nearly eliminate fast food but it has been so much better. We eat home more we save more and now when we have fast food it is a real treat instead of just another day at the drive thru...

    ReplyDelete
  23. We don't do much fast food. When we do, I try to pick the healthiest places. Other than that, I try to pack as much as I can for when we're out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like your style :) keep up the good work!

      Delete
  24. Teaching children healthy eating habits, within reason, is such a smart decision! Allowing them to have tasty treats every once in a while doesn't hurt either though! It's all about balance in the end! :)

    ReplyDelete

Choosy's Blog Archive