Thursday, June 10, 2010

An Ill Wind

Over the past few years in this house, we’ve made a concerted effort to improve our eating habits. Cola, crisps, tortilla chips, chewy gooey jelly animals, chocolate covered peanuts named after rap stars, and assorted Enemies of Longevity have been stricken from the shopping list. Gone too are the ready made sauces, the instant meals, the just add water mixes and packets of flavoured powders, along with frozen meat covered in breadcrumbs and pressed into oddly familiar and reassuring shapes.

We’ve gone over to the other side.

Until recently, some of these steps had to be made covertly for the sake of our son. Thanks to a good tomato sauce recipe and a well used blender, his intake of vegetables was actually pretty good. Curry hides things well too, but he was still an unwitting and unwilling participant.

Then came the Food Dudes.

This was the name of a nutrition program implemented by schools all over the country. Kids got rewards for trying fruits and vegetables. Yes, they were bribed into submission.   And don't forget the propaganda! The Food Dudes (hmm, anyone else sense an American influence here?) promote food from the garden and trash sweet and salty snacks. Clearly, there is a concerted effort to brainwash our children with these radical antijunkist indoctrination techniques.

Worked like a charm too.

Since this program took off, our boy’s gotten a lot more adventurous, not just with fruit and vegetables, but with food in general. He’s more curious about foods, more open minded and willing to try new things.

He’s also a lot more nutrition conscious, and is proud of himself for making healthy choices. Being good parents, we do what we can to support this interest. We make sure he has plenty of good options, and we lead by example. Thanks to the Food Dudes, we’re all getting more fruit and veg in our diet.

Pop quiz for all the vegetarians out there: remember what happened when you first changed your diet? Remember when your intake of fiber suddenly went through the roof? Do you recall any consequences from this sudden shift?

Or here’s one for everyone: ever drive through the countryside with the family on a hot summer’s day with all the windows wide open? Ever scramble to roll those windows up when you strayed a little too close to a farm? Do you recall anyone making some reference to “fresh country air?”

We stink, people. Our home is awash in a haze of “fresh country air.” Thanks to the Food Dudes, we don’t dare light a match and our windows rattle with alarming regularity.

And speaking of alarming regularity… 

You'll have to excuse me.  I may be a minute.