Parental Baking Backlash
The picture of cookies wasn’t meant to be the ire of some parenting critics.
Still . . . critics are all over the problems of corporal punishment after the NFL feels the backlash from yet another knucklehead. My kids aren’t into football or the NFL, though sometimes I wish they were, so I didn’t have to worry too much about it.
Then the backlash started looking for ways to back in to the point of their stories – that they either did or did not spank/switch/corporally punish their kids. This starts, inevitably with one or another version of an argument:
“When I was a kid, we rode in cars with no seatbelts and babies rode on Mom’s lap and we survived.”
or the corollary: “I rode a bike/skateboard/scooter without a helmet and I’m fine.”
And it’s other corollary: “I walked to school, the mall, and rode with my sister on my bike across town and nothing happened.”
This is usually followed with bemoaning how “I came out just fine.”
The other argument:
“We rode in cars with no seatbelts and barely survived.”
or its corollary: “I rode a bike and we didn’t have helmets and I got a concussion.”
And its other corollary: “I walked to school or the mall and rode with my sister and we were chased by a creepy guy with candy in a white van.”
One I read tonight after getting home from work went even farther:
“We ate meatloaf, mashed potatoes with heavy cream and creamed spinach and chocolate cake for dinner.”
The quote was part of an article on the Huffington Post . . . and if I read the tone correctly they are making a point that just because we did it doesn’t mean it was right, healthy or even good for us. I don’t at all wish to get into the discussion about abuse, spanking, punishment or anything like that.
However . . .
I take just a tiny bit of issue with going after the food.
It’s silly, funny, and an odd thing to take issue with, I know. I get the point: cream in the potatoes; cream in the spinach; Chocolate cake . . . horror of horrors! Meatloaf! I understand that you’re not supposed to have that stuff in abundance. I get that heart disease is nasty and that not everything our parents and grandparents did was better. We don’t have polio or cholera or tuberculosis – well, except when unvaccinated kids come into contact with it – but we don’t have the dietary disasters that our parents did, either, right?
But let me explain what happened in my house when my wife passed away. I took over every meal and every little food plan for our home. That means I had to come to terms with what we needed to eat, drink, be merry and all.
Creamed spinach, by the way, is disgusting to me. Just get that off my chest right now.
But let’s take a look at all the things that kids are eating right now when parents are supposedly making better nutritional choices.
We have more hydrogenated fats – fats that clog your arteries far quicker and harder and goopier than butter ever does – than before. In fact, when our parents were kids hydrogenated oils weren’t prevalent.
We have high fructose corn syrup in everything! That’s fine in small doses. My Pecan Pie wouldn’t exist without corn syrup. But cookies, breads, lowfat cheeses . . . hell just about everything has it. Hidden sugars weren’t a problem in that chocolate cake.
Fast food is cheaper than real food. Let that sink in a little. Fast food is cheaper and easier to get than real healthy foods.
When I became the sole parent in my home I went to the trouble of finding security for my kids in whatever ways I could think of to give it. That went to going back to my own childhood. My mother made breakfast. We had dinner most nights and it was made from scratch. We didn’t have dessert every night but we had it often…and it was in moderation. There were no preservatives in it, it was homemade. Yet today there are rice crispie bars in aluminum packets that are filled with chemicals and taste nothing like marshmallow.
That, my friends, isn’t better than our parents.
I don’t use cream when I make potatoes I use skim milk. I put butter on foods no margarine and only when it needs it. Salt is a flavoring not an ingredient.
A friend told me I might actually be losing weight in some parts as well because I only eat – most of the time – what I make myself. When you have to put the effort into cooking you expend the effort. You know what’s there.
So . . . while I refuse to weigh in on the punishment debate . . . leave my baking out of this. We aren’t prime examples of the human species . . . but we’re eating far healthier and acting a lot more like I did when I was a kid.
In the end the lesson is this: it’s not one or the other. It’s what’s successful and beneficial for your kids that’s the best thing…and sometimes that’s chocolate cake after dinner.