August 8, 2013
Hey team, you know how I like to share a story! I want to tell you about my ironic lunch experience today. I went to my local shopping centre and bought myself a sashimi salad. I sat down to eat and a young Japanese/Australian mum asked if she could share my table with her and her kids (nearly 2 year old daughter and her nearly 3 year old son… I asked how old they were). She then proceeded to produce 3 ‘happy’ meals with Coca Cola drinks for herself and her kids. I was struck at the irony of me eating sashimi and them eating McDonalds. The boy complained that the fries were too salty and so the mum taught him to tap each fry so that some of the salt fell off.
Now, I do not have children, I cannot empathize with having to budget for food for the kids (and we all know how cheap this meal option is) etc, etc but I found it so hard to sit and watch such young kids eating this stuff. I do not know the history behind the meal, it could have been a treat etc. But I know that clean, healthy food is available and can still be ‘fast food’ if we want it to be. I have spoken to parents and I know that it is possible to be on a budget and still buy cheaper and readily available healthy food for families.
I had to leave the table as I could not watch the boy tap any more fries and then pop them in his mouth washed down with his sugary drink.
My thoughts are that parents need to step up and be role models for their kids. In my mind there is no reason for a young child to taste or even know what a McDonalds ‘happy meal’ is. Parents have the responsibility to teach their kids that junk food like this is a once a week treat instead of a daily routine. They also need to educate them as to why this is the case. If this doesn’t happen the childhood obesity epidemic will just continue to grow and grow like the waistlines of our children.