“How ever do you get your kids to eat brown bread?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, my kids will only eat white bread and the softer, the better.”
This was a conversation had with a friend, quite some years ago.
A generation later:
“How do you get your kids to drink plain water?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, my kids will only drink cordial or soft drink; they moan if I suggest they have a glass of water and, as for filling their school drink bottles with tap water, there’d be a rebellion!”
The answers to these questions is blindingly obvious.
I didn’t ‘get my kids to eat brown bread’ by some sort of force or coercion. I only ever gave them brown (wholemeal) bread and they knew no different. Brown or wholemeal bread was just ‘bread’ in our home and that bread was what they preferred always.
Likewise, many years later, my daughter only gave her children water to drink (as well as milk, of course) and they didn’t experience cordials and soft drinks. So water it was, when a drink was required, and water as a preferred drink remained.
At the risk of sounding smug, there was a similar situation in both houses when a snack was required.
“Would you like an apple - or a banana?”
And, so on……
Lately discussions have appeared in the media around a suggestion of placing higher taxes on sugar-filled soft drinks to help curb the astounding increase in childhood obesity – not to mention dental problems – which are apparently costing the government millions.
So, is it now up to the government to help children eat and drink wisely?
Where are the parents in this debate?
And, perhaps, more importantly, how is it that parents of even quite small children think it’s okay to give their kids soft drinks?
And lollies every day?
I simply do not understand this approach to parenting.
Am I naïve in thinking that it’s up to parents to provide suitable hydration and nourishment to their children?
Who starts giving young kids soft drinks when a glass – or bottle – of tap water is not only more convenient but heaps more appropriate and FREE?
What’s going on here?
I read a report last week that claimed there were many children who went days – weeks even – without eating a piece of fruit.
As for fresh vegetables – what are they?
Weekly Into our mailbox come supermarket catalogues. They are full of ‘specials’ and I have to admit that when I see our favourite cheese or washing powder or whatever for a reduced price, I make a note to buy it. But, what amazes me most about these catalogues is the amount of (what I would class) junk food ads splashed across almost every page.
Sure, it’s nearing Christmas time and I guess it’s not surprising that lots of sweets and chocolates are advertised, but last week I had to flick through page after page, right up until page 15, before I saw any mention of actual real food.
The advertised stuff included soft drinks in all its guises from different sized bottles to multi-packs of cans of myriad types and flavours. There were so many chocolate varieties it was astounding. Then there were chips, sweets – in packets of assorted sizes from small to outrageous, freeze-at-home colourful flavoured ice-blocks in packets so big they almost needed their own trolley. There were cakes and tarts covered in sweet icing and biscuits in packs of every size. Then more chocolates before turning to the latest fad things like coconut water.
But, by then, my teeth were aching just looking at the sugar loaded sweet stuff.
And the government is thinking the solution to this sort of consumption might be to add extra tax to limit people buying rubbish?
It’s too late now. I don’t think that would work. People would just spend more in the drinks and lollies aisles.
Too little too late!
No use pointing out that water and fresh fruit are cheaper and far more appropriate for children’s consumption. No use pointing out the fact that, for a snack, a crunchy fresh carrot might cost about 20 cents, while a Crunchie chocolate bar will cost $4 for a 100g bar.…and will add to the dental repair bill and the obesity problem.
No use telling anyone. No one is listening.
When it becomes a normal sight in a supermarket to have entire aisles full of soft drink varieties, it subsequently becomes ‘normal’ for families to consume such stuff.
How do you get children to drink water?
I have no idea.
I think the horse has bolted!
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.