I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Fat Fried Kids

Why does the world assume that children - heck, anyone under 21 - only wants to eat fried crap? Or high fat, high calorie, totally nutritionally devoid food? Okay so maybe I'm old fashioned, maybe I'm a stick in the mud, maybe I'm a crap parent. Yes, my kids like junk food. Yes, occassionally we'll order pizza for dinner. However, they were not raised on nuggets and chips as a food group. They eat what we eat. Can you imagine me having the patience to cook one meal for them and one for us? Why this rant, you ask? I got the menus for the kids' birthday party....yes, to have a party at the MUSEUM you need to go through their caterers. The one menu with even vaguely decent real food (read: not fried, not full of sugar, not lacking in substance) costs - $24. A PERSON. Okay, it includes the party hats. Still - $24 PER KID, for something healthy? By the way, even that menu has fried items on it, albeit disguised in fancy catering terms and with a 'fresh herb garnish.' While I'm on the topic - why do restaurants only have fried crap on the kids' menu? Do kids not eat normal food until they are old enough to hand over their Visa to pay for dinner? Why isn't the 'kids menu' just smaller versions of the adults' menu? I feel a desperate need for lettuce coming on...


Anonymous said...

It doesn't change when you get older. I still eat lots of fried food and enjoy eating fried food and pizza and everything unhealthy. But that is all changing because I am now starting a diet and it is weird trying to eat healthy and it is so more expensive.


Anonymous said...

I have to second that. I forget my source, but the 'snack food = children's food' thing is a phenomenon of the past 20 years, and it's come with a great deal of marketing and profit by snack food companies. I think there is also a combiniation of exhaustion-induced lazyness and guilt from some working parents that causes them to only feed kids things they will eat without convincing, and an industry has been borne on that.

Before that kids always ate what the parents ate, although in smaller quantities. American restaurants provide such an excess of food that you can comfortably feed two adults and a multitude of children on two restaurant meals.

As for the economics of eating like crap, I've lamented that we could eat at MacDonalds and Papa John's Pizza exclusively and cut our grocery bills in half. Good, nutritious food costs a lot more, and I think it boils down to economics of scale. Most people eat like crap, so more crap-food gets purchased, all the way down the supply chain. It also lasts a long time which makes it possible to purchase in larger, most cost-effective lots. Fresh, Organic food gets purchased in smaller quantities and also cannot be stored as long thereby providing a double-price-whammy.

The tragedy is while healthy food costs more at the supermarket, it does not have to be more expensive for schools and other institutions who shop for food at a larger scale, which changes the economics completely. The documentary 'Super Size Me' showed how a school district in Oregon managed to go Organic and cut food costs by 25 percent.