Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Candy Culture

Partner-Guy and I are fighting.

It's not disastrous.  He doesn't want to do something unthinkable like--gasp!--send the kids to school.

He wants the kids to eat candy.  Aaaargh.  And he talks about candy.  More than he talks about sex.  Seriously.

So we aren't fighting exactly, but we are definitely not on the same page when it comes to eating healthy food and giving our children healthy food options.  It's an ongoing annoyance.  Like a hang-nail.


If Partner-Guy were going to write a book of parenting philosophies, the title would be "Put a Smile on Your Child's Face".  He just loves to do the things that make his girls happy.  And if they squeal with delight and wrap their little arms around his neck, he wears a glow that lasts into the next week.

For him, the cheapest, easiest means to getting that big loving reward is with candy.  He says, "A little bit isn't going to hurt them.  It's only once in a while.  What's the big deal?"


(You know this going to be longer, right?)

I work my patootie off trying to provide healthy food for my kids.  I bake bread twice a week.  I make muffins, loaves and low-sugar cookies every week.  I spend easily an hour a day washing and cutting up fresh raw fruits and vegetables.  EVERY dinner that we eat is made from scratch.  My windows are all filled with pots of seedlings for the vegetable garden.

That's in addition to eating so carefully during each of my pregnancies and succeeding with 4 natural births and breastfeeding exclusively for 6+ months and continuing to breastfeed on demand until each child naturally weaned.  And consider that one of my children is sensitive to wheat, dairy, eggs and soy and I have had to learn and create new recipes for everything we eat!

When there is candy in the house it is the ONLY thing the girls can think about and talk about.  I swear it calls to them from the cupboard.  And they won't eat anything else because they want to save their hunger for the candy.  I'm not joking.


I hate Candy Culture.  It is everywhere and it is insidious.

There is a song on a Barney video that goes If all the raindrops were lemonballs and gumdrops, Oh what a sight that would be!  Standing outside with my mouth open wide!  Ah, ahahah, ahahah, ahahah!  There is a Franklin episode where he has a fight with his friend Bear and then Bear tries to make up with Franklin by asking him to go to the candy store.  And that's just a start...children's literature is full of references to candy.  It drives me crazy.

For me, Candy Culture is worse than Barbie dolls and action figures.  Toys can be manipulated to portray a positive message.  For example, I've seen my daughters make their Barbies breastfeed each other.  But candy is just bad.  And the problem with candy is that it makes kids (and adults) want more candy.  It is addictive and it changes their brains and affects their behaviour.

Because Partner-Guy talks about candy in tones of heavenly adoration, our daughters think it is the most desirable food on Earth.  The problem is that it is not FOOD.  Mixing sugar and chemicals together and marketing it as food does not make it food.

I've relented about candy once in a while.  I even made Holly a huge gingerbread house for her last birthday.  But I couldn't wait for it all be eaten and I even invited the cousins over to help get rid of it faster.

For me, candy is just all about fighting with my kids.  Why would I allow something into my house that makes my kids fight with me all the time?  I can't do it.  Before Julian was born I told Partner-Guy "You aren't wrecking this one."

Oh, help.

What is your solution to the candy problem?  Do you think having candy in moderation is OK?

(And come back tomorrow when I reveal how we solve major issues at our house.  It's a tried-and-true solution that really works!)

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