Swimming Against the Tide

Yesterday I walked into the grocery store, and as I was perusing the produce with my 4-year-old sitting in the front of the cart, a store worker walked up to us, Tootsie Roll Pop in hand, held it out to her, and said, “Welcome to Acme!  Is it okay if she has this?”

Now, what am I supposed to say?  Not wanting to be the overprotective freakoid mother that I am, I shrugged and said, “Sure, thanks!”  Of course she was delighted, but as I continued my way around the store, I was kicking myself in the tush for not being more assertive.  It’s hard to know where to draw the line.  I don’t want to be one of those moms.  You know the kind — the killjoy who won’t let her kids experience the simple pleasures of growing up in the Land of the Free and the Home of Coca-Cola and Pop Tarts.

But on the other hand, the more I read about the dangers of sugar and fructose in particular, the more I want to tighten the reigns on my decision to allow my kids eat junk “in moderation.”  It seems that it is almost impossible to eat junk in moderation these days.

When we go to church, the hospitality table is laden with sugary treats and packets of hot chemical chocolate.  And this happens both at the morning and evening services.

I shudder when I pick my 4-year-old up from preschool and see what they are serving as “wholesome snacks.”  What would it be if it weren’t considered “wholesome,” I wonder.

In the school cafeteria, my older kids have access to pre-packaged, industrially processed Rice Krispie Treats, cartons of chocolate milk (with more sugar than soda), and packets of fruitless snacks, ironically dubbed “fruit snacks.”

Most evenings during the summer, the ice cream truck rolls down the street with its kid-friendly songs blaring, touting its artificially flavored and colored frozen treats.

How do you avoid it?  Or at least keep it to a reasonable amount?

IS there even a reasonable amount?

Read this article on the dangers of sugar and tell me what you think.