I have just read numerous blogs and comments regarding McDonald's recent decision to put apple slices in all Happy Meals beginning this Fall. There are three things I can say for sure: My eyes hurt, I am hard core craving some sugar-soaked, lardy potatoes and taking french fries away from certain mothers could be deadly.
There seems to be a few categories of mothers who are irked at this new fast food controversy:
There are the moms who already know that McDonald's should only be eaten in moderation – a once in a while treat they know is not healthy. These moms have control over what their kids eat and realize the importance of their role. These moms read and pay attention. These moms do not stick their heads in the salt and pretend childhood obesity and high cholesterol in toddlers is okay. How dare anyone tell them what is right; they already know and screw the people who don't.
Then there are the moms who (get your tomatoes ready...or potatoes if you prefer) are simply too lazy to be bothered to make responsible choices for their children. These are moms who themselves likely eat Doritos and Mountain Dew for breakfast. These are moms who may have put soda in their baby's bottle. These are moms who allow endless hours of Resident Evil and karate chopping of the neighbor's flower bed.
There are those moms who really TRY to make the best choices; they even say no once or twice. But in this day and age many parents seem more concerned with making their kids happy and being their friends rather than being the person who is supposed to teach and guide and protect. Perhaps they worked 12 hours and simply do not have the time to cook. Maybe a happy meal is all they can afford (so they think).
If you belong to one of these groups – you might be furious at this new turn of Mickey D events. Oh I can hear it now...
How dare THEY tell me what my kid should eat?
My kids eat french fries everyday and they are still alive!
I grew up on Happy Meals and I'm just fine (now where's that scooter, I am off to Walmart).
They are taking away french fries; what will the food police do next?
And then there are people like me – not sure how many as you always hear more complainers than praisers. I say, "Good for you McDonald's!" Honestly, how on earth can you snivel about a multi-bagillion dollar industry finally doing the right thing for once? How can you groan and moan about healthier options for your child who depends on you for their dietary needs?
Yes, as parents we should be making the decisions. But fact is, many do not. That Mountain Dew mom I was talking about – this land is covered with them. These kids are stuffed with countless toxins and poisons in the shape of yummy goodness. And to top it off, they are put into enticing containers WITH TOYS. Collectible toys even! “Collect all 12” (in the next 2 weeks). Do we leave these kids in the forest of fat because their parents didn't know the way out?
For these moms in particular, what McDonald's is doing should be considered a favor and worth a thank you note. If a parent really feels the need to ply her child with an abundance of fries (which WILL still be in the Happy Meal, just less of them) then she can simply purchase them ala carte, no? I am fairly certain no arrest warrants will be issued.
I feel it is only fair for me to state a disclaimer at this time. My kids eat McDonald's. If I had to guess, I would say maybe once a month, if that. My daughter is a little OCD and she has a thing for collecting things. She adores her Happy Meal toy collection. I told her today about the french fry fiasco. Her response, “Oh I don't care. They gave you too many fries anyway. I just want a new Smurf. Can we go tomorrow, Mom?”
At younger ages, these kids don't care about the food in the Happy Meal, they want the toy and the fun little box. And yes, after eating this stuff – of course it can be addicting. I mean – the junk tastes heavenly. But that is where we need to step in and make sure it isn't getting to a point where it is affecting their health, long term or short. All these moms complaining and I wonder if their kids would care one bit.
People don't like to be told they are making bad choices...especially when it comes to raising a child. It is my job to teach, guide and protect and that is what I will attampt to do. Unfortunately, there are so many moms out there who feel differently. Subsequently, policies and rules and regulations need to be put in place to simply keep these kids from getting sick, becoming obese and dying too young. So until these moms step up and become parents instead of spineless buddies or lazy pinheads – apples will be forced upon your child by a creepy clown who smells like grease.
Note: I apologize for only speaking about mothers in this piece. But since I am a mom, I can relate and I speak from what I know. I don't know what goes through the mind of a father. And lets face it, most of them would be satisfied stuffing their kid with just about anything if it keeps them quiet long enough. (Yes, I am generalizing for effect. I do realize that boys can be smart too.)