With all of the things us parents have to worry about these days — bullying, child predators, drugs, sex, that good-for-nothing rock ‘n’ roll — it’s a relief that media has taken on perhaps the biggest danger to the welfare of our kids: pureed vegetables and fruits in a pouch.
Wait, are they unhealthy, you ask? Full of poison? Needles? Omigod, GLUTEN? Or what? Make that “or what”: The New York Times digs deeper to unveil the evils of veggies in a pouch, admitting they are rather nutritious, BUT, according a source with the longest title in the world, Brian Wansink, professor and director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, and author of “Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think,” they will also create “a lot of self-absorbed kids” because the packets eliminate structure around eating.
“At age 3, it’s a packet of vegetables,” he said. “At age 13, it’s the chips or candy bar they think they deserve.”
No! A teenager who wants chips and sweets? Why, I’ve never heard of such a — oh, wait. That describes almost all teenagers, doesn’t it?
Then there are popular parenting sites weighing in on Pouch-gate with pearls of wisdom like this: I think the ideal of food in a pouch is ridiculous…Have we decided to pass on lazy as an ethic and entitlement as a virtue by giving our kids food that will not require any chewing on their behalf?
Uh, yes, that’s exactly it. Also: Huh?
Look, like with most things, people are over-thinking this. I’m admittedly sensitive to this issue because I am a card-carrying member of the Moms Who Love Pouches Society — and I have a pantry full of spinach, peas and pears in packets to prove it — but isn’t it a little nutso to judge parents for utilizing creative ways to GET THEIR KIDS TO EAT VEGETABLES?
I can’t speak for other parents, but in our house? The pouch doesn’t replace meals or our sit-down dinners — it’s usually a snack. A HEALTHY one that our nearly three-year-old daughter will often happily accept instead of, say, Teddy Grahams. In fact, she asks for veggie packets. And, yes, it does accompany my daughter’s plate at the dinner table from time to time. Because that is the only way she will eat veggies. And who cares? It’s no different than utilizing other creative ways to keep our children engaged in the dining experience, such as plates featuring Buzz and Woody, Mickey Mouse-shaped pancakes or silly straws.
In one day, I can get Skye and Drew to eat spinach, sweet potatoes, broccoli, peas, green beans and carrots, thanks to those pouches. I may or may not have even inhaled a pouch or two, myself. (Shut UP! I don’t like the look of broccoli either, okay? Look like they belong in a tiny munchkin forest.)
Which is my long-winded way of saying ENOUGH, people. Geesh. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go suck down some carrots and apples. Er… I mean, eat some carrots and apples. Yeah.