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Creating a family of cereal killers

Submitted by on Thursday, 27 January 2011 One Comment

Confiscate a kid’s candy and chuck his chips and what do you get?

A boy so desperate for sweets that he’ll eat Honey Kix for the sugar buzz. A lad so crazed for crunch that he’ll devour corn flakes.

At least, that’s what happened in our house recently when I realized the guys were totally playing me with their new avoidance of all fruits and vegetables. Fine. Feel free to make a bad choice. But you’re not going to have any candy or junk until you make good ones – your body just can’t function well that way.

This has gone on for two weeks now, and it’s making a serious dent in the cereal stash on top of the fridge. The inventory is a combination of boxes bought for recipes and food purchased because the guys thought it looked good in the store but not so much by the time we got home.

I didn’t realize until I was cleaning the kitchen recently we had six boxes plus assorted personal servings left over from last summer. Yes, last summer, when I bought a huge box of tiny boxes so they’d fit in the guys’ backpacks during our flight back east. My nutritional and environmental principles fly out the window when I’m trying to avoid a tantrum that could get us thrown off a plane. If Fruit Loops will keep the air marshals away, then Fruit Loops it is.

As far as addictions go, this one is not bad. The most sugar any of them has is six grams, which is why it cracks me up when manufacturers announce their breathless commitment to cut sugar content to nine grams in children’s cereal. I laugh even harder when research shows that children who eat low-sugar cereals are more likely to add fruit to boost the sweetness. And the problem with that is? It seems like a great deal considering that children who are given sugary cereals eat twice as much refined sugar.

Granted, even before my recent fatwa on junk the guys have loved their seven vitamins plus iron. It started from the time they were old enough to chomp their first Cheerio. Big Guy now is allergic to oats and can’t eat Cheerios, and he mourns the loss. It’s taken him a while to convert to corn flakes, though I knew the deal was sealed when he grabbed a baggy the other day and filled it to take along on his bike ride. I guess he wanted to make sure we had sustenance in case we got stranded in the wild. Or maybe he just wanted to show off his one-handed riding skills.

Most of their recent infatuation, though comes from sheer desperation. It’s four fruits and veggies a day or no junk food.

“Four?! That’s too many!” Boots wailed.

“Actually, it’s not enough. You should eat at least five.”

“Five?! Says who?”

“Says scientists a lot smarter than I am who have done a lot of experiments into what the body needs to stay strong and healthy.”

“Well, they’re just stupid!” he muttered before settling for a bowl of snap, crackle, pop. At least Big Guy wasn’t around so Boots could listen to his cereal in peace.

I’ll admit that I’m a wimp in some situations. I’ll let them have cake or chips at birthday parties, and maybe that’s why they keep holding out at home. I’ve seen some progress. Big Guy was hungry enough the other day to eat a banana, which he’s sworn for years that he hates simply because Boots loves them.

I keep waiting for the day when they’re so sick of cereal that an apple or salad look good. In the meantime, at least we’re getting rid of the excess inventory on top of the fridge.

Copyright 2011 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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