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A fatwa on little food

Submitted by on Tuesday, 7 February 2012 No Comment

They’re bad for the environment – all those bits of plastic and foil have to go somewhere. They’re bad for the pocketbook – calculate the cost per ounce for a box of bags and compare it to buying a jug of juice.

And they’re bad for my blood pressure. That last concern tipped me over the edge one weekend when I walked into the living room an hour after we got home from basketball and found four food bags on the floor. Did I mention that they’re not allowed to eat anything but fresh fruit in the living room anyway?

I am going to forever solve the problem caused by your inability to find the garbage can, I told the guys. No more juice bags, no more fruit leathers, no more yogurt cups.

Noooooooooooooo!” Boot wailed. “I need yogurt!”

And I need you to throw away your garbage because I’m tired of finding it all over the house, I countered.

When I shared the rant on Facebook, I was stunned at the response. It seems that my kids aren’t alone in not being able to see the trash can for all the garbage they pile around it instead of in it – and that’s on the rare occasion when they even make it that far.

Moms who are convinced that straw wrappers were invented to drive them mad. A dad whose kids eat their post-game snacks at the game, thus keeping the crap out of his car. “Oddly, I don’t have to tell them to put the trash in a trash can when we’re at the field,” he said. A former roommate who warned me that once they’re teens I’ll need to check their bedrooms when all the oven mitts have disappeared. “When you nuke a meal, you can’t carry it back to your lair in your bare hand!” she said.

Pop Tarts and Otter Pops – already banned. Granola bars – we can’t eat those anyway. Hershey Kisses – uh, wait. That’s a little too much of a sacrifice on my part.

I’ve never routinely used single-serving containers anyway. I’d buy the big boxes of little cereals only for vacation, for example. It’s hard enough to keep track of the two of them in an airport without also having to keep track of reusable containers.

And once in a while I’d break down and buy individual servings as a bait-and-switch. That happened a few weeks ago, when Boots and I were in the commissary and he decided his greatest wish in life was pear cups in his lunch.

I bought them – what the heck, at least the mess would stay at school – but within a week I was able to impress him with my ability to dice pears and pack them in plastic containers. “Wow, Mommy! You make the best pear cups ever!”

I briefly considered still allowing string cheese, because at least it’s nutritious. That was before I was working on the bedroom later that weekend and found four wrappers under Dad’s side of the bed. My head exploded, leaving yet another mess to clean up.

“No more string cheese either,” I told the guys, shaking a fist full of damning evidence.

Noooooooooo!” shrieked Boots. “I need cheese!”

And you’ll have it, I promised.

A few days later, I bought a pound of mozzarella. Even if I charged myself my usual freelance writing rate for the time spent cutting it into sticks, I’d still come out ahead financially.

That was a week ago, and most of the pound still is in the fridge. While I might rock the homemade fruit cup, I’ve been unable to master cheese sticks. “This is yucky!” Boot complains.

Get used to it, kid. Until you can find the garbage can without borrowing my Garmin, little foods are banned.

Copyright 2012 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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