Sweets For The Sweet

Contributed by Jodi Paige

I just watched a You Tube video of two parents giving their baby his first taste of Pop Rocks.  It made me wonder if I’m the only parent who, when her first baby was born, considered the idea of never giving her child anything but all-natural, whole, organic foods.

I knew after my baby was born, I had the opportunity to see that my child developed a palate for macrobiotics.  I could rear this child so that the very idea of something deep-fried, sugarcoated, or packed in preservatives would cause him to run screaming.

But then, I stepped into my mental time machine and fast-forwarded myself to his first day at the school lunch table.  I pictured all the other kids unfurling their lunch totes, packed with juice boxes, fruit rollups, and high-sodium lunchmeat sandwiches, while my child opens his hemp bag and neatly arranges his carefully-measured meal of flax seed, dried apricots, tofu chunks, and reusable BPA-free water bottle filled with double-osmosis water.

And just what could this kid hope to find in his trick-or-treat bag, or Christmas stocking?  Would this child have to bring his own gluten-free bran muffin to other children’s birthday parties?  And then I realized, if this was the kind of youngster I was about to raise, there would be no birthday party invites, no one giving out millet on Halloween, and terrible confusion as to which list he was on when Santa left rolled oats in his stocking.

Am I advocating that parents give into the fast food mentality?  No.  But what is childhood without the joy of dunking a cookie in a cold glass of milk, s’mores around a campfire, and yes, even the occasional packet of Pop Rocks?  To paraphrase that great Southern icon Foghorn Leghorn, “There’s somethin’ kinda yeeeewwww about a kid who’s never had Pop Rocks.”



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