Will Doughnuts Be My Parenting Downfall?
This is a guest post by Laura Clark.
I have a confession to make: I love doughnuts. Glazed, cream-filled, even topped with bits of bacon – I can be talked into one of those delicious fried rings of dough at the drop of a Krispy Kreme paper hat.
It’s no secret. Friends, relatives, even relative strangers know that I’ve had this food obsession since way before I started having pregnancy cravings. In fact, since way before I wrapped my mind around what pregnancy actually entailed.
The thing is, now that I have a child, I’ve started second-guessing that obsession.
My 4-year-old daughter is a healthy and active little girl who would just as soon eat broccoli as she would pudding. And I feel so blessed. My child actually likes vegetables – and not just the ones covered in cheese.
So what kind of example am I setting every time I make up an excuse to visit Bob’s in the Farmer’s Market or Randy’s near LAX, or even the kids who are trying to raise money for their confirmation class after Mass? (I mean, who doesn’t want to help kids?)
The point is, I want my child to be healthy and to continue to make good food choices. But am I the one who might get in the way of that?
When I hear about childhood obesity rates and how parents are working hard to keep junk food out of their kids’ schools, I worry about the example I’m setting for my child. Will a few doughnuts here and there turn into a justification down the road for calling a brownie and some chocolate milk lunch? Ick. After all, once she’s out of preschool and kindergarten, will I have as much control over what she eats in the school cafeteria? (To be fair, despite my doughnut love, I do insist on healthy meals at home.)
I also pack my daughter’s lunch for preschool and delight in the fact that her “dessert” usually consists of strawberries, blueberries or an apple. Sometimes she gets a few animal crackers, but hey, you’ve got to live a little. No candy or chocolate is allowed, which is fine by me. And my daughter doesn’t seem to know what she’s missing.
But then the weekend hits, and Bob, Randy, Starbucks, or those knowing confirmation kids sometimes bring me back around the doughnut bend – and also, by extension, my daughter.
I wonder if in one fried fell swoop I’m destroying everything she’s learned during a week of healthy eating. Will her little taste buds soon make the switch to craving anything that boasts a sprinkle on top? Like *gasp* her mom?!
Let’s just say that I’m hoping she learns moderation and that it’s OK to treat yourself every once in a while. What I also hope is that when she is confronted with unhealthy food choices in school – which, frankly, scares me even more than a French Cruller (not a fan) – she will fall back on her old preschool habits of fruits, veggies and limited amounts of sugar.
And if she gives up her taste for doughnuts altogether, more power to her. That just means more for me.
Laura Clark is the founder & editor of L.A. Story.