If you give a kid a cookie….


My brother +wife + 3 kids have been staying with me for the week.

Monday morning before the holiday even started, the kids were hungry so I gave them breakfast.

My 4 year old had “honey nut cheerios” which is really my healthier version of plain cheerios (1 g sugar per srvg) + honey , my 6 year old was having strawberries and banana cut up into a fruit salad and half of a whole wheat bagel. Breakfast as usual. My nieces and nephew, however, were clueless as to what they could eat. I offered them fruit and cereal and finally they began to eat it with happy faces.

Then my brother (who had left the house earlier ) arrived with a bag of Oreos.

Like pavlovian dogs, his kids ran to greet him and could not get their hands on those cookies fast enough.

It was not even 8:00am. The holiday had not even started.

This was their regular breakfast and frankly I was shocked.

My kids of course asked if they too could partake in the cookie fest (what was I supposed to do? Say no they couldn’t but allow their cousins to gorge in front of them?) I had no choice but to allow the junk fest to begin.

That made me consider what the childhood obesity issue was all about.

We don’t need Jamie Oliver to drive across the country to inform us that if you provide healthy options to hungry kids they will eat them. If you provide them with sugary snacks and artificial trans fats, they will eat them too.

Why not offer them the option of a healthy lifestyle and clean diet?

We don’t seem to give our kids enough credit.

Why did my brother (and apparently most of Americans) feel compelled to give their kids unhealthy foods? A hungry kid will eat whatever is put in front of them. Think about it.

Why not put a piece of grilled chicken on the bone (my kids favorite) with a side of brown rice and lentils (or for Passover friendly fare sliced up baked potato wedges that taste like French fries) and sliced up cucumbers on a plate and offer that up for dinner?

Try it tonight and let me know what happens.

Balsam Bites: Take plain Greek yogurt and mix with a half of mashed up sweet potato (stick with me –sounds gross but texture makes it tasty) add cinnamon and splenda (or Passover sweetener) , almond or vanilla extract and freeze for 20 minutes. You just made yourself a healthy 100 calorie, 0 fat cheesecake.

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