Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Just Say "No!"

I really should stop watching the news, it just makes me yell at the tv. There is some sort of watch dog group, The Center for Science in the Public Interest, that is suing McDonald's over the toys in the Happy Meals. No, the toys aren't full of lead or cadmium and they don't pose a choking hazard. They're suing McDonald's because the toys are included in the Happy Meals.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest claims that the presence of toys in the Happy Meals entices children to eat them, to want them and demand them. There is probably a good deal of truth to that. They claim that since the toys lure children to the Happy Meals that children therefore are eating unhealthy meals. This also makes sense, McDonald's meals aren't the most nutritious things out there.

Here's the problem with their claims. What they are essentially telling Americans is that they are too stupid to parent, that they can't make good, smart and nutritious meal choices for their children. Yes, Happy Meals aren't fabulous for you, but if you avoid the soda and the fries, you've made some good steps in the right direction. Also, who is getting their kids Happy Meals on a daily or weekly basis? I know we only had them once in a while growing up and when we did they were a great treat. You can also by pass the meal entirely and just purchase the toy.

Here's the biggest part of the problem. People seem to forget that parents can just say "No" when a child asks for something. You don't have to, nor should you, give into a child every single time he or she makes a request. Granted, Doug isn't old enough to know what McDonald's is or to want it, but when I taught I used "No" frequently. Children don't know what's good for them all the time. It's our job as parents to teach them, and saying "No" to an unhealthy meal on occasion will help them learn.

That's my two cents.

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