Three years ago, our oldest daughter was a junior in high school and she was taking a class on child development. One of the topics covered in the class was a unit on nutrition. She had to write a report for the class and since our family loves the library, off we drove to the Jamestown Branch of the St. Louis County Library. As our daughter was perusing the stacks she found a unique book to use in her research towards her paper. It wasn’t a large book, just a simple paperback in an exact square shape, probably 7 in. by 7 in. The book was colorful, as it was filled with photos of foods and meals; a guide to foods and their nutritional values. The book depicted name brand foods found in grocery stores and foods ordered in popular American restaurants. The book was Eat This, Not That! . The younger siblings liked looking through the book, to see if they’re favorite candy was “ok” to consume or if it was on the “Not That!” list. Our youngest, 7 at the time, really loved this book and last year, at the tender age of 9, he requested it for a Christmas gift! My husband, after scanning our kids’ wish lists, asked me if I was sure that youngest son wanted that book and I assured him that it was the child’s number 1 request! On Christmas day, the youngest excitedly tore off the giftwrap and plunged his nose into that book and our Monster was born!
I’m pretty sure later that day, he wandered into the kitchen and quizzed me as to what I was going to serve the family for Christmas Dinner, for the book, you see, has a section analyzing typical American holiday meals. For example, a baked potato would be a better choice to serve one’s guests than a mashed potato concoction. Lean Roast Beef is a great choice for a Christmas main course, not Prime Rib, which has too much fat. I smiled and thanked him for his advice and went on with the meal’s preparations.
Our son’s reading of this book has been entertaining but it’s begun to drive his siblngs crazy. At the grocery store, he is apt to point out that Cheerios are better than Golden Grahams, that Thomas’s bagels are better than Sara Lee’s, that Oscar Mayer Center Cut Bacon is better than any other brand of bacon, if one must eat bacon at all. I have always loved Yoplait Yogurt and was discouraged to learn that it is actually one of the worst yogurt brands out there to consume! Ben and Jerry’s ice creams contain more fat than a double cheeseburger meal at McDonalds!
Eat This, Not That! is an interesting book, but I have had to put my foot down and tell our son that I am still going to buy certain products and will sometimes ignore what that book says. I am a choosy mother, and have always preferred Jif peanut butter over any other brand on the market. As you have probably already guessed, it’s not the brand recommended in Eat This, Not That! Slowly, our son has been getting the point. However, through his guidance, I have made some changes in what we buy, and while Cheetos haven’t been bought in a while, pita chips are a new buy that the family likes and the Cheetos haven’t been missed.
Our third child, a son, went on a college visit last week. I also went on the visit and took the youngest with us, as he is home schooled, After the talk that the parents sat through was over, and our future college students were returned to us from their program, we were taken to another building for a meet and greet with all of the departments at the school and we were given time to meet the professors. As we milled around waiting to talk to certain departments, the youngest found the Dietetics Department. He mentioned his favorite book to the ladies at that table and they smiled and said how they all knew that book quite well. They also said they hoped he’d be one of their students in the future!! I haven’t exactly explored the career path of a dietician, how much do they make, but I do have vague ideas where they are employed at. Who knows? Those ladies may be right and we might have a future dietician in our midst!
I would lastly add, that if one of your children is interested in a topic, let them explore it to learn more about it. Let them seek out information, with your guidance of course. As a pediatrician once told one of our daughters, reading is good for your brain, it makes you smart. So let the reading and researching begin, and just be ready to defend your favorite food products, if the book Eat This, Not That! enters your home!