Monday, June 4, 2012

The Doughnut is the Package

As patriots we dutifully celebrated National Doughnut Day.

Friday was National Doughnut Day as well as the day my kids tested for higher belts at their martial arts studio. A tradition in our house is to celebrate testing with doughnuts, so Friday all planets were aligned.

My brother is all about “fallback” positions. Once you allow a child something, it is impossible (or overly cruel) to then take it away. So if you foresee a child gaining a privilege, the idea of the fallback position is to have a concession less awful than total capitulation. My brother has a five-year, fallback-position plan to increase incrementally his kids’ screen time.

I spend the most time devising fallback positions in regards to food. The kids are pushing to have all restaurant meals be times when they can order soda. So far the fallback position is to give them the choice of either ordering a soda or having dessert. I’m not sure if the two are calorically equal, but I think it’s important to equate the two in their minds.

Part of the problem raising kids less addicted to white sugar is that it is fun, as parents, to say, “Today is a special occasion, let’s celebrate.” Who doesn’t like smiles and joy? Food may not be love, but it sure is a great way to deliver the package. Much like birthday inflation, I fight plying the kids with sweets, feeling things easily can get out of hand.

Already we have a long list of occasions when “special desserts” are eaten and include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Any birthday of a family member, friend or acquaintance on a first-name basis
  • A visit by a relative
  • Any moment a grandparent is present
  • Significant life achievement
  • Heartbreak and setback
  • Weekends
  • Someone feels like it
  • Snack time
 In reading about New York’s effort to control the maximum soda portion that can be sold, I intuitively understand the concept – get people thinking about portion control, and that maybe they shouldn’t be drinking gallons of sugared beverages daily. The default beverage should be water, not root beer.

Anyway, we had a good test day, celebrating by eating in a restaurant, then returning home for doughnuts.  I thought about all these food issues and, overcome with the pressing need to eat less sugar, baked an apple pie.

I realize I’m hopeless, but the nascent thought was if I can learn to make reasonably healthful desserts then maybe our frequent doughnuts binges will be reduced. In the cold light of Monday morning I realize that I’m just increasing the days we have a sugared dessert around the house. Still, the pie was delicious!

For academics and serious amateurs, the following are the videos from the martial arts testing.

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