Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Son to Parents: "What the F#$@ Is This?"

I just started working with a husband and wife who want to change how their family (three kids) eats and thinks about food.

I give them a lot of credit, especially since their kids’ palates are so accustomed to the fake sensations of our modern food supply. I am confident we will be successful.

The eating habits of their 12-year-old son are especially problematic; he rarely eats anything but packaged and processed foodstuffs, despite his parents’ protestations. One recent incident they relayed to me highlights what the mom and dad (and many parents who are trying to do better) are up against.

The son usually eats frozen, heavily-processed waffles or pancakes for breakfast, topped with heavily-processed syrup. (And we wonder why our kids can’t focus in school?)

The father figured he’d start with a small change, so he replaced the Aunt Jemima syrup (corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, water, cellulose gum, caramel color, salt, sodium benzoate and sorbic acid [preservatives], artificial and natural flavors, sodium hexametaphosphate; mixed to create a sweet syrup) with real maple syrup (sap from a sugar maple tree; boiled to create a sweet syrup).

To hide the identity of the new syrup, the father craftily poured the maple syrup on the waffles before his son came into the kitchen.

When the son got to the table, he looked at his plate, realized something was amiss (the consistency of real syrup is a little runnier) and said, “What the fuck is this?”

Needless to say, an argument ensued. The father left the kitchen in anger, the mother caved and brought out the Aunt Jemima (she wanted her son to eat) and the son was a little more toxic than when he woke up.

(Tomorrow: My first encounter with the son.)

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