Junk Food Pantry: Good or Bad?

Caryn and Suzanne
I was visiting
last week for a family wedding. The drive along the 401 was excruciating with 3
kids and a bubby. Every single rest stop from here to TO and back was closed.
Luckily, when I got there I got a chance to visit with my oldest friend Suzanne.  Our kids get along very well and we all spent
one evening just hanging out.  We ordered
some delicious healthy-ish pizza and of course after supper my kids wanted
dessert.   They had been there before and
knew exactly which pantry Suzanne kept the junk food stash in.  This lead to a junk food discussion that
Suzanne and I have had many times. 

Suzanne is an only child and when we were young all the
neighbourhood kids wanted to go to her house because her mom had the best junk
food pantry ever.  If you ask anyone who
was friend’s with Suzanne back in the day what they remember about her house,
they will all say the yummy snacks.  We
kids would gorge ourselves on whatever was there. Our moms never kept that kind
of stuff.  The funny thing is, Suzanne was
always slim and healthy.  She never ate
that much junk food.  Suzanne is a high
school phys. ed. teacher now and she believes that keeping a pantry full of
junk will actually help kids maintain a healthy weight.  I completely agree with her.  When you deprive kids of junk food all you
are doing is making them want it more. 
What Suzanne has managed to do is teach her own 2 kids about self
control.  Really, isn’t that what it is
all about? 

Personally, I cannot keep as much junk in my house as
Suzanne does because Richard and I do not have that same self control.  My mom rarely kept it in the house and so
when it was available to me, like at Suzanne’s house, I would over indulge.  As it turns out my own mother told me today
that my dad would eat all the junk food so she was forced not to keep it in the

One day Trevor and Jason helped themselves to ice cream,
serving seriously large portions.  Then
they dumped about a cup each of chocolate powder and chocolate syrup over
it.  My first reaction was to pull it
away.  Instead, I encouraged them to eat
it the whole damn thing.  As expected,
they could barely finish it and they both got stomach aches.  This is the way I teach my kids about junk
food.  I have on several occasions let
them eat as much as they want until they turned green.  The consequence to this is they have developed
self control and the ability to recognize an appropriate amount to feel
satisfied but not sick. 

The fact is, junk food is everywhere and it’s fun to eat but
if you eat too much too often it results in health issues. Whether or not you
believe stocking up on junk food or making your kids sick with sweets is
appropriate, it is important to figure out a way to exercise that self
control.  If we can teach it to our
children then hopefully they will grow up consuming less than nutritious foods
only in moderation. 

June 2010 013

When I got back to Montreal
I had this craving for the yummy homemade meringue cookies Suzanne’s mom
makes.  Luckily for me, but not for
Suzanne, Estelle lives in my ‘hood .  So
I called her up and asked her for a batch. 
Sure, she said, as long as I share them with my kids and don’t hoard
them all to myself.


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