Ashlee blogged earlier this month about parental pet peeves.  My contribution?

When parents bring total crap food for school parties.

I probably sound a little bit anal with that one {and my husband would totally agree}.  But let me explain with an example!  Every year, one set of parents brings lunch to celebrate their daughter’s birthday at school.  {Yes, Trent technically goes to daycare.  I call it school to make me feel better.}  What do they bring?  McDonald’s.  I have bought Trent exactly 1 ice cream cone and 1 hashbrown from McDonald’s.  Now don’t get me wrong – my kid has had many a meal from a fast food place, but I try my darnedest to make smart choices for him when we eat out.  So for another set of parents to provide food to my kid that I would never buy is frustrating.  Yes, it’s rare that this happens.  And I will never be the mom that will leave my kid eating kale while the rest of the class eats McDonald’s. But it sure doesn’t mean I won’t gripe about it!

You might think I’m being silly, but we are facing an obesity epidemic in America.  And not just adults.  We have the fattest and sickest generation of children EVER.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.
  • The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.
  • In 2008, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.

Pretty scary, huh?

I read a pretty interesting article in Parenting magazine recently that discussed all the contributing factors that is causing these alarming rates.  Food is a big part of it but not all of it.  Some of it I had never thought about before, and I thought there might be some other mommies out there who found this eye-opening and interesting.  Here’s the full article if you’re interested.  And these are some of the facts I found most interesting:

  • Average serving of fries: 1980s – 2.4 oz & 210 calories, today – 6.9 oz & 610 calories
  • Amount of regular soda kids drink DAILY: 1977 – 4 oz, 2006 – 9 oz
  • Amount of milk kids drink DAILY: 1977 – 15 oz, 2006 – 9.5 oz
  • Kids DAILY screen time: 1999 – 6 hours 19 minutes, today – 7 hours 38 minutes {PER DAY PEOPLE}
  • Total hours of kids shows on TV: 1991-92 – 772 hours 27 minutes, this season – 39,986 hours 41 minutes {HOLY &!*@}
  • Weekly hours spend in outdoor activities: 1981 – 5 hours 44 minutes, 2003 – 3 hours 9 minutes

It’s not just about food, it’s not just about exercise, it’s a combination of A LOT of factors that we as parents must take charge of.

At Trent’s 3 year well-check, for the first time, his BMI was calculated.  He ‘scored’ at 15.2 which puts him in the 30th percentile.  A healthy BMI is between 5-85%.  To calculate your child’s BMI and learn a lot more about obesity, go here.

I didn’t write this post to sound high-and-mighty and hope it isn’t coming off that way.  This topic really challenges me to take a daily look at what we’re doing with our son to make sure he stays healthy.  It can be hard with a picky eater, grandparents who love to spoil, tired parents, and the convenience of fast food and a video.  I slip up on a regular basis.  But you can guarantee I will never take McDonald’s to a class party! {grin}

What do you do to keep your children healthy?


  1. I have a hard time getting Lucy to eat anything! She mostly grazes on fruit and cheese. Once she got a taste of sugar, it’s all about cookies and cake. So I started tricking her with homemade popsicles made with only fruit juice and yogurt raisins. I would love to try to bake zucchini into cookies just so she’ll get some vegetables
    . We don’t let her eat fast food at all. I’m happy she can’t identify the golden arches. I wish she would like pizza more!


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