Jane Brody again has another immensely readable and helpful column in the New York Times that summarizes Michael Pollan’s newest book, Food Rules.
The article is worth a read once a week, or maybe even once a day, because our entire culture really is constantly reminding us to break those “rules” of good nutrition. “Have a syrupy drink. Munch a crunchy oily snack. Eat a sugary cookie. Maybe just one. You deserve it.” The best parent is fighting a continuous battle to teach good eating habits at least while the kids are at home, not too raise scrawny lactose-free vegans who can’t eat anything and look like it, but to raise kids who develop a taste for things that are good for them, rather than those that just fill them up fast.
I particularly liked Ms. Brody’s (and Pollan’s) suggestions on snacking, one of the worst of our daily habits.
Although the most wholesome eating pattern consists of three leisurely meals a day, and preferably a light meal at night, if you must have snacks, stick to fresh and dried fruits, vegetables and nuts, which are naturally loaded with healthful nutrients. I keep a dish of raisins and walnuts handy to satisfy the urge to nibble between meals. I also take them along for long car trips. Feel free to use the gas-station restroom, but never “get your fuel from the same place your car does,” Mr. Pollan writes.
I have to say that I fall victim to a cliché we’ve seen over and over on TV. Kids come home from school. They are hungry. Of course, they should have cookies and milk. Because that’s what I’ve seen on TV hundreds of times and I think it’s what a good mom or dad does for their kids. That’s actually where my mind goes when they come home and complain that they are hungry. I literally have to stop and think twice and then suggest something else on some days.