I’m generally the one who does the grocery shopping in my family. Part of the reason is because my wife is clueless when it comes to the supermarket, but it’s mostly because I’m somewhat picky about the food I eat, and I want to make sure I’ve considered all the options.
Yes, I’m the guy who will stand for an eternity staring at two different packages of a nearly-identical product, studying the Nutrition Facts labels to determine which might be a better choice. (I’ll also hold two different size packages of a nearly identical product, studying the prices to determine which might save me three cents. I make the supermarket much more math-intensive than it needs to be.)
With me, diabetes is the single solitary consideration when choosing food. I don’t care about sodium or cholesterol, trans fats or monodiglycerides (whatever they are). It’s all about carbs with me.
But when it’s not about me, the carbs don’t matter There are no rules. Anything goes.
I think the realization came when I was on the checkout line at BJ’s Wholesale Club and saw what was in my cart. My older son brings a snack to Kindergarten every day, and I save money by buying these easy-to-pack snacks in bulk. Stuff like Oreos or Rice Krispies Treats or Mallomars. In small packages, it seems OK. But seeing the enormous warehouse-club-sized boxes stacked one upon the other is concerning; then watching them empty out is disturbing.
Why do I let it happen? Because he can. Because my kids don’t have diabetes. Because nothing bad will happen if they eat an Oreo or a Rice Krispies Treat or a Mallomar every once in a while. They enjoy them, and I enjoy knowing that they enjoy them.
But every day? That’s what it’s leading up to. This can’t be good.
My mother would be shocked and disgusted by the stuff my kids eat. She was always a bit of a health-nut, and it was rare that I got to eat “junk food” as a kid. It was always fruit and raisins and wholesome types of snacks — even before my diabetes diagnosis. Once, she allowed a box of Count Chocula cereal in the house — it was just before Passover and she decided she’d treat me to something sweet and tasty before a week of stuff that’s dry and pasty (again, before diagnosis). What makes it so memorable is that it was just that one time. She always believed that a “treat” should be just that — an unusual treat and not an everyday occurrence.
But I want the boys to enjoy their snacks — as much as they can — because they can.
I know it’s not healthy for them. It won’t give them diabetes — I know that much — but it still could lead to other health-related issues in the future. It also could lead to bad eating habits. Anyway you look at it, it’s just not a good idea.
As hard as it is to admit it, I know why I give this stuff to them. It’s the title of this post.
It’s something that I have to change. I just need to figure out how.
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Am I the only D-parent who spoils their non-D kids like this, and makes sure they don’t take their fully-functioning internal organs for granted? If you’re like me (or not), I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a response in the comments.