Monday July 28, 2014

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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Living on the farm

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Less is better when it comes to candy and kids. When my oldest was about three years old, someone gave her a sucker. Before it was done, she suffered an itchy rash on her arms. That pattern repeated thereafter whenever someone treated her to candy.

Sugar, artificial flavour and colour – not items I’ve ever had to search out for my kids. Avoiding junk is the challenge, especially when, once that three-year-old (or younger) has tasted a sucker, candy stands out like neon signs against the night sky.

Every holiday is punctuated with candy. Halloween candy and candy canes hide in our high cupboards from years gone by. Kids don’t need it. I didn’t buy it and we avoid it as much as possible.

The night before Easter brought an interesting challenge with Farmer asking me whether I had something around for the kids. I hadn’t purchased anything but remembered Uncle had left a few Easter treats on one of his visits. But where were they?

Commercial Convention has the Easter Bunny bringing treats for good kids much like Santa. If he doesn’t, kids must be bad. I don’t like that. Why can’t Santa and the Easter Bunny bring organic pineapples instead? Would it be so bad to find a fruit basket instead of modified wax and over processed cacao devoid of nutrient value?

I found enough cream of tartar to make several batches of play dough for the kids and used the left over dye from egg colouring for Easter colours. The kids found several mounds of play dough and chocolate treats from Uncle along with the eggs they’d coloured the day before hidden all over the living room. They were tickled.

Again, the candy was put up after a quick taste and they’ve hardly asked for it.

In the world I want to live in, the ideal world I want for my kids, you know, the one that begins “if only...” there isn’t candy. In that world holidays are re-scripted: coloured decorations preserved, more music and activities added with drama and social gatherings, but candy, diabetes, and all the spin-offs associated with artificial flavourings and colourings eliminated.

Now I can begin discussions with my kids about the kind of Easter activities they’d like to enjoy next year. Not too early to plan sugar-free Halloween and Christmas too, avoid waste and plan for meaningful, healthy and fun activities.


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