Fish are friends. NOT food. I can’t help but hear the famous Finding Nemo line in my head as I watch the bag of cheddary, salty, tasty-goodness go from kid to kid at the playground. They are EVERYWHERE. Goldfish is to toddlers as coffee is to adults. It’s as if their little worlds would combust without them. I am coming out of the closet, I loath this childhood addiction. (GASP)
Time magazine recently named the top 9 worst foods to feed your children. Number 2 on the list…Goldfish. Right after TV dinners and before Fruit By the Foot. The more research I’ve done the more I am convinced that the delicious cheddar fish (let’s be honest, those things are goooood) are awful for you nutritionally. Goldfish are high in sodium and filled with some pretty serious food chemicals. My waistline definitely doesn’t like this snack but, more importantly, neither does my child’s long-term health or eating habits.
But how can I avoid it? At just 18-months I watch as my child eyes her friend’s bag of Goldfish and will use every adorable ploy she can to get her hands on those pesky little fish. Seriously, it has become a joke among my friends and it’s quite hilarious to watch Annie rummage through just about anything to find the bite size snack. The more fish she eats the less veggies and fruits she eats later. Suddenly I feel like I am on a hamster wheel running around in circles as I try to break the pattern.
As a naïve first-time parent, I am at a loss. I really don’t want Goldfish to take over our house as a common, every day snack. But it seems the more I steer clear from them, the more I find her shoveling them in at the playground. Is this already happening? I have visions of my house full of apples and carrots, but will I find my daughter in her friend’s pantry downing the “good stuff?”
Someone must have an answer for me. What is the proper balance between restricting treats and giving in just the right amount?
Better yet, could we all just ease up on the Goldfish consumption? I mean really, ladies – help a sister out here. Need we all forget, Fish are friends – NOT food.