Sunday, June 13, 2010

On Road Trips and Junk Food

I don't bring junk food into the house, but when we are on the road I try to allow my children gluten free junk food (and in my son's case gluten free, casein free junk food) because I don't want junk food to be something that they NEVER have--and I want them to know the food that they can actually eat, in case, when they are older, they find themselves in situations where their only choices are junk food. So, at the gas station on the drive back home, from a reunion weekend my daughter chose Doritos Cool Ranch Tortilla Chips. A while ago, she carefully read the label of Cool Ranch Doritos and discovered they are, in fact, gluten free. Gluten-Free Frito Lay's products can be found on the Frito Lay Products Not Containing Gluten page. It is funny to both of us that the Nacho Cheese Doritos do contain gluten but the Cool Ranch are gluten free. My son chose the Frito's Original Corn Chips--which contain far less chemicals than the Doritos. His selection is more limited--he can have the Fritos or some potato chips.

I didn't always allow them to eat this type of food. For a long time they were sensitive to MSG which is in every Doritos brand product except Doritos Last Call Jalepeno Popper Flavored Potato Chips and Doritos Toasted Corn Tortilla Chips. While they were sensitive to MSG I kept processed food that contained MSG far away from them.

I am sure some people are surprised that I now let them eat this type of processed food at all. By allowing them this food now, I am hoping when they are older that they will know how to make the best choices when confronted with a sea of junk food. I am sure my eight year old would have a better day without these processed snacks full of chemicals, but I fear that if I make this type of food completely forbidden, that it will make it all the more appealing to her when she is older and on her own, in just a few years. And so, I let her make the choice to have it now. I also know she does not eat this type of food on regular basis. It is something she has as a treat when we are on the road.

And for my kids, now, it is okay. And for that, I am grateful.

WHAT TO FEED YOUR KIDS: Despite the name of my blog "What To Feed Your Kids" there are no easy answers. I don't bring junk food into my house but I do allow my kids to have this food outside of our house, occasionally, so they don't feel deprived being gluten free and end up resenting me for having this blog and being an advocate for healthy food. What To Feed Your Kids is really up to you, as a parent. I try to educate parents so that parents can make choices for themselves what is best for their family. Every family is different and every child is different. What is do able for one family is an impossibility for another family.


Katie said...

Thank you for the tip. I am extremely new at this (Gluten Free day #2!) and had just thought chips would have gluten. I am happy to be wrong! Although it isn't a healthy choice, DD can have her fritos with her class on Friday!

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