Thoughts from Janice: Junk Food



Estimated Reading Time 2 Minutes

When my daughter was about 18 months old, a friend and her same-aged son came over for lunch. After the kids noshed on bits of finger food, I split a popsicle in half and gave one to each child. “Oh, my son has never had refined sugar,” my friend said, and tentatively offered it to him. I should have asked her first of course, but I was still shocked to learn that a) her son was a sugar virgin and b) parents could withhold that kind of stuff from their kids.

It would have been a good idea in my case. When my same daughter was about eight, we were heading out on the bus to go see the doctor. Unbeknownst to me, she was squirting some vile liquid candy into her mouth, which promptly stained her tongue and teeth bright blue. All I could think of was the doctor asking her to say “Ahh” and being horrified by the state of her oral hygiene. So, we bought a toothbrush and toothpaste en route to her check-up and visited the bathroom before checking in with the doctor.

I’ve lost my childhood love of sweet tarts, bottle caps, pop rocks and lik-m-aids. (Notice how I didn’t list any chocolate confections? As I’m writing this, I’ve just stuffed a Lindt chocolate into my mouth, even though I’m still full from lunch.) I shake my head at the amounts of candy my kids can seem to eat, but then remember the long hours I used to spend pouring over all that junk at the Picadilly Dell variety store, which was usually good for an hour long visit on Saturdays. My mom didn’t harass me about it and I turned out, well, OK.

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Janice Biehn
Managing Editor
Parents Canada

Published in May 2010

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