Is There MSG In This?
Linda Wechter-Ashkin PhD NCSP BC-TMHC ADHD CCSP
When I was young I had a friend who I’ll call Margie, with very progressive parents who read labels before that was even a thing. My friend was only able to eat organic foods and was forbidden to eat anything with sugar, saturated fats, or white flour. She came to my house for lunch one day and my mom offered her a variety of lunch choices. Margie asked her rehearsed questions. “Is there MSG in that, is it processed, are there saturated fats in it etc.” As she began to read our labels, she began lecturing my mom on the poison she was feeding her family. My poor mom found herself making something for her that was not in our normal repertoire but that met her requirements. When my mom left the room my sister and I said hell to the no and made ourselves butoni pizzas. These were dough pockets filled with sauce and cheese that you popped into the toaster. When Marge saw what we had to eat and compared it to her own plate I guess she thought to herself how bad one bite could be. Well by the time she went home our cupboards were bare and she had been introduced to everything she had been deprived of up until that time.
Providing children with healthy eating choices is important of course but encouraging them to see food as something that’s either good or evil often leads to overindulgence when the opportunity arises. There is such a big difference between forbidding and teaching. Teaching children what to look for in labels is a great idea but teaching them to run in fear from a piece of white bread is probably not. What I love about Jesus is that he came into a world filled with rules about foods including what could be eaten, when it could be eaten, and who could eat it and put up a stop sign. He drank wine, actually he even turned water into wine, and ate whatever was given to him by the host. He told his disciples to abstain from certain foods when they were with people who believed that the foods were unclean for them and to eat freely with people who ate freely. Jesus left us with 2 main commandments. Love God and love others. Not avoid fast food like the plague and only eat organic. So, I pray that you will teach your children about good food by shopping with them, cooking with them, and being a good example of healthy eating for them. Teach them they have choices but not that they have to live their lives by yours.