7/25/12

My Parents Are in Town: Mealtime Strategies


Minutes after my parents arrived, Oscar put them through a small experiment. He was sitting on his bed and announced randomly, "McDonald's is not healthy for you."

Grandma and Grandpa shrugged and didn't give much of a reaction.  That's all the data he needed. Hours later I overheard Oscar whispering to Grandpa, "Could you take us to McDonald's?"

It was a brilliant strategy. 

I hate myself for turning into an uptight parent who doesn't take their kids to McDonald's. It's because there's always another fresher or locally owned option next store. It takes zero effort on my part.  The movie Food Inc. is also to blame for turning me into an overly opinionated twit.  That movie had the biggest anti-McDonald's agenda, and I totally fell for it.  I haven't taken my kids to McDonald's in years. 

Oscar has been apparently searching for a way to get himself back to the golden arches and found his way with the grandparents.

I quickly realized that we had to take Oscar to McDonald's fast or else the entire trip would be consumed with, "Yeah Top of the Rock is cool-- but when are we going to McDonald's? Awesome, the Statue of Liberty! Is it lunch time yet? I really want to go to McDonald's, Grandpa! Having a great time on the boat! But let's go to McDonald's soon I'm so hungry. Ok, grandma?!"

We went yesterday to shut him up. Oscar ordered a Hamburger Happy Meal and a chocolate dipped ice cream cone. He savored each bite and hasn't stopped playing with the free toy since.  

For me, going there only crushed my dreams of taking down the man. The place was packed with a wide range of costumers, from perfectly dressed business people to families to blue collar workers. We had to go all the way to the third floor to find a table. McDonald's has obviously been thriving without my dollar.  The screen shot below of McDonald's stock value cracks me up. I don't know what it means exactly, but I can take a good guess.


Regardless, I'll never going back. If nothing else, I'm healthier for it. Plus, I haven't let go of my absurd dream that somehow I am making a difference by voting with my dollar. It's the optimist in me.

Is it also the optimist in me that thought my southern McChicken sandwich and fries tasted delicious? I hope not.

Stoked!!!!
I used to take my babies to McDonald's alllll the time.  For a while it was at least once a week, maybe twice. Proof after the jump. No wonder Oscar misses it!



July 9th, 2009 Oscar's big bite.  I took this picture the day I stopped using high chairs. I was so excited. 
July 7th, 2009 Oscar's curls!
I used to order the same thing everytime: chicken nuggets and yogurt parfait. 
June 2, 2009 Owen's hands.
I was using all my willpower not to eat my kids nuggets. 
I took this picture and posted it on my old blog to hold me to it.  
It didn't work. I ate some. 

I find it funny that I used to take pictures of my kids at McDonald's. 
I thought it was cute, I guess.
Or I was so bored.  

27 comments:

  1. Such a cute post. I remember going to Mcdonalds all the time as a child. I remember always ordering sprite, those were the good ol' days.

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    1. haha when we went yesterday, I let my kids order sprite too! because everyone knows it's the healthier beverage choice (coke ahhh!). haha

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  2. Even though my parents always fed me and my siblings pretty healthy, I remember I loved going to McDonalds once in awhile. Now I live abroad so I love going to McDonalds again!

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  3. Oh I SO hear you! I ordered a Big Mac after I delivered Chelsea, 21 years ago - need I say more??? Horrified! You should read Fast Food Nation - you truly will never eat McDonald's again. Not that it stops me from the occasional Big Mac. I just do it in private. :)

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  4. that photo of oscar's big bite is amazing!!! love it. i never crave mcdonald's, but i'm addicted to chipotle, so there you go.

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  5. Hang in there on the healthy eating. They say that all of people's eating habits are developed when they are young. Sounds like you are doing a great job teaching them that McDonalds is okay, as long as you only eat it occasionally.

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  6. I love how conniving kids are. They aren't so bad as to really go behind your back but they think their stage whisper can't be heard by the rest of the room. McDonalds was definitely a treat growing up, but I haven't eaten there in at least five years and it wasn't even deliberate.

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  7. My husband and I have discussed this at length... We don't want to introduce our daughter to McDonald's but also expect she'll hear about it from other kids and may want to go occasionally.
    We've decided it's road trip food... hopefully she'll never have it in our hometown but we may occasionally indulge mid-road-trip, especially if there's also a play place where she can stretch her legs before getting back in the car (but hopefully not pick up any gross illness!).
    Also, I think Oscar is so clever!

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  8. Love this post!! Too funny, what a smarty. My kids eat non-stop at their house- it's the endless buffett!

    I watched that movie and it didn't turn me away from McDonalds but I did start buying healthier choices. I seriously cried at the part with the chickens, I felt bad they spent their entire lives in that dark chios, so fat they couldn't even get up. What I got from it was also the "voting" part which I think can be applied anywhere you go. For instance, at Burger king you can get a hamburger for about half the price as apple slices. If you don't want to boycott a company completely, you can order better choices so they see the demand for it and lower the prices for the good stuff.

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  9. Since the Citizens United decision, we do in fact vote with our dollars.

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  10. I hate McDonad's, always have. I grew up in south africa and McDonald's didn't arrive there until either 96 or 97 so I had to wait until I was 18 for one. I instantly hated it. I was used to good quality south african and french food and took an instant disgust to it. I did have it once when I was vacationing in France when I was 9 and hated it then too. We were at the airport in San Diego a few months back and the only food options were Mcdonald's and California Pizza Kitchen. Our 3 year old isn't a fan of pizza so we had no choice but to get the nuggets. Thankfully he hated them! We were so worried he'd love them. he'd never had nuggets before so couldn't compare them to anything. I'm very glad he's a food snob (with the exception of Kraft mac and cheese :) ).

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  11. We're not particularly fond of fast food. Having lost a ton of weight by changing my eating habits ten years ago and getting married to a chef have certainly played a key role. McDonald's, and whatever other fast food, is relegated to last resort option. But our four-year-old certainly has a knack for it, even though he's only been twice. You hear him talking about it and you'd think he's a frequent customer, ha.

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  12. I think this was a perfect time to take them to McDonald's - it was a RARE treat while they had grandparents in town. I think it's great - it shows them that you can eat something not particularly healthy every once in a while, but everyday life should avoid it. Just as teaching kids that McDonald's (and other fast foods) isn't healthy is an important lesson, I think teaching them it's okay to have moderation and not be too uptight/strict about things is also an important lesson. Seems like you've found a good balance! Keep teaching them good habits! :)

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  13. Yeah, I never eat at McDo either, but taking a kid once in a while will not kill them. It's junk food...it's delicious and for a treat only...Love the photos of the kids with your dad.

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  14. I feel I could have written that post. My story is so similar-Once someone told me how they process the mc nuggets I had to break it to my 4 year old that we could never get them again. I knew they were bad but ugh. Now we go to whole foods or Panera for their chicken soup. The single mindedness of Oscar reminds me of my son too. Seems they know thire grandparents are a soft touch. Grandma takes my son to Dunkin doughnut.

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  15. Aw, I love this post. I'm majorly craving McDonald's now though! I always loved going as a kid (it was a once a weekend thing), but mostly for the fun area! Haha. I do still get cravings for McDonalds. In general, I try to stay away from fast food, mainly because I'm pretty sure there's crack in the food. I mean, if I have McDonald's today, I'll crave it EVEN MORE tomorrow. It's addictive (all fast food, i think) for some reason! So, I try to not even get it started.

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  16. We're in Utah visiting family (land of the fast food, I swear it's on every corner) and Annabelle now knows what a McDonalds is. All things in moderation I say, but I do prefer burgers and fries from other places period. If I'm going to get a burger I want it to taste good! Plus, I'm usually supporting a local business in my neighborhood.

    Dude, they really offer dipped cones now?!

    Confession: after I delivered my second child, I was starving and ordered Jared to leave the hospital and find a McDonald's and get me chicken nuggets, fries and a Coke. SUPER SIZE. I polished that sucker off in 5 minutes. And it was delicious.

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  17. Dude, this post made me grave McD's soooo badly! Not ok!

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    1. *crave, not grave. oops!

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  18. Have you heard of Lyfe Kitchen? R told me about it recently. Mike Roberts (former Global President and COO for McDonald’s Corporation)is opening up a new type of restaurant in California. I think the idea is to have a fast food organic restaurant. I have a feeling it is going to do very well:) I am waiting for Lyfe Kitchen in my neighborhood:)
    ~C

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  19. Here is the Lyfe Kitchen Link:)
    ~C
    http://www.lyfekitchen.com/lyfe-story.aspx

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  20. Oscar's strategy cracked me up!! Smart kid-- good luck with that as he gets older!

    I agree with the optimist in you. Let's keep fighting the good fight. I know my small purchases won't break McDonalds, but it makes a differece to me. It's the same reason I don't go near Walmart. The stores will still be filled, but not be me and my spending power. My weakness is road trips, though-- it's impossible (at least mentally) to drive across the midwest and avoid stopping at a fast food joint or two.

    Did anyone else have birthday parties at McDonalds as kids? I know we did once or twice! We lived in a small town in Virginia, and there weren't many other choices! I have fond memories of those playplaces :)

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  21. Such a lovely post!Oscar's curly hair is so cute!Adorable kids!And I love McDonald!The food is great and the burgers are my fave!

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  22. This is best city a one that has ample of simplicity and the best of services to be offered at your doorstep.

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  23. New York has some of the best places to visit and enjoy your great time..

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  24. On a road trip from Martha's Vineyard back to NYC my middle child needed to use the bathroom. We decided to pull off and stop at a McDonald's to use the restroom. On our way in she turned to me and said "mommy, are you sure we won't get fat if we go in there!" I guess I've been in your camp along with being convinced by all the anti-McDonald's books and films out there. It's not that it's a bad place, but i'm with you, vote with your dollars! funny post!

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