I wish Goldfish were never invented. Every time I see my kids chompin’ away at those fish shaped crackers, I feel that twang of shame for allowing my children to eat processed junk.
I KNOW processed food isn’t real food and our bodies aren’t wired to consume it.
I KNOW those little fishies contain vegetable oils, and if you read my post on fats, you’ll know my thoughts on those.
I KNOW they have ‘autolized yeast’ in them which naturally contains MSG (not nearly as concentrated as pure MSG, but still).
I know it all. So WHY do I still buy them and allow my kids to eat them?
BECAUSE IT’S JUST SO HARD NOT TO!!
Our kids associate these junky types of foods (Goldfish, Pirate’s Booty, pretzels, etc.) with snack time. All of their peers eat them, and they want them too.
If I suddenly took them all away, I know what would happen – fights and tantrums! (Yes, even my 10 year old would decompensate if I took away all of her processed yumminess.)
And to be quite honest – I don’t want to fight every time they ask for a snack.
BUT – that all being said – I HAVE been able to come up with a few stipulations that my children are OK with (hallelujah!) that definitely help to alleviate some of my pent up Goldfish resentment.
Goldfish (or pretzels or whatever) can only be eaten AFTER some fruit or vegetables have been eaten. I found this great eco friendly snack container which allows me to pack fruit on one side, and their processed junk on the other. They know they can’t have the junk until the fruit has been eaten. This way I know they are at least benefitting from some vitamins and minerals and not just eating those fishy little buggers!
Any snacky, junky food (chips, granola bars, graham crackers, etc) can only be had once per day. If they choose it for morning snack, then they know it is off limits for afternoon snack. So what are their options for after school? REAL food! (cut up fruit dipped in almond butter, greek yogurt with a little organic, pure maple syrup mixed in, brown rice cake with almond butter and sliced bananas on top, cut up veggies dipped in their favorite dressing, a bowl of oatmeal…)
They can only have one serving size. Seriously. This is a big one. It’s a great idea to start teaching your kids about portion sizes. Especially when it comes to Goldfish since they just seem to pour out so effortlessly from their packaging. (Specifically that ginormous box they sell – the one that looks like a carton of milk on steroids.) If not supervised, it is way too easy for your kids to pour…and pour…and pour…until before you know it they are eating half the box. One serving size of Goldfish is 55 crackers, as shown below:
Bottom line – I don’t see Goldfish disappearing from my kids’ lives anytime soon. But until they do, it feels better knowing I have some guidelines in place to control the processed madness.