Before you run in the opposite direction screaming with your hands over your eyes and ears, know that [1.] that’s a wee bit dangerous; you could run into a wall and [2.] I am not telling you to avoid sweets.
Moderation makes the world go round and that means we get to eat all sorts of fun things! Feeling a bit calmer now? Fabulous! Let’s begin!
What I do want to say is that I’d like to propose a bit of a shift in the way we look at treats, rewards, desserts and all that encompasses the almighty sugar bomb. Let’s STOP the glorification of sweets.
Just like that.
Nutrition Talk: The Glorification of Sugar
I’m 100% down with baking a cake for a birthday party or whipping up fluffy muffins or pancakes for a weekend brunch. I’m even down with a fun holiday dessert or two. Or three or four… But every time I hop on Pinterest to get some much-needed procrastination done, I’m literally bombarded with sugar.
It’s not just the typical sweet treats either. Oh no. I’m flat out accosted with suggestions for 5000 ways to make cake pops more fun or how to make everything cookie dough-ified.
[1.] Cake is already fun all on its own and [2.] Whatever happened to having a spoonful or two of cookie dough from the fridge and walking away? Now we have to turn it into frosting and dips and spread it on everything in sight? I think we’ve led ourselves astray.
Let’s not forget about the websites and magazines that teach us 50+ ways to bake with additive-filled, artificially-flavored candies. Brownies and cupcakes made out of candy corn flavored Oreos? Yeah… that’s exactly what this world needs.
I know these desserts are meant to be fun (ok and to drive mass amounts of traffic to the websites creating them, let’s be honest here) but I just can’t get on board with it. Kids don’t need cupcakes to glow in the dark or be tye-died with tons of food coloring to be fun… or yummy… They know that because it’s a freaking cupcake it’s going to taste good. Just the fact that you made it for them is sweet enough. And speaking of kids, why can’t we take all that time and effort and put it to use encouraging them to eat something they desperately need more of?
Why can’t we glorify fruit and veggies instead?
Maybe I’m an idealist, but I really do think we can re-wire or recondition ourselves to stop glorifying sugar and instead put the emphasis on produce. I’m not saying skip the sweets altogether, but let’s put our time and energy into giving fruit and vegetables center stage for a change. It’s the one thing all of us could benefit from having more of in our diets, regardless of age. When I hear a parent tell their child that they are getting a cupcake or a basket of candy because they are special it hurts my heart a little. Why don’t we tell kids that the healthy meals we make them are made with love? That “Today we will play with our veggies!” That they are special because they are smart, kind, healthy, happy, active, and wonderful… If I keep going I may cry. I’m that much of a pansy. But seriously – let’s show our families and friends love with healthy foods and activities too!
I started a “Play with your Produce!” pin board a while back to highlight and celebrate creative fruit and veggie dishes — Feel free to check it out for some great ideas on how to make produce festive and fun.
And don’t hesitate to leave a comment and let me know if you have your own ideas as well!
I know I might have offended a few of you, especially the dessert-baking aficionados of the group. I’m sorry; It’s absolutely not my intention to offend. If you’re throwing a baby shower for your bestie or attempting the worlds greatest birthday party for your adorable kiddo — by all means — play with your dessert if you’d like to. But can we glorify the veggies too? Can the fruit and veggie tray be as impressive and as fun as the cookie tray? If you’re going to cut sugary fondant or brownies into fun shapes, would you consider doing the same with slices of whole grain bread and crunchy cucumbers too? Pretty please? With a cherry tomato on top?
Thanks for hearing me out darlings. If this post gets just one person to play with their veggies or do something pinterest-y with a pile of pile or fruit, then this was well worth it. And yes, I’ll still bake for you. But my veggies will always be prettier. They deserve it =)
*falls off soapbox*
If you read this entire thing and don’t want to throw a cupcake in my face then I basically owe you the biggest hug ever =) Thank you <3 Love you guys dearly! Now go eat your veggies!
Ooh! And leave me a comment telling me your favorite thing to do with produce!