Everyone knows that parent the one that is so proud because their kid has never touched a french fry. They say it like it is some sort of badge of honor. They brag about how they have resisted the temptation and are doing what’s best for their kids by making them eat some sort of natural wheat grain, tofu thing that is not only inconvenient but probably also tastes like what I can only imagine the color gray tastes like.
Should your kids eat fast food?
Most parents would answer that with a resounding no. Well, most parents are wrong. “Fast food isn’t good for anyone,” they say, and they are correct for the most part.
I agree that fast food is the exact opposite of whatever healthy food is. I won’t even get into the fact that it is expensive. Almost every soon-to-be-parent I talk to plans to avoid this poison whenever possible. Well, I am not most parents.
But, even knowing all this I take my kids out for fast food, and not just I am too lazy to make a real meal. We go for fun. Hardly a week goes by where my kids are not treated to some form of fast food. It could be a family pizza, a Happy Meal, a taco, or a sandwich.
For those already on their way to the comments ready to educate me, I know fast food menus are made up of unhealthy, low-quality, high-calorie food that only had three redeeming qualities. It tastes good, It’s easy, and it come with a toy.
I know it shouldn’t be a staple of any one’s diet. But I don’t care. You see, Well with a little bit of management the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
What are the benefits you ask? I am just going to assume you have had pizza so I don’t need to explain this to you. It’s a treat that makes my kids happy. Why would I want to deprive my kids or more importantly why would I deprive myself of pizza? I mean, it’s pizza.
The kids love it
One of the biggest benefits of a fast food restaurant is how excited my girls get when we go there. Sometimes, when my wife is at work and the girls get out of school early we will go out for lunch.
It’s something special we get to do together. Right now, they are still young enough to enjoy my company. Or more accurately dependant on me for a ride how so they pretend to enjoy my company.
I don’t have that many years left before they are embarrassed to be seen with me out in public. Right now we can go someplace relatively cheap and the girls are thrilled to go out with me.
But these aren’t the only benefits of going out to a fast food burger joint. The playground at the restaurant can be a blessing on a rainy day, and sometimes that little toy can be the thing that saves my sanity on a long car trip.
Let’s not forget the greatest benefit of taking the kids to fast food. I get to cheat on my diet and tell my wife, “It’s for the kids”.
Now I am going to let you into my secret to eating fast food with my kids. We don’t do it every day and practice moderation. My girls don’t eat entire value meals, they aren’t allowed to gorge on the pizza and will often split a meal with me or each other.
Or if we are being more accurate, they will each get a meal and I will eat any french fries they don’t eat. But I am still going to count that as shareing.
But the secret is to remember fast food is a treat and only eat it in moderation. A little bit can go a long way. For example, in a McDonald’s Happy Meal, each kid gets an entire cheeseburger, fries, yogurt, and soft drink.
They will eat maybe half the burger, some of their fries or some of the yogurt, and that’s it. Often the soft drink is swapped out for milk, lemonade or apple juice. A little fast food won’t hurt. Like anything too much is bad. Water for example. Too much water can be harmful, and not just if you’re underneath it
Fast food isn’t something to avoid or to be scared of. It is a treat. Something that is great in moderation.
You are not a better parent by denying you kids these foods. Your just a jerk that is keeping your kid from enjoying things
Watch how much your kids are eating when not at a fast food place. Make sure there is some salads or something that isn’t fried. You don’t want to do it every day, but most people eat three meals a day. If two are healthy, occasionally the third can be fast food.
My parting words for the parents who are proud to avoid fast food.
For those self-righteous parents, you are not a better parent because your kid has never been to McDonald’s. You’re just an idiot for missing out on how happy your kids could be if you treat them to a burger.
You’re missing out on the smiles as they run into the play place. The excitement when you tell them where you are going. And most of all, you’re missing out on the french fries. Because french fries are awesome.
Enjoy fast food. It isn’t the best thing you can eat but it isn’t the danger many would like you to believe. Just remember it’s a treat, not a staple. Have fun and now enjoy your dinner.
If you want to read about the other places I take my girls that people will disapprove of check out. 5 Reasons I Drink Beer In Front Of My Kids .