The Almighty Goldfish

When to start solids? This question only really makes sense to a mother. I eagerly waited for the answer to this question to be “NOW” with my first child. I was so excited to enter a the world of solids and spent embarrassingly long hours researching the best solids to start. After my second child, I accepted the one and only boring answer: rice cereal.  I did, however,  take my one choice and ran with it…organic or non-organic. I searched far and wide for the best organic choices in baby food. I actually ordered online a case of a variety of baby foods with my first child only to find out that a close by store sold them all too.

The next year and a half of my oldest child’s life were spent choosing only organic, naturally sweetened foods while vehemently avoiding the ever dreaded refined sugar! I believed I was setting my child up for a lifetime of wise choices of only organic, fair trade, free range foods! I proudly served her only “nature’s candy” of blueberries, strawberries and bananas. Her first birthday cake was a sugar-free block of banana flavored cardboard with homemade sugar-free syrup sweetened cream cheese frosting.

On my daughter’s second birthday, I decided to be especially easy-going and take her to the ice cream shop for her very first ice cream. She had a scoop of vanilla with M&M’s on top. I remember feeling like the most laid back, coolest parent that day for having offered her this considering her previous food upbringing. I decided that this may be okay only once a year, considering she devoured it. Little did I know that she would come to have a weekly routine with her daddy going to the ice cream shop every weekend sometimes both days!

Then, the ever-changing moment occurred and I don’t even know exactly when it happened. I unwittingly gave my child, or rather, she probably just picked one up at some park or any other child populated place…the omnipresent, GOLDFISH.

I still do not fully understand what happened. I even tried to reverse this change by offering the organic version of bunny or duck but it never stood a chance. Something about a fish-shaped cheesy cracker has taken over our children. There is no substitute!

What is it about this fish?? It needs its own rehabilitation program,  which would be impossible considering that you cannot escape them. Every mother either has them on hand or has a few stray layering their bag or car floor. Every party features them in a bowl and every end cap of any store has them on display screaming to every child as they walk by. They are inescapable!

My child’s food habits became a slippery slope after the Goldfish but I also learned some life balance from this bite sized fish. When it comes to food, does it really matter if the lollipop we are handing out as a bribe is organic?! Will my children internally combust if I let them eat birthday cake WITH sugar and two inches of icing?! I think I can now confidently answer, NO, to that question. And it feels good. While I constantly strive to provide the best in foods, books, movies, shows, etc. I have learned that balance is a more important thing for which to strive. So now I clap my hands in front of my oatmeal crusted shirt and I bow to the Goldfish.

4 thoughts on “The Almighty Goldfish

  1. You crack me up! “nature’s candy” 😀
    I think the fact that so MANY mothers feel they have to go the extreme, healthy way with their first, or they are a bad parent, is a shame. Like you said, there is a balance, and children’s lives won’t end if/when they eat non-organic foods. 😉
    P.S. ALL three of my children are addicted to goldfish crackers (but, hey…I buy the “Whole Grain” variety….) lol

  2. I love your description! It sounds so much like me 🙂 And my son also went from eating organic veggies and fruits to now eating mostly veggie “chicken nuggets” (which taste much like the real thing) and bunnies. I always got him organic bunnies! And yet he started demanding goldfish. I found out they have them at school for kids who don’t like what has been carefully packed in their lunch boxes. My son cried for 5 minutes the other night when I told him we only had bunnies.. but he eventually gave in. I have no idea what he’s going to eat when he gets older 🙂

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