Dear mom at story time,
I see you stashing that wrapper in your pocket after giving your son a snack.
I see you eying your friend’s kids running around with their Horizon brand boxed milks. I notice your kids’ drinks are in cups.
I overhear your conversation with your friend about her most recent shopping trip.
She had all of her kids with her, one had skipped a nap and she just couldn’t make it out of the store fast enough before the tantrums started.
You commiserated, assured her that every mom goes through this (we really do!) and gave her a hearty pep talk.
Then she says “And to make it all worse, they didn’t have any organic spinach so I didn’t even get everything I needed. What was I supposed to do? Feed my kids that GMO crap?”
Being a family farmer, ag college graduate and a mom, that sentence couldn’t help but catch my attention. Forgetting my manners, I turned and looked right at your table.
I saw you squirm, shoving the wrapper from your son’s Kroger brand string cheese further into your pocket, your eyes on the floor as you said, “Yeah… that’s the worst.”
Your friend didn’t notice, but I did. I wanted to give you a hug.
I wanted to introduce myself, spout off my credentials and launch into a huge explanation about why you shouldn’t hide your food wrappers or be ashamed of what you feed your kids.
I wanted to tell you that you aren’t doing anything wrong and your friend isn’t doing anything special, food is food!
But I knew you’d be mortified if your cover was blown and hun, the last thing I wanted to do was make you feel worse.
So tonight I’m writing to you and every other mom out there like you.
Maybe this popped up on your Pinterest feed or your Facebook timeline. Maybe a friend tweeted it to you or a mom in your playgroup shared it.
I hope so, because you need to hear it.
You are doing a good job feeding your kids.
Did you get that?
YOU…that’s right, YOU with the bags under your eyes.
YOU are doing a good job.
Your kids are healthy. Your kids are growing up strong and happy and well fed and loved.
Because of you!
Because you feed them a balanced diet.
Because you make sure they are eating their fruits and vegetables.
Because you feed them protein to build their muscles and carbs to fuel their energy and somehow get them to eat it!
Because you let them enjoy a treat every now and then but still manage to teach them that they can’t live on ice cream alone.
YOU mama – YOU are doing a good job feeding your kids!
So don’t think for one second that you have done something wrong just because you didn’t buy food with the same labels as your friend.
Here’s the cold hard truth: When it comes down to it, labels don’t make food healthy.
Science has NEVER proven that organic foods are any more nutritious than non-organic.
In fact, this misconception has become so widespread that there are entire websites dedicated to educating people about the facts about organic and non-organic foods.
Like SafeFruitsandVeggies.com, a website run by The Alliance for Food and Farming, a non-profit organization comprised of BOTH organic and conventional farmers.
So mama, let me make something clear to you: its none of my business what you feed your kids.
If you want to buy organic because you prefer organic farming practices, go right ahead.
If you want to grow all of your own heirloom vegetables in your backyard, knock yourself out.
If you only want to feed your kids beef from organic, grassfed steers with black hides, go for it.
If that particular label is important to you and makes you happy then by all means, do it!
But don’t you dare criticize another mom for choosing to feed her kids food with a different label on it.
Because when we get down to the facts, its just a label and she’s just a mom.
A mom just like you who is working her butt off to do a good job feeding, caring for and loving her kids.
So mama, don’t you hide your food wrappers. Remind yourself that your kids are fed, your kids are loved and YOU are doing a good job!