Holly Robinson Peete on Kids' Nutrition and Too Much Candy
My husband, Rodney Peete, is an ex-athlete, so you'd think he'd be a health nut, right? NO! He's a total candy freak! He's into Mike and Ikes, Hot Tamales, Dots and all of those other kinds of candy that stick to your teeth and won't come out with toothpaste and a toothbrush.
When I first met Rodney in 1992, I thought it was cute. I'd get into his car and there'd be Blow Pop wrappers all over. Then we'd go to the movies and he'd buy me giant boxes of Good & Plenty and Jujubes and Starburst. But now it's 2009, and we have four kids that have all of these dental issues, and no matter how much I beg him, he just won't STOP it with the candy.
Rodney pretends to hide the candy, but our kids have serious candy radar. They can smell sugary sweets a mile away. They're addicted to candy just like he is. He hides his stash but they know where it is (it's so thinly veiled!). Once he actually told me that he BONDS with the kids over candy! He makes secret pacts with them and then feels closer to them when they go out for some cotton candy. I tell him, "You want to bond? You were a pro-football player! Go in the yard and throw some balls around with your children. Take your daughter for a manicure. Both of those activities will be great for the kids—and won't cause cavities!"
I make Rodney take the kids to the dentist so he can deal firsthand with all of the drama and pain. It's such an issue. There is so much decay in those kids' mouths even though they brush their teeth all the time. (I think it's partially genetic: You either have strong teeth or you don't. They don't.)
Don't get me wrong: I love candy, too. Growing up, I was addicted to Nestle Crunch bars. My mom was a total heath nut. To her, candy was those sesame seed honey things. Yuck! So I'd go over to our neighbor's house across the street and scarf their Tastykakes and real sugar stuff. But I know better now and I've stopped. My husband needs to stop, too!
It drives me nuts. Overall, Rodney's a great dad, but this candy thing has got to end. I want him to set a good example for our kids' nutrition. Down the line this is going to cost us so much money. Seriously, if we got back all the money that we've spent on dental bills, we'd be loaded. Why can't my husband just get on the same page and stop this crazy candy thing now?
To hear more about Holly Robinson Peete's life with her husband, former pro quarterback Rodney Peete, and their four kids, check out the Peetes'radio show. What else is on Holly Robinson Peete's mind?
Check out Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete's children's book My Brother Charlie
, a powerful story about autism and family.