Am I Turning my Kid Into a Freak By Making Her Eat Organic?
Submitted by Deva Dalporto
I'm one of those health-foodie weirdoes. I buy all organic for my kid, we use almond butter instead of peanut, maple syrup in lieu of sugar, brown rice instead of white. It's not really my fault. I was raised by the penultimate food weirdoes—macrobiotics—and it stuck.
At school, I hated opening my lunch box. I felt like a freak when the other kids looked at my strange lunch selections. Instead of the Betty Crocker Fruit Roll-Ups everyone had, I had "fruit leather," a non-sugar version of the delectable kid snack that lived up to its moniker, i.e., it tasted like leather. No one wanted to "trade" food with me at lunch. Who would want to swap a Tollhouse cookie for an organic carob bar? Honestly, I think it scarred me a bit. I was instantly labeled "different" the minute someone peered at the contents of my lunch basket. (Nope, no cool superhero lunch pail for me. I had a basket a la Little House on the Prairie.)
And now I worry I'm doing the same thing to my daughter that my parents did to me. I fill her cups with goat's milk instead of cow's. I use quinoa instead of wheat noodles. I put flax meal in her organic whole grain pancakes. I worry that when she goes to school she'll be picked on and ostracized like I was. I don't want to sacrifice what I believe to be healthy eating habits just so she'll fit in, but I don't want her to feel like she's a freak as she munches on her organic spelt bread sandwich. I know there must be a happy medium, but I worry that if she starts eating junk she'll form bad eating habits. I struggle with what's more important: physical health or the emotional health and happiness garnered from being accepted by her peers.