I Need a Food Revolution

By Kate |

Major mama confessions… The following is a conversation with my son this afternoon:

Preschool Boy: My favorite restaurant is McDonald’s.

Me, my hanging head in shame: Why?

Preschool Boy: Because you can get dragons.

Me: Oh.

Preschool Boy: And I get chicken nuggets… and fries… and dragon toys.

So, clearly I have failed my child. While I’m not a bona fide foodie I do like good eats, and to refer to McDonald’s as his favorite restaurant is a little troubling. On many levels.

While I’m annoyed that a fast food restaurant has so clearly targeted and reached my 3 year old, by including toys with the meals like the dragon toys from How to Train Your Dragon that my son begs to own, I have no one to blame but myself. (And, if I’m being honest, I like eating at McDonald’s. I’m sorry, but nothing beats a cold fountain Coke with McDonald’s fries so I totally give in when he asks to go.)

But, I hate that I turn to McDonald’s for a quick meal as we’re rushing home from gymnastics class for nap time. I mean, as a friend of mine said to me recently, “YOU go to McDonald’s? Miss, I-make-all-my-kid’s-organic-baby-food-Kate is giving her kids McDonald’s?” Ugh. Yes, yes, I am.

I think just about any food is okay in moderation, but clearly we’ve passed moderation when my son claims its his favorite restaurant and begs to go eat there for toys.

I need a food revolution. What about you?



Kate started The Shopping Mama™ in January 2009 when, after graduating law school, she traded in online legal research and writing for locating the best products for children. She shops for three kids ages 8, 6 and 3 from their home in Japan. Her military family is making the most of back-to-back overseas assignments by traveling every chance they get.

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  1. 1.

    I know. It’s Rylan’s favorite too and honestly we don’t go there all that often. But with our busy lifestyles, we do eat out far too often and my waistline can vouch for that.

  2. 2.
    Shannon Kelly

    Kate, you are fine. A trip to McDonald’s every now and then is no big deal. And for your son to say it is his favorite restaurant is no big deal. Kids can hear a book once and recite it. If he had a good experience their just once, he’d claim it as his favorite restaurant. You’re right, they do know how to impress the toddler/preschool set.

    I had my own food revolution a couple of years ago when trying to save my gallbladder. Alas, it had to go when I had a major attack at 38 weeks pregnant. Since then, I’ve been pretty good and I was stoked to see Jamie Oliver begin his project. The part that saddens me is that our school lunches are in such a illogical mess and that it takes an outsider to fix this. I am pro-American, but am disappointed at every turn these days with culture, environmental issues, politics, etc. What are we thinking (or rather, not thinking)?

    Sorry, that’s probably way more than you wanted for responses.

    • .

      Is at least once a week every now and then? Because that’s how often we go. I totally agree that in moderation and not too often is fine, but I’m afraid I’ve grown to rely on it too much.

      And, I love your tangent / response, Shannon! 🙂

  3. 3.

    Oh man I need a food revolution too! Seriously it’s not that I hate cooking totally but cooking for a family of five that complains is so discouraging. And that fountain coke sounds so good right now.

    • .

      It can be SO discouraging, Brittany. My son is so picky and he is so fidgety and difficult during dinner that it makes it unpleasant. It should be a nice family time, but more often than not I find it entirely stressful.

      But, I do cook dinner most nights. It’s lunch (and when my husband is out of town) when it’s only the kids and me that I am more likely to frequent the fast food.

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  5. 5.

    I think his reason is the toys, not the food. So you are good! I have given in more lately because of the Dragon toys too. And honestly, my kid asks for fries and a dragon. I dont think he even likes the so-called nuggets.

    • .

      But I kind of hate that my son is the target of a marketing campaign for fast food, you know?

      I love the “so-called nuggets” comment. HA!

  6. 6.

    As much as I hate my kids’ food allergies, the one good part of them is that they prevent us from eating out very often. But I do buy my kids the frozen dinosaur chicken nuggets and they have those for dinner every Thursday night (the only day I work until 5!) and I’m sure those aren’t much better for you than the ones from McDonalds! I’ve learned to accept that I’m doing pretty well if most of the time my kids are eating mostly health food prepared by me.

    We can certainly all do better, but I’m not going to sweat our weekly nuggets and you shouldn’t sweat a trip to McDonalds once in a while! Who knew all the stuff you had to think about when you become a mama!?!?

  7. 7.

    I’m totally with ya. My daughter has never had pre-made baby food and now that we’re on to solids she’s getting more and more processed things being introduced. I feel like such a hypocrite everytime I give her something that I didn’t make from scratch! Who am I kidding? Who is going to judge me? I mean I did more for her than anyone I know did for their kids. I’ve resolved to just keep myself in check and do the best I can. No excuses but honestly if I thought I could go 18 years without giving my kid salted, tasty fries from Mc’D’s then I was seriously deranged. I mean… I can’t even go 1 month without partaking. If my kid could talk she’s probably say “quit giving me this crap, I want Mc’D’s!”

  8. 8.

    We totally need a food revolution! My daughter has become quite picky and pretty much lives on chicken tenders, spaghetti and hot dogs (ewwwww, I know). She used to love veggies and now won’t usually touch them. My husband and I recently started dieting, so hopefully everyone’s eating habits will get better.

    Keep us posted on your revolution…maybe I can get some ideas from you!

  9. 9.

    I LOVED the toys when I was a kid. Honestly, I think a lot of it is about the joy of french fries and small toys…

  10. 10.

    My little one loves “Old McDonald’s” as she calls it – not for the food or the toys, but for the playground! One of the local McDs has an indoor playground – a must whether it’s 100 or 40 degrees outside. She doesn’t ask for the toy – she asks for Dr. Pepper…so I’m right there with you.

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