In our house, we try to eat a pretty healthy diet.
I make most of our meals from scratch, choose low-sugar and whole grain varieties of things like yogurt and bread, and try to avoid too many processed foods.
My children, of course, love anything mega-sugary or arrives in a crinkly (preferably character-laden) package, but overall, they're quite decent little eaters.
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Happily, I enjoy most healthy foods, and it doesn't feel like a lot of work for me to maintain a reasonably balanced diet.
And yet, for all my care about our overall diet, there are a few foods I still secretly love that I'd be horrified to have as part of our regular family rotation.
1. Instant ramen
Frankly, I'm deeply embarrassed that I still love a good bowl of chicken ramen noodles. I mean, I've had years of CSA subscription boxes, I've eaten amazing meals from Paris to Kiev to San Francisco, and I'm proficient in the kitchen. And yet, sometimes nothing hits the spot like a big sodium-bomb bowl of that 12-cent soup. I'm properly ashamed, but apparently not enough to quit completely.
One reason I don't let my children have these is because they're terrible for you. The other is because that orange stuff is IMPOSSIBLE to get off your fingers and then it is immediately transferred to every surface in your home. But this was on my No. 1 pregnancy craving starting with my first daughter back in 2009, and I still can't kick my love for this food that's only barely a food.
3. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
I know that cold cereal is totally suspect to begin with, but I love the ease of a quick breakfast in the morning. Our pantry stays stocked with the most dull, unsweetened cereals imaginable, but I always cast a longing look at the Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which I could happily eat every day for the rest of my life. Add some fresh strawberries, and that is the nectar of the gods in my book. Instead, I'll quietly eat my plain Chex (which, to be fair, I love too).
The real reason I don't buy these is not my children's health, but because if I bought a box—especially of Cinnamon Brown Sugar or Frosted Strawberry or S'mores (should I be showing off my knowledge of Pop-Tart varieties? Probably not)—I would eat the entire box on my own before dinner tomorrow night. Paired with a glass of milk, this is my all-time favorite snack. Heaven help me if I ever bought the family-size box.
5. Nutter Butter Cookies
Keep your Oreos, people. Give me all the Nutter Butter cookies. My husband doesn't care for them at all (I find this staggering), but of all the processed cookies on the shelf, this would be my pick every time. I still remember the first time I ate them when I was 12, babysitting for a family in our neighborhood. Basically, my life has never been the same.