You know those Facebook memories that pop up and let you reminisce about the years past? Well, today (the day after Halloween) apparently mine for the past 7 years went a little something like this…”Halloween Hangover in the Boudreaux house.” It was eerily like Groundhog Day for me. My kids were suffering from severe sugar hangovers and I seriously feel sorry for their teachers today. They didn’t have a ton of candy last night, but obviously enough combined with a late bedtime that it made a HUGE difference.
I took them to school and came home to clean up a bit. What I found in my son’s room kind of stopped me in my tracks. Not to sound melodramatic, but it seriously deflated me. I had to sit down.
He had squirreled away a bowl full of candy wrappers. And no, they weren’t chocolate. It was full of the ones I don’t allow them to eat. The dye filled ones. All of them.
And in that moment, I realized it could all backfire.
Am I unknowingly teaching my kids bad eating habits while trying to foster the good ones?
Am I creating food issues that will haunt them for the rest of their lives?
Wow. I honestly don’t know, but in that instant, it became a very real possibility to me.
I know as dye free advocates, we’re this teeny, tiny group of teetotalers and it’s super hard to be honest. I know a lot of us fall off the wagon sometimes and we’re afraid to admit it and since I blog about it, I feel extra awful admitting my kids had food dye, but you know what? I don’t care anymore. I always set out to be 100% honest and transparent and I’m not stopping now.
So here’s my true confession for today: my kids do sometimes have food dyes. Sometimes they’re mistakes and sometimes they’re not.
But you know what?
It’s ok. It’ll all be ok. Finding that bowl of candy wrappers made me realize that I need to practice a little more moderation. I never want to saddle my children with food issues they’ll never outgrow. Is never allowing them food dye guaranteeing a teen and adult that becomes obsessed with dye filled treats? Maybe. Maybe not. I know one thing, I sure don’t want to find out when it’s too late.
Will we suffer the consequences by allowing a bit more moderation? Absolutely. But I realize that as my kids grow, I have to loosen the reins a bit and allow a teeny bit of freedom in. And you know what? It feels good. It feels like a weight has been lifted somewhat. I get tired of being 100%, 100% of the time and pretty sure my kids do too.
So, for now, we might include a few more exceptions and be ok with it. And, hopefully, I can teach my kids that everything in moderation is not always a bad thing.