Monday, 18 May 2009

Let them eat cake

When you find yourself eyeing up the cake you are putting into your three-year-old's lunchbox as a viable breakfast option you know things just aren't going your way.

Firstly, you feel guilty for putting such a sinful treat in his packed lunch to start off with, never mind that my childhood was fuelled on Monster Munch, Sherbert Dips and Findus frozen pizzas, I start to feel those maternal twinges of despair if I allow my son so much as white bread for his sandwiches or an indulgent pack of Organix snacks.

But despite such middle class angst I can't help but feel kids are missing out by my demonising the very foods I was addicted to as child. Back in the 70s when I was a young 'un nothing could beat a trip to the sweet shop with is jars filled with glittering treasure of dark purple cough candy twists, with their peculiar aniseed flavour, rough as sandpaper rhubarb and custard lozenges and inky dark Blackjacks that would stay glued to your teeth for hours. A dentist's nightmare, but the highlight of my week.

Secondly, even though the cake is carrot I doubt it would count as one of my five-a-day, unless that would be the five things I tell myself every morning that I will not give in to. Now that's a target I find it easy to meet and by the end of the day I can be pretty sure that I will have hit my daily tally and scoffed the full spectrum of biscuits, cake, chocolate, crisps and wine.

Mind you I will have to break this proud record soon if I am to avoid the embarrassment that accompanied my first son's first day at his school nursery, when one of the kindly teachers asked me when I was due and I had to admit that I wasn't pregnant, just fat. The poor woman couldn't look me in the eye for the rest of the 18 months he was there. As son number two starts there in September I'd better get a wriggle on as the period of grace that allows me to blame my belly on the twins is fast running out.

Come to think of it perhaps it's a good idea I am working hard stopping my sons from following in my footsteps when it comes to my love, love relationship with food. Perhaps I should chase after the three-year-old to wrest that cake out of his lunchbox - it's for his own good after all.


  1. Oh Ursula, you do make me snigger.

    My son is soooo envious of the tales of the unhealthy things I used to sell when I was on school tuck shop duty... crisps, corn snacks, toffee pop biscuits. He has to sell fruit and crumpets.

    I too put "unhealthy" stuff in his lunch bag now and again, and he squeals with delight when I rant about dinner ladies frowning... "If they have a problem they can talk to me about it, and we'll see who'll back down first!"

  2. Personally I would say that carrot cake is one of your five-a-day!

    I have an award for you over at mine. A Lovely blog Award. Hope you like it. RMx

  3. Ooo, lemon sherberts always my favourite. One of the delights of living in Bosnia is that the middle class angst of giving your child cake hasn't hit yet. Everyone who comes round brings them chocolate. A whole bar of chocolate each. Obviously I confiscate it and munch it quietly myself after they have gone to bed, surpressing feelings of guilt as it is better for them really, although they wouldn't see it like that.

  4. I have often horrified myself by the things I eat off the children's plates - half-finished fish fingers, broccoli stalks... I think carrot cake from a lunch box is nothing to worry about (from the theft point of view, but from the weight-gain point of view... maybe).

  5. This is actually disgusting but I put a whole cream egg in my mouth the other day; the kids had dropped it and I wouldn't let them eat it (well not off my kitchen floor anyway!) So, I put it on the side and then spied it later on in the evening, because I was typing, I decided to just shove the whole lot in errghhh. I need a diet re-think

  6. Ooh I'm with you on eyeing up the children's food...All those 'treats' we have in the cupboard - they're really for me!! Btw - I wrote a post about mistaking a non-pregnant woman for a pregnant one - you should have a look if yo get a moment (oh so likely I know)!! There are some funny comments of empathy from both sides... (