I have it on good authority that the Easter Bunny has seen the light. Found Jesus, if you will. She’s had it with sub-par sweets and is turning over a new leaf. No more chemical food dyes, artificial flavorings or otherwise un-real nonsense for her little bunnies. No way, Jose.
And boy, am I happy to hear that.
I’ve long-since abandoned the almost unconscious assumption that our food supply is filled with clean, even “real” food. It’s not hard to do, these days, as the truth is ever-more in our faces about the crud, including MSG (It’s not just at Chinese restaurants, folks; you’d be amazed at where they stick it!), pesticides and GMO’s contained in so many of the foods and brands we’ve long trusted and consumed.
I’m not just talking about fast food. That’s a no-brainer. I’m talking about everything else, including school lunches. And there’s nothing sweet about it, as it turns out, when you actually begin reading labels and asking questions.
Who really wants that garbage in their kids’ growing bodies, mucking things up? Not me.
What a pain in the neck. To be honest, I’m a slacker at my core. All this extra work just makes me cranky, but you gotta do what you gotta do. You don’t have to tell me twice about the potential consequences of all of the junk our society has long fed our children.
No, I really don’t obsess about what goes on in my kids’ friends’ homes when they’re there, or fret about the occasional treat or garden bounty offered by a loving friend or neighbor, but geesh, when it comes to making choices about what goes on my own table every night – or in my Halloween trick-or-treat bowl, or in my kids’ Easter baskets? Yep, it’s about time they got a makeover, too.
To be honest, I’m not 100 percent sure what’s going in my kids’ baskets as I’ve been stashing stuff in my closet like a squirrel. Just like I do every Christmas Eve, though, tonight I’ll drag it all out and see what’s what. And just like I do at Christmas, I’ll probably end up belly laughing about the odd stuff and duplicates I picked up.
I’m sure there will be a few surprises, but they’ll be good ones, this year. But I’m not a total killjoy. A little sugar is definitely in the mix.
Not so much for my teenage son, though, as he’s become quite the authority on what builds a good body. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d ever hear him utter the phrase, “Wow, I had no idea mushrooms were so good for you.”
Hallelujah! So, he’ll find hard-boiled eggs (haha), his favorite Trader Joe’s jerky (Awesome – no nitrates or MSG, but it does have nasty caramel coloring. Baby steps, right?), dark chocolate and a soccer magazine in his basket.
My daughter will love the carrots (which, while she does enjoy them, will probably be shared with the big red dog), organic cheddar bunnies and organic jelly beans (I think I picked those up at Fruitful Yield, but I bet there are great goodies, too, at Soup to Nuts.), and she’ll be thrilled with the bag of organic lollipops I found on the shelf at Jewel, all cozy-like amid the hundreds of other bags of conventional Easter candy.
Yes, celebrating new life with smarter treats may require a few extra bunny hops, but it seems it can be done.
And that’s sweet, if you ask me.
• Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her husband, Todd, and their two children, Noah and Holly. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.