Prescription: Doughnut

The Beaner has always been what people call "a good eater". We don't have standoffs over what he will and won't eat, he's never gone on an all-white diet or a hunger strike, and the biggest food problem we've ever had is running out of his favorite fruit of the moment. (He doesn't seem to understand that we're not just denying him when we say "there is no more mango, honey.") He's a healthy, strapping, active boy who's at the top of the weight charts, but not fat.

The main thing I worry about, I think, is his sugar intake. Ever since Al and I started eating less of the stuff, I think we've been a little more eager to give treats to the Beaner—perhaps as a means of living vicariously through him. It's not a good idea, and I've been trying to get incidental sugars out of his diet as much as possible. (The food industry seems to be conspiring against me, however, in that I'm not able to find many portable foods in child-friendly serving sizes that aren't also loaded with fat, sugar, and preservatives. Thank god for portable foods like carrots, apples, and bananas!)

I mention all this in prelude to a little story that both made me laugh and scared me to my very core: On Sunday, after I'd played my last hockey game and taken the Beaner swimming in the hotel pool, he and I went out to an early dinner together. Al wasn't feeling well (he hadn't been all weekend, sadly, which made being the parent on duty a bit hellish), so he stayed in the hotel room to sleep. I got a sandwich to go from the restaurant so Al could have some dinner, too, and then I realized that we'd be passing a Tim Horton's on the way back as well. Al had expressed a desire to stop at Tim Horton's for a donut when we'd been out the day before, but we hadn't had time.

"Are we going back to the hotowel?" asked the Beaner.

"Yes, sweetie, but first I'm going to stop here for a second."


"Because Daddy's not feeling well, and I want to make him feel better." I don't think I even mentioned that I was going to buy donuts, but the Beaner had apparently been paying attention when Al connected the location with the word "donut" ealier.

"I think I need a donut, too," he said, "because, you know, I'm not feeling so well either."

HE REALLY SAID THAT. When I posted this photo from Pike Place Market on Friday, the connection between eating and "feeling better" that the Beaner often makes was already on my mind. Now he's thinking a donut is medicinal? Uh oh.

eat this... feel better

If I thought he would forget this donut = medicine idea, I was wrong. On Monday, he spent the day sneezing icky yellow snot from his nostrils, and by the late afternoon I was worried that his affliction was catching. My glands were a bit swollen and my throat was sore, so I unwrapped a Halls cough drop to suck on (why menthol works to keep colds away, I don't know, but often a little Vicks or Halls will do the trick). The Beaner saw me peeling the paper off the red square and said, "I want one!" I said, "oh, this is medicine, buddy, not candy. I'm taking it because I'm not feeling well."

"Maybe you should have a donut," he replied.

Posted by Lori in food and parenthood at 12:06 PM on May 30, 2007


Donuts indeed make things better; it's good that the Beaner has learned this at such a tender age.

I do understand your concerns about sugar. In my opinion, moderation (treats are OK as long as we don't overdo it) is perhaps the healthiest thing we can teach our kids. It sounds like that's what you're doing with the Beaner.

Posted by: juliloquy [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 30, 2007 1:59 PM

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