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Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Constipated

My family thinks I'm obsessed with crap. Not crap in my house or crap on TV or even the crap that spews out of my husband's mouth. No, it's literally crap, feces - POOP! I routinely order my older son to go poopies during bath time - every...single...night. Not only that, I gauge the quantity and quality. If it's not enough, I order him to sit on the throne and give a King sized turd. I can tell he thinks I'm crazy and the rest of the family gives me the stink eye for it - no pun intended.

But after reading an article about the rising chronic constipation problem in children, I thought to myself, "See! I'm not such a Poop Nazi, afterall!"

The three main causes, the article states, is lack of physical activity, low fiber diets and insufficient water intake. I think water intake should be the first item to consider but I agree that all three play an equally important role. Kids just don't drink enough water. But who can blame them with the vast array of beverages available in every form, color and hypocritical nutritional claim to fame. From "flavored" water to Gatorade, it's all the same and just about as nutritious as soda, in my feeble opinion.

I've taken a similar stance as many of my fellow parents around here and decided to offer my boys two choices: milk or water. They'll undoubtedly have their opportunity to indulge in juice, soda and other sugary drinks when they go to birthday parties and other kid gatherings. But at our table, the beverage is either clear or white - no exceptions. If they don't like it, I'll Waterboard them...or Milkboard, which ever.

Physical activity is hardly a problem. C'mon, they're boys! All I have to do is clean the living room and tell them not to mess it up - they'll be climbing all over the sofa and stacking pillows higher than their heads in no time. High fiber in their daily diet, however, is trickier to manage than a push up bra.

My mother had no problem feeding me high fiber as a kid because a lot of Japanese food is actually a front to clean those pipes. Roots, seaweed, pumpkin, beans - where isn't there fiber? But cooking Japanese cuisine takes time and talent and my culinary repertoire consists of various forms to shape ground beef for consumption. Besides, the last time I served brown rice to my husband he swore he crapped out his spleen.

So as a result, I sneak in fresh veggies whenever I can. It's about the only piece of advice I'd ever taken seriously from Rachael Ray. Only, I try not to smother it in processed cheese, cook them beyond recognition or drown them in ketchup - thank you very much. My secret ingredient is good ol' bacon! Hey, if it works for dogs, then why not kiddies?

Spinach, kale, collard greens - it's all edible when sauteed with bacon. Not a whole lot, mind you. Just enough to make them search for the yummy bits. Like trail mix.

All this covert operations to induct nutrition into our childrens meals makes me wonder where our diets went awry. You never saw anyone on "Little House On The Prairie" wondering if they were drinking enough water, getting enough exercise or eating enough fiber. Although, I don't remember much at all from that television show except something about tetanus and Laura falling in love with "Manly."

No, it's just me again, standing on my soapbox and spreading the word against junk food and soda. If I drove a car, I might see Pepsico's headlights in my rear view mirror a la Silkwood but that would mean we were making a difference. Take back the health of your children, people. What goes in, must come out - otherwise, we're just full of sh....!

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