Do It Better…At The Movies

Do It Better…At The Movies

What’s your favorite movie treat? Mine is Raisinets. Now that I finally got around to taking Scarlett to her first movie, the girl can’t get enough. It was in January at the tail end of her chicken pox lockdown. I thought it would be a splashy and exciting excursion since she’d never gone. And, big surprise, she loved the experience, except the sitting still and quiet for over an hour part. Of course, by experience, I mean the tray of nutritional suicide that I got her.  Before we went I had a discussion with myself about how to handle the concession stand.  Pretend that it’s only open on Halloween? It’s a soup kitchen doling out healthy meals to people who forgot to eat lunch? Only kids above 50 inches can visit? I decided to go all in. After all, the kid has suffered enough. I got the promotional snack tray that included a chocolate egg, big popcorn and orange drink. She went beserk. I decided next time, I’d do it better.

A few weeks later Ceri and I got to talking about how most parents end up in my position. You go to bed every night thinking tomorrow will be the day. You know the day I’m talking about. The day of nutritional perfection that never comes. The one where every meal is organic, healthy and homemade. Nothing is processed. Nothing has sugar, or worse, high fructose corn syrup. And, oh yea, their table manners are impeccable. But then the little person wakes -up an hour earlier than their norm, she insists on wearing a shirt you shrunk to half its size and now isn’t even appropriate for a Hooters let alone a preschool class and you forgot the last of your eggs went to school the day before for an Easter activity. Suddenly, breakfast is the processed, sugary cereal in the cabinet. Ceri and I decided, as parents, we have to tackle one detail at a time and try to do them better. Maybe, eventually, they will add up to a full day of good.

Our next visit to the movie, I decided to do better. Scarlett could get some popcorn, but not the rest of the bells and whistles. I want her to still relish the distracting enjoyment of the movies, but it doesn’t have to mean we board the mothership of sugar every time.

Considered a great source of fiber, popcorn is the lesser of all the evils. I brought two extra paper lunch bags and divided the popcorn into them. I figured portion control was the key too. I told her the extra bags were so we can save the popcorn. She thought it was a great idea. (She ended up forgetting about them.) We also brought her favorite fruit, strawberries, and her own water canteen. I was able to sidestep the brightly packaged candy, conveniently displayed at children’s eye level. I won’t always be able to do that I realize, but I don’t  have to go full bore either. Maybe next time we’ll divide up a box of raisinet. Of course, we’ll have  fruit and water too.

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  1. Natalee
    April 22, 08:25 Reply

    some theatres have frozen yogurt now and popcorn is fine and yeah water never pop (which turns them into crazy people). I love the idea of bring fruit but ou can get jellybears made of fruit juice that they love too. But why do they have to spend 1.5 hours mindlessly eating? Why can’t they just enjoy the movie? But then I worked in a theatre as a teenager and that broke my eating anything those places serve instinct. I know I’m bagging on here you hit at least 3 nerves! I buy them popsicles made from fruit and they have popsicles for breakfast all the time! My battle is the school that gives them free access to granola bars and minimuffins and snacks all day long.

  2. anna
    April 22, 09:35 Reply

    When I was a kid and we got to go to the movies, like once a year, it was a huge deal! My parents, quasi-hippie types, would sneak in a grocery bag, in those days they were made of paper, of air popped popcorn smothered with nutritional yeast (we called it yummy yeast)……and we were blissfully happy! Somehow I just can’t see that happening now…….

  3. Barbara Yankoski
    April 27, 11:36 Reply

    AT the end of the day, as a mom you just do your best. My eldest, now 43, started every school day complaining about breakfast. She was not a morning kid and grumped under a blanket until I started making huge oatmeal, flax, raisen, cranberry cookies and simply handed her one wrapped in a paper towel with a few pieces of apple or orange in a plastic baggie and sent her off to school. She is now the Prouduce Manager of an organic market and is a stickler about what her own children eat. Stop worrying. Think of some of the things you consumed as kids, like Tang etc and you turned our pretty good.

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