Friday, February 17, 2012

Shopping with the "Food Police"

This is my son, A.K.A. "The Food Police."  He is currently taking a health class in school, and is learning about nutrition.  Until just recently, he didn't really care about what he ate.  This past week, however, things have suddenly changed.  Now is he worried about trans fats, sodium, and his cholesterol.  While I am all for being healthy, his sudden change in eating habits is actually kind of annoying.  Yesterday, I poured myself a glass of pop to drink and was told I shouldn't drink it because it is full of sugar and sodium. I want to enjoy my pop, not be lectured by my son, thank you very much.   Today we had a day off of school for winter break.  I decided that he should come along with me to the grocery store, because he wanted me to buy a long list of "healthy" items.  The only problem with his long list, we try to stay on a grocery budget, and his list would definitely break that budget.  I wanted him to see how to expensive food prices really are, and also have him  help pick out the healthy foods.  There have been many weeks that I have had to throw out produce, because it sat mostly untouched by picky kids.

He takes a packed lunch to school everyday. One of the items he likes in his lunch is a pudding cup.  Here he compares the labels between fat free Meijer pudding, and another brand of regular pudding.  After much thought, he went with the fat free.

One of his favorite foods "was" Hot Pockets four meat, four cheese pizza.  He informed me that he is no longer going to eat them anymore. (we will see how long that lasts) Here he  is looking at the back of the box and telling me how unhealthy it was.

Shopping took a bit longer today  than it normally does.  I ran into a friend I had not seen in awhile.  Then he constantly stopped and read the labels.  Add to that, my coupons were not organized, so it took me longer to find what I needed.  He started to get impatient about halfway through the shopping trip, but we finally finished the task.

He was surprised how quickly the price of our groceries added up.  I brought along a calculator to show him.  I told him what the budget was, and showed him how much we were over before coupons. I also showed him how to chose between two items when one was on sale and very similar in nutritional value to the other one.  I think he now understands that grocery shopping for me each week,  is not just throwing random items in the cart.

I was hoping he would unload the cart for me, but right after I took the picture above, he got mad and jumped in the car. He was mad that I was taking pictures of him instead of helping unload.  He had reached his limit. Two hours of grocery shopping for a kid with Aspergers is like an eternity.  I quickly got the food into the car, and on the way home I found out the following things.

The 3 things he learned while shopping, according to him.
1. Grocery shopping takes way too long.
2. Grocery shopping makes his feet hurt. He whined about it constantly.
3. Grocery shopping is BORING!

His 5 Top Tips to be  healthy

5. Be sure to look at the labels on the food.  A lot is not as healthy as we think.
4. Eat whole grain breads, they are healthier than white.
3. Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet.
2. A balanced diet and exercise daily, will help keep you healthy
1. His most important tip..  Stay away from foods that have high fructose corn syrup and are hydrogenated. .

Since I had no idea what hydrogenated really was...   this is what he told me..
"When something is hydrogenated, it mean that extra hydrogen was added.  It helps the product last longer, but it  is also a man made trans fat, and not good for you."   It's weird learning that from your 12 year old.

The healthy items that were in our cart.

The small "healthier" choices he made today.  He asked for 1% milk instead of 2%.  He chose a lite syrup to eat on his waffles.  Instead of taking chips in his lunch box, he now wants tortilla chips and salsa.  He also switched to fat free pudding, instead of  the regular version.

The items he told me that I shouldn't buy, but I did anyway.  He says he will not eat any of the cinnamon rolls because it has some hydrogenated oil. They were on sale and I had coupons, and the rest of the family loves them.  The cereals have too much sugar for him. (he rarely eats cereal anyway) and of course my  pop.  He informed me that he doesn't mind if I drink it, but he doesn't want any.. Fine with me!

.I have a feeling he might not go shopping with me again, for a long time.  


  1. You must be so proud of him! I hope he keeps his zeal for developing healthy habits.

  2. I am proud, and occasionally annoyed. LOL! I love that he wants to eat better, but don't really like being lectured by him on what I want to eat.

  3. I think taking him with you was such a great idea for both of you. I bet he learned so much.

  4. Good on him!! We all need a little food policing every now and then ;)

  5. This was such a fun post to read! :) I enjoyed the reasons he did not like grocery shopping. :)


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