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Attention Restaurant Owners: It’s All Your Fault!

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Posted on September 16 2010 3:00 pm
Suzanne Venker, a.k.a. "No Bull Mom," is an author, blogger, and speaker. You can find her at www.suzannevenker.com.

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She’s at it again. First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at the National Restaurant Association’s board meeting yesterday and told the restaurateurs and executives to quit serving unhealthy foods to kids.

“We have to do more, we have to go farther, and we need your help to lead this effort,” says Obama.

The First Lady begged the folks in charge to use less butter and cream and get rid of the fries. (Being a leftist, Obama prefers ideology over facts. Butter, cream, and fries aren’t the culprit — sugar is. But that’s another subject.)

According to Obama, parents are helpless. Just as they need the government to help bail them out when they make bad financial decisions, they need restaurants to help them feed their kids. They also need restaurants to help them discipline their kids, who make relentless demands when it comes to food. They yank on Mommy’s sleeve and insist they have the fries.

“You know what gets them to drive their poor parents crazy because they just have to have something,” she said.

The answer to this dreadful problem? The choices on the menu need to be easier, says Obama. If the healthier options weren’t buried on the menu, parents could find them more easily (I guess parents these days can’t read) and wouldn’t have to deal with telling their kids “No.” Instead, they can just turn to little Joey and say, “Look, honey! All they have is apples.”

Inference: It’s not my fault. I’m not telling you you can’t have it — they are.

If I sound insensitive (and I’ve been known to), let me throw in a caveat. Parenting today is infinitely harder for many, many reasons — and eating healthy food in a world of fast food and convenience foods is certainly part of that. Many things can be done, and I’m not against some regulations in the food industry. My beef is with our leadership’s total and complete disregard for the ultimate keeper of children’s health: parents.

In Michelle Obama’s fight against obesity, she has rarely (if ever) addressed the parents of America. In typical left-wing fashion, she shoots at a different target: schools and businesses. This approach is off the mark — it is parents who need to be targeted. They are the folks who must take on the lion’s share of the responsibility in seeing that their kids eat right.

There will be those who put up roadblocks: “But we can’t cook healthy meals anymore because we’re too busy!” Or “It’s too expensive to eat right!” Or “We can’t control what our kids eat when we’re not around so the schools and businesses are responsible, too!”

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