For some parents, one reason to avoid organic foods for their kids' lunchboxes is the perception that their kids will be deemed snobs for eating organic. Characterizing the choice to eat organic foods as arrogant, pretentious or snobby is nothing new. But, getting past that notion is important if you want your kids to reap the benefits of a healthy, organic diet.
According to a recent Huffington Post article, the belief that organic foods are elitist isn't supported by research. In fact, families with annual incomes under $30,000 and those with children buy more organic than those with higher incomes and without children.
But reality doesn't mean it's easy to get past societal pressure not to appear snooty. After all, that TIME Magazine Dr. Oz article (Give (Frozen) Peas A Chance) lambastes the elitist organic diet as the diet of the upper one percent income bracket. So, what can you do to ease your own mind and help your kids during lunchtime? Try these three ways for keeping lunchbox foods healthy while dissuading the impression of snootiness.
Don't tell your kids that their lunchbox food is organic
If your kids don't know it's organic, they have no chance to be snobby about it, says Kimi Harris at the Mother Nature Network. Yes, you should tell your kids about healthy food and nutritional choices. But stressing organic versus conventional food could be confusing for kids. After all, the process of converting to organic, whole foods can be overwhelming even for adults. So, why expect your kids to grasp the nuances completely?
If you put a lot of stress on organic for your kids, they may see their friends' non-organic choices as inferior. Your kids can still get all the benefits of healthy, pesticide-free food without the potential for snobbery.
It can also help to make your kid's lunch exciting. If your kid is comfortable with her food, she'll be content to eat it rather than laud its healthiness. Try these five tips for packing school lunches.
Don't be a snob about organics yourself
If you still want to talk to your kids about the choice to go organic, but not have them be snobby about it, lead by example. Don't bash other parents for visiting McRestaurants on a daily basis. Don't compare your food choices to those of other families in a superior way. If your kids question the way another family eats, explain your different food choices without implying that yours are better than theirs. Try these tips on how to deal with friends and family whose food choices are different than your own.
Help your kids be secure and kind
Snobbery often comes from insecurity, Harris says. We rush to show our choices are better and make others feel inferior to boost our own self esteem. So make sure your kids are secure in themselves and their choices. If your kids are secure, they won't feel a need to act snobby. And, no, there's no perfect formula for making every kid secure in themselves. Raising kids would be simple if there was a formula! Encourage your kids to be kind and allow others to make their own choices---including whether or not they eat organics.
No matter how you choose to deal with organics in your home, or your lunchboxes, remember that you're doing the best you can for your family. And while societal pressures can be difficult, they aren't the most important part of your lives. Your nutritional choices are your own and keeping your kids happy and healthy is key.
Follow Kristi on Twitter @VeggieConverter