Thursday, August 02, 2012

The "Parental No" Files - Organized Kid Sport Edition

These parental nos come from blog reader Lauren de Bruin's sister-in-law. You see Lauren's sister-in-law and her husband are enthusiastic competitive athletes and their 4 year old son is happily following in their footsteps.

That photo up above? That's a photo of the race kit that was provided to kids who participated in the "Kids of Steel" triathlon that took place as part of the 2012 ITU World Cup Triathlon tour.

What's a, "Kids of Steel" triathlon? Well for a 4 year old it's a 25m swim, a 1km cycle and a 200m run. My guess is the little guy maybe burned 100 calories doing the whole thing.

That race kit up above? The one that no parent or kid knows what's included until it's actually opened? My calculations have it containing 450 calories and 15 teaspoons of sugar.

(Want to know what was in his Mom's race kit? A bottle of water, orange wedges and a banana.)

But that's ok. His Mom could just say "No". I mean that wouldn't put a damper on the day, would it? And even if it would, she could, couldn't she?

So sad that a day of healthy activity can be bought by Big Food who likely either donated the treats, or perhaps even paid for the right to distribute them, to the very kids who they claim not to target.

But at least parents can just say no.

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  1. Alexie7:38 am

    Brilliant idea for a series. Keep it up.

  2. There are so many things I could comment on this that I'm having a hard time just picking one angle. I'm not a parent, but I am a recreational runner/triathlete who participates in lots of organized events every year. As a participant, we are always looking for "value for our race dollar" which includes the quality of the post-race goodie bag we get. Most of the goodies in the bag are donated, so the race director doesn't have a lot of control over what goes in them. They get LOTS of feedback from participants that the goodie bag wasn't substantial enough. They are definitely NOT thinking about "What would some healthy options for the participants/kids be?" Most people (race directors and recreational athletes included) still think of granola bars as a healthier option than cookies, still think that juice is better for you than pop, and still think that exercise needs to be rewarded with sugary treats. I'd be willing to bet that most parents at that event were perfectly OK with the content of that post-race goodie bag for their kids, and completely disappointed in the contents of their own (fruit and water, sometimes we even get HALF A BAGEL!!).

  3. That's truly scandalous!

  4. I am not a kid, not a parent, not a competitive athlete,but I would not eat anything in that race kit. I agree, it is scandalous. Race organizers have a responsibility to , well , at least not be complete whores fir 'race dollars'.

  5. A big problem is that despite paying lip service to feeding kids a variety of healthy foods, many (most?) people think that a limited diet of mostly processed and junk food is the appropriate diet for children, that they will grow out of it or schools can teach them to appreciate real foods that their parents won't serve to them at home.