“Is this the real stuff?” my daughter asks warily.
What she wants to know is: ‘Has it been cut?’
She is right to be suspicious because that is what I do. I cut the product.
I wasn’t always this sneaky.
My first child was virtually refined ‘sugar-free’ for a long time.
Family members grumbled and made comments like, “What are you going to give her for Easter? An avocado?” But the world is a sugary place and it couldn’t go on forever…. Once she tasted the sweet stuff, I knew the golden era of perfect eating was over.
That was okay, but I still wanted to keep things as healthy as possible.
I got the idea from a re-run of Miami Vice – an easy way to shrink the sugar intake was to make like a sleazy kingpin and cut the goods. It was a eureka moment in an otherwise sluggish, too-tired/lazy to turn off the TV and go to bed situation.
There was a learning curve and if I really were a drug lord I would’ve been killed and left in an alley long ago (hundreds of times over). Fortunately, my product is much more benign (cereal, flavoured yogurt, and juice) and duping my ‘clients’ isn’t dangerous.
It is all about finding the perfect ratio.
Mix plain Cheerios with sweet treat Honey Nut ones at 50/50 and you’re golden. It is still a ‘treat’ cereal. They don’t get it often but when they do, it is half as bad and just as tasty. Go 60/40 and you’ll get complaints so why even bother?
Yogurt is the same. Two tablespoons of plain mixed with two tablespoons of the fruit-flavoured ones (that would more accurately be described as pudding) is truly delicious. The alternative is serving all plain with a generous teaspoon of jam and letting them mix their own.
With juice the ratio is more like 80/20 juice to water. Any more water, and the kids start to get cranky. I’ve pushed the limits and that is why my two-year old insists on watching like a hawk when I pour the good stuff.
“Pour it here!’ she shouts. “I want to seeeeee!!!!”
“You need to relax,” I tell her. “Hey, is that a squirrel out there?” She’s no fool but the second she looks away, I am going to add some water.
In the words of Tony Montana: I always tell the truth. Even when I lie.
What other things can be ‘cut’ and still taste great? Does anyone else do this? Does anyone have any other valuable insights from the criminal underworld? Please share your thoughts.
2 thoughts on “Parenting Like an 80s Drug Lord”
I used to cut the juice with water too. And my kids, too, caught on and I had to get sneakier with it. I love your analogy to a drug lord – that’s great!
We also cut chocolate milk. We drink skim milk and lots of it. Every once in awhile, we’ll get a half gallon of chocolate milk. We typically mix it with skim milk at least 1:1, often more skim than chocolate. Even the kids have decided that having chocolate milk longer is worth it being weaker, so they are regularly adding more skim milk to the chocolate milk carton. That’s the only mixing they’ve ever agreed with though.
Thanks for your comment and suggestion! I think that chocolate milk is the perfect thing to cut – I love it but find it a little too thick so this this might actually make it better! And, as your children have figured out, last longer which is worth a lot.