Popsicles and Parent Advocacy

When an upset child has to spend any time in a hospital or emergency room, the staff's treat of choice seems to be brightly colored popsicles, doesn't it? Seems we've rarely gotten through a mini-medical emergency without a popsicle to soothe and reward a good patient.  My kids are especially happy about it, I suppose, because these are the sort of popsicles I would never feed them at home.  My list of reasons includes concerns about artificial colors, artificial flavors and high fructose corn syrup.  It does seem that there's a real disconnect in the medical community (and other community centers like schools and churches) between caring for people and providing a caring, healthy environment.  I'm a moderate parent who does allow occasional sweets and treats, but I believe ingredients matter.  It's within reach to provide treats, even popsicles, that contain more wholesome ingredients like fruit-flavors that actually come from fruit!

It was refreshing to learn about the efforts at hundreds of the nation's top hospitals to put more wholesome, sustainable foods and other healthy practices into place.  Although I didn't hear any executives talking specifically about popsicles, they did address the need to promote better food choices.  Here's a look at the other reforms health leaders were discussing recently.

This reminds me that no matter what, parents are still the best advocates of all for our children.  I'm reminded of how Robyn O'Brien learned the Unhealthy Truth about what her kids were eating and how it affected them.  I'm reminded that Susan Nagel is careful about food storage in her home kitchen; and what her research in the science lab has taught us about hormone disrupting substances we encounter every day.  I'm reminded that another scientist, a cancer-surviving mother of two, blends fact-based knowledge with passionate pleas for the rest of us to wake up to impending environmental dangers.

No, I don't lose sleep over the occasional popsicle, whether given by a well-meaning nurse or another parent at a birthday party.  But I am concerned that fact-based, scientific information about better living becoming mainstream enough that parents, health care providers and community leaders can all agree on some basics.  For starters, all of our children need clean air, clean water and real food.  Agreed?

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