15 years of nothin’ but McNuggets?

I was browsing blogs when I came upon a commentary about a sick young woman and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Stacey Irvine, 17, of Birmingham, England collapsed at work after struggling to breathe. At the hospital it was discovered that she’d been eating almost nothing but McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets for 15 years. Stacie Irvine was suffering from anemia and swollen veins on her tongue.

OK what is wrong this picture!? The article said that young Miss Irvine had been eating rotten Ronnie’s for 15 years. That means that since the age of two, her parents had been supplying it for her. At two, who has the alacrity to make smart eating decisions for themselves? I know my kids don’t. And so it falls to me, their mother, to decide what they should eat. Now don’t get me wrong. There are an awful lot of foods I place in front of my children that they refuse to eat. Sometimes I wonder just how it is that Cally can survive on goldfish and sunshine. But I keep trying anyhow.

If your kids don’t like carrots, or cashews they might learn to in time. In our house we try to implement the ‘just have one bite’ rule. If Cally doesn’t like it then ok, at least she tried. That doesn’t stop me from making the meal again though.  And sadly that doesn’t stop her from repeating that she still doesn’t like it. Sometimes, though, you have a breakthrough. After a months of making oatmeal (delicious oatmeal I might add, smothered in butter and hemmed in by a moat of thick maple syrup) Calixa finally took that first bite…Then she finished the whole bowl. She has been playing ‘making oatmeal’ all week and trying to feed her pretend breakfast with everyone in the house.

Stacey Irvine’s mother is quoted as saying, “it breaks my heart to see her eating those damned nuggets.” I am sorry to say that now that Stacey is 17, she is fully in charge of what crosses her lips and “despite being warned that she could die if she stuck to her nugget addiction, she still can’t resist the fast food” (Daily Telegraph). Even if her mother wanted to start feeding her right, that ship has sailed. But at two you still have a chance. Here’s my best advice:

Just don’t buy that crap! If you don’t bring it home, how can they eat it?

And as I sat at the kitchen table pondering how anyone could let their kid eat nothin’ but nuggets for 15 years my three-year-old stuffed a bunch of fresh spinach in her mouth. After two years of offering it, I needed to get a picture of today’s small victory. “This is yummy mommy” she said between leafy green mouthfuls. And I couldn’t wipe the silly grim off of my face.

If you want to learn more about what is in a McNugget click here for a nutritional rundown. It’s the fat (16 grams more per serving than you should have) and the sodium that are most alarming. If you want a more specific list of ingredients, you should read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivor’s Dilemma: A Natural history of Four Meals.  Here’s a quick link to a quote from his book.



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