Spaghetti with ketchup and butter wasn't invented by Honey Boo Boo, but the dish certainly has become popular thanks to the pint-sized reality TV star. Thanks to "South Park," I am learning new things about the young girl's eating habits.
We don't know if she eats candy corn Oreos, also featured on the Comedy Central show, but chances are she will beg her mother to buy her some at Wal-Mart soon enough.
If I had to eat either sketti with butter or candy corn Oreos, I would still pick sketti. But that speaks to how much I hate candy corn, even as a child.
In finding one's Balance of Food, we are caught between food that is fun and food that is good for you. In moderation, there is no significant harm with an occasional sketti or candy corn Oreos. This all depends on your definition of fun food.
Thinking back to childhood, since Honey Boo Boo is still a child, I certainly ate ridiculous things that were fun as a child that aren't as much fun or any fun anymore. I eat new ridiculous things as an adult that wouldn't have been fun to me as a child.
After all, I had a childhood with Ragu spaghetti sauce. Was that much different than Country Crock and ketchup mixed together in a microwave? Well, yes, but not by as much as you would think.
We'll assume that the Country Crock, which is margarine not butter, is mixed with a high potent, high-fructose corn syrup ketchup. The sweetness of the high-fructose corn syrup is something that satisfies a lot of children. Ragu had sugar, later high-fructose corn syrup, though I have had little (no?) experience with the high-fructose corn syrup version. The last time I had Ragu was when I wrote about trying Organic Ragu in 2005. Before that, I'm sure I had some in the early 1990s.
Ragu has a lot of salt and sugar, similar in that vein as ketchup. But Ragu did have onions.
The excitement behind the dish can be more about how you eat it. Serving your meal in a Country Crock tub would be a fun way to eat anything, even sketti.
My parents required us to eat a salad before dipping into the spaghetti. So we did have veggies and milk to drink.
I know I ate a lot of Ragu spaghetti as a child. The difference could be that I was thin back then, while we now have a childhood obesity crisis.
Even with that childhood obesity crisis, children should still have fun with their food. You could make a healthier version of sketti and still serve it in a margarine tub. You can get your kids to crush the tomatoes themselves, pretending they are guts or blood.
You can dress up healthy food to make it more silly. Halved cherry tomatoes make a great nose or eyes for a dish. Cucumber slices can look like eyes.
Sure spaghetti tacos sound silly, but having a little fun breaks up the monotony of worrying about every meal.
Having kids make their own pizzas or tacos encourages fun and veggies. If your kids are struggling with vegetables, have some fun with them.
Kids want fun; parents want healthy. Mixing the two can make everyone happier, but while the kids gets to decide what constitutes "fun," the parents come up with what is "healthy."
photo credits: TLC