As part of our Spring Break ritual, we spent yesterday at an annual indoor amusement park and yes, we were breakin’ rules!
Every single one of the two dozen entrance doors had a huge sign screaming “NO OUTSIDE FOOD OR BEVERAGES!” I entered prepared for battle knowing that, below the stroller, we had four stainless steel bottles filled with water, and healthy snacks, including bananas, cereal bars, crackers and raisins.
We were immediate approached by a security guard that needed to see inside my purse and survey the goods. While my purse “passed” I was expecting a ‘flag’ on the rest of it. When he took a look under the stroller, he didn’t flinch at the bottles! (Wheww!) The other bag held the snacks and my cameras and when he asked to see inside I hoped to just pull out the cameras and be done with it, but I grabbed the whole bunch of bananas and pulled them out instead! (Oops!) WHAT made me think a bunch of bananas was a camera, I’ll never know, but the security guard just smiled and said “that’s fine.”
It was such a relief that we weren’t sent back to our car for simply trying to make healthy choices during our visit, but this isn’t always the case. Last summer we were nearly cast out of a children’s amusement park for bringing our own food. Our choices of food (to buy) included everything from chick’n nuggets and fries, to cotton candy and ice cream, but not a single, solitary, healthy choice in the whole joint. Staff approached us as we all ate yogurt and told us to “thrown it away or get out”! I was livid, but we tossed them (to avoid ruining our kids’ day) but I actually went to battle on that one and later emailed the management (even suggesting healthy foods that had a long shelf life). Their reply? “We’ve tried. No one wants that.”
Could I really be the only parent who wants to have healthier options when we visit amusements parks and other “kid activities”? I don’t think so (and don’t get me wrong… I do allow treats!), but sometimes there doesn’t seem to be ANY choice other than those disgusting processed, fried, fatty or sugar-dripping foods.
Suddenly it doesn’t become so much a “green” matter of recycling, organic foods, eco-friendly serveware or avoiding bottled water, but how NOT to give them a smorgasbord of things I don’t feel really guilty about later.
Been there? I’d love to know if you have a solution… or are you simply a “rule breaker” too? 🙂