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But candy has protein

But candy has protein

My kids make their own lunches mostly, though they have some criteria that they have to meet.  They can only have one treat. They need to have a certain amount of vegetables and/or fruit. They must have some kind of protein. Carbs they get in sufficient quantities without my intervention.

These lunch criteria often create complaints: Jaden — “Why can't I have all goldfish?”  Marlon — “You could just buy me protein shakes.”  Ethan — “But fruit rollups have fruit right in their name.”

This morning, however, on the first day back to school after Halloween, Marlon tried to pack nothing but candy, almost the entirety of the little pile that we let them keep.

“Marlon,” I said, “you need vegetables and protein, and you can only take one treat.”

“Wait, wait,” he said, “candy has protein.”

“Untrue,” I assured him.

“Yes, it does,” he insisted. “I checked.” He proceeded to dig out a package of candy. “See? It says protein.”

“Yes,” I admitted, “it says protein, 0 grams.  Which means, zero protein.”

He looked crushed. “But it says…”

“I know.” I gave his shoulder a squeeze.  “They have to tell you how much there is, even when it's zero. You'll have to find some other way to get your protein.”

He thought about this for a minute. “Maybe,” he said, “I could put the candy in a salami sandwhich.”

Luke Hill is a stay-at-home father of three boys, aged 10, eight, and four.  He has fathered, fostered, adopted, or provided a temporary home for kids anywhere between birth and university.  He has taught college courses, adoption seminars, camp groups, Sunday School classes, rugby teams, not to mention his own homeschooled kids.