Ten-Cent Cheeseburgers and a Kiwi

I saved another “healthier” food alternative video from one of my favorite Instagram influencers. My feed is now littered with “better” choices when feeding my children — “better” and sometimes very financially impractical. We often hear the debate that you can’t put a price on your health or you are what you eat. Some days, we are a kale salad; others, we are a fast food sandwich. Aside from the fact that I support a lifestyle of balance, my inner child finds some fast food nostalgic. It’s no secret that I’m a health food advocate. I dedicated the early part of my college career to completing a degree in dietetics because of my love for holistic health. There is a background story that led to this passion that I recently shared with my three kids. It started with an ad I saw from McDonald’s on National Cheeseburger Day regarding $0.50 cheeseburgers.

To preface this story, my son told me he wasn’t hungry when I made him a plate of fresh berries. I cringed inside because all I could think about was how I would have loved to eat a plate full of fresh berries when I was his age… but back to the McDonald’s burger story. I grew up one of seven children, and my parents had a very limited income. “Healthy” meant fed, not your colorful Instagram-worthy post of lean meats and fresh produce. McDonald’s used to have a 10-cent hamburger on Tuesdays and a 20-cent cheeseburger deal on Wednesdays. Each drive-through car was only allowed to order ten burgers, so my mom would drive through twice so she could purchase 20 burgers. Let’s do the math: To feed a family of nine on Tuesdays, she only spent $2.00 plus tax, and on Wednesdays, it was less than $5.00 for the whole family to have a meal. We never complained about eating a fast food burger; it was something we looked forward to. However, on many occasions, I wished I could try something fresh and colorful. I vividly remember sitting in the cafeteria at my middle school and seeing a girl eat a kiwi every day at lunch. Her mom cut the kiwi in half, and she ate it with a spoon. I always wondered what a kiwi tasted like, but it wasn’t until years later that I would taste my first kiwi after starting my first job.
It’s a privilege to choose healthier alternatives. Eating a rainbow diet, fully avoiding processed foods, and many times giving someone dietary health advice is a privilege. Some families eat for calories; they don’t have the privilege of choosing food items based on nutritional value. There are many times that I have caught myself while giving someone dietary advice, and I am reminded of the little girl in middle school who wished she could try a kiwi.
Kelsey Cassman
Kelsey is a Jacksonville, Florida, native, enjoying life with her wonderful husband, Matthew, and their adorable children, Noah, Sophia, and Lincoln. She is a nutritionist that completed her B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of North Florida. Prior to becoming a stay-home-mama, she worked as a community outreach coordinator, where she taught people about the benefits of holistic health. With all of the responsibilities that come with being a stay-home-mother, cooking with her children has become one of her favorites! Kelsey enjoys spending quality time with her friends and family, playing volleyball on the beach, browsing Pinterest, online shopping, and having date nights at local restaurants. She is notorious for snapping pictures of any dish that looks delicious, and she shares her food photography, fun recipes and mom life posts on her blog, KelseyCassman.com.


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