Childrearing

Don’t Worry, Brad Pitt. You’re Not A Bad Dad For Feeding Your Kids Coke

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 Brad Pitt feeds his kids Coca-Cola for breakfast. He admitted this in a recent interview with CBS Sunday Morning and, let me tell you, people are infuriated. They’re wondering how Brad and Angelina Jolie – parents to six children under 10 – could be so “neglectful” as to pump up their little ones with sugar and caffeine. But to all these critics I say, Get a grip. Don’t be so judgmental! You’ve probably done the same, if not worse.

For starters, let’s look at exactly what Brad had to say:

Listen, I admit there’s times like, “We gotta get up. Get up! Here’s your shoes. Here’s your shoes. Drink this Coke. Drink this Coca Cola. Drink it all. Right now! Drink it! Drink it! Drink it!” Just so we could get ‘em up and going.

Okay, so who here can’t relate to the morning frenzy, to that desperate feeling of “Holy shit, we are so late, I will do whatever it takes to get my children out of the house at this exact moment?” Hell, I’ve given my 2-year-old an entire bag of animal cookies before 8 a.m. just to get his arm in his jacket sleeve! I’ve also allowed my kids to eat ice cream for dinner because, well, sometimes they don’t eat dinner and then their grandparents take them out for ice cream anyway. Does this happen on a daily or even weekly basis? Of course not. Once a month? You bet.

Also, do you know how much sugar is in a serving of children’s cereal? Copious amounts. In many instances, the same amount of sugar as a serving of Coca Cola. I’m not saying that either is right. Obviously, a more nutritious breakfast would be eggs, fruit, yogurt, smoothie – the list goes on. But, hey, sometimes parents take shortcuts, and sometimes they feed their kids crap. Part of our responsibility as parents is ensuring that our kids are healthy – that goes without saying. But name me one parent aside from Gwyneth Paltrow who doesn’t make poor food decisions on occasion? (And, really, would you rather read about Brad Pitt and Coke or Gwynnie and those damn cleanses?)

Re-reading Brad’s quote above, I get the feeling he was being facetious. In all likelihood, he does not force soda down his children’s throat each morning. But, again, even if he did serve Coke for breakfast, it’s probably one of those desperate-to-get-the-gang-out-the-front-door moments, and it probably doesn’t happen often. I mean, look at those children. Do Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Knox, and Vivienne look unhealthy to you? Are their insides rotting away? I highly doubt it.

One of my colleagues admitted that she sometimes lets her 3-year-old daughter order Sprite when they eat at a restaurant. “She thinks that getting soda pop makes her the coolest thing ever and I’ve told her that only big kids can drink pop so if she’s getting it, she has to act like a big kid,” this mom tells me. “So, yeah, I’m saying that that I’ve bribed good behavior out of my daughter with pop.”

Her story made me laugh because ginger ale is like crack to my older kid, and so I could relate – bribery and all. I guess the point is that even “good” parents let their kids indulge every now and then. (Have you been to a McDonald’s lately?) And if anyone’s going to get all up in arms over sugary/caffeinated drinks, they should be focusing on Toddlers & TiarasAlana, better known as Honey Boo Boo Child. The pageant queen is forever downing “Go Go Juice” – a combo energy/caffeine drink – that makes her act like a pint-sized drunk. No, really, it’s disturbing.

So lay off Brangelina! Those kids are just fine.

(Photo: usmagazine.com)