All in a day's work: Cookie Monster
Cookie Monster, 4 ½, dreams of being a professional cookie eater one day. Despite still being svelte and loving rugby, he is well on his way to fulfilling the dream. As he says himself: “Me love food. Me eat EVERYTHING. Me eat fruit, veges, icecream, pizza, bicycle, telephone. Me said everything! But still me favourites are COOKIES. Me know that cookies are a sometimes food. Me eat the cookies but me gotta look me best too. Oh, me gotta go. Me spy a giant white chocolate and raspberry cookie. See, me eat fruit too!”
Me know that breakfast is most important meal of the day. Yes yes yes. Me like muesli with milk. Me like to dunk a little cookie into the milk.
Mmm, morning tea. Some fruit and mayb ejust a small cookie if me good? Maybe two small cookies? Oh, boy oh boy. Me love hanging with me friends for morning tea. Me a very social monster.
HUNGRY! Me thinks me will eat everything, mmm sandwiches, fruit. Maybe me eat plate too...Me think lunch is very important. Me not want to be a grouchy monster. Me already know one of those.
Afternoon tea means one thing: Cookies. Me always try to save a cookie for this time of day. Me learning the art of self-control.
Spaghetti. Next best thing to cookies. Maybe if me eats all of me dinner me can be rewarded with a cookie.
Mikki Williden’s nutrition quick fix
I’m sure that Cookie Monster, an avid reader of Bite, will know how I feel about sugar, and reviewing his comments, he is well aware of this and is trying to limit the number of cookies he has. That’s a great start. It’s important when you’re working with any little monster to start at their base line and make some realistic suggestions to help improve overall food intake. Seemingly small changes can make big differences over time and any shift in the right (lower sugar) direction is a good change.
Cookie is right about getting in a good lunchtime meal— even the nicest person can turn in to a bit of a grump if they don’t eat lunch. Lots of people fall into the trap ofhaving just one or two fillings — then loading up on two or three sandwiches (four or six slices of bread) to help keep them full. The flipside of this is feeling tired in the afternoon from the carbohydrate overload and subsequent blood sugar crash. Instead Cookie should try having an open sandwich like the Danish open sandwiches. The combination of good fats from quality dairy, fish or animal protein combined with vegetables will provide serious staying power. This means that perhaps he will not need so many cookies at afternoon tea time.
And when it does come around to afternoon tea, swap out a cookie for a slice of cheese. For a monster who will eat anything, there are very few vegetables in this day. Often I talk to people about meals such as spaghetti, and while they insist there is onion or carrot with the tomatoes in the sauce, the overall amount is minimal. When counting vegetables, it’s the amount that fits into the palm of your hand that makes up a serve. We all know the 5+ a day recommendation and, in my opinion, this is the bare minimum. Cookie Monster would do well by increasing the vegetables at dinner with a side salad.
We caught up with Cookie Monster when he was here in March for Seasame Street’s Elmo’s World Tour.
Mikki Williden is a registered nutritionist and lecturer at AUT University, where she lectures in public health nutrition and sports nutrition at the School of Sport and Recreation. Read Bite articles from Mikki or visit mikkiwilliden.com for more.