Visiting those Golden Arches

Today we visited the destination of those iconic Golden Arches. That's right, Caleb and I went to McDonalds. I have never taken my child there in his entire 3 years of life. I have skillfully avoided that place, having never possessed the desire to step foot in that establishment. I have however, driven through before to get the fudge sundaes...gotta love those. In college, my roommates and I would often drive through McDonalds just for those fudge sundaes at all hours of the day and night. Sometimes, I would also get the chicken nuggets with sweet and sour packets. I admit it, I like those entirely too much. And today, I got it again. It's that sauce man, it gets me.

I drove up and parked right in front of the restaurant. I felt like such an irresponsible parent, bringing my son to McDonalds (emphasis added for disgust). I even said to the manager helping us, "I feel like an irresponsible parent right now, bringing my son here. Do parents actually bring their kids to eat here?" I looked to my right to see a mother and daughter. "Oh." The man was amused and laughed at my blatantly untactful thoughts that were voiced. 

Well, we got our icecream and Caleb was excited. I also got my McNuggets and special sauce. Caleb asked me, "Mommy, is that chicken?" In my mind I could see the pink ooze that is the McNugget, made of God only knows what...

"Yes, chicken", I answered, having no idea what it really was that I was eating or how it was made to look like this:
Yes, that does look good to me. With Sweet and Sour sauce? Yep. So I caved today and got some. With a fudge sundae. With my impressionable 3 year old. Today he went there for the first time. He saw that magical display of happy meal toys and wanted them. This time there were a variation of minions. I realize why this place must be exciting for kids, with things like that around. He never got a minion, we dashed out of there. 

The feelings represented in this blog entry make me feel like a snob. But it's no joke. I felt like I was marching my child to an early death. I know that is not true, and that once in awhile is fine, or rather, first time is fine today. But still. The very doors of that place before you walk in, issue stern warning of death and chemicals and unhealthiness. 

And yes, I feel gross now after caving to my shameful McDonalds desires. Our fast food destinations are Chickfale and In N Out, and I try not to take Caleb there very often. I know it's fine and we won't die. I grew up eating out. But I would like to adhere to healthier eating standards now. Today I just failed. I even ate chips with my sandwich at lunch. A good greasy ol' bag of chips.  Sigh.

What eating choices do you make? Do you go to fast food joints and bring your kids there?