Thursday, August 19, 2010
this blog post was inspired by a spark friend's post...her's had nothing to do about lunchables, but i felt compelled to write something about them here...
ps i am still going through the blogs of those of you who commented on my last blog...i tell you, i read them all!...it just might take me some time, but i do get around to each one...that's why i am hesitant to write a new blog because i want to close out the other one-----can you tell i have a smidge of OCD?...
my kids asked me the other day why do their friends eat lunchables...
my knee jerk reaction is to spurt out what i really think about that imitation food---between you and me, my opinionated statement, is that lunchables are a sad, sad, sad thing...i feel sad when i see children eating them...
but that was not my girls' question, was it?...the question is WHY, not what are the ingredients or whether they are healthy or not...my kids can see that they are not healthy...yes, i have told them before that the components of lunchables are made from the least quality ingredients and are 'unhealthy'...i had to explain that to them as we walk through the grocery store and there's a pretty and lively display that markets directly to my children and why we don't buy them...
then the question comes, why do other kids eat lunchables then? if they are so unhealthy why do parents buy them for their kids....
leave it up to my kiddos to really drill down on me for real answers....kids are not dumb....(um, experiencing pointed questions from my almost 9 year old when it comes to the birds and bees right now...i just got to go buy a book)...
i wanted to teach my girls not to pass judgement on their friends who eat lunchables, because it's not their fault...fault lies in a multitude of reasons that are not that obvious...i told my girls to feel compassion versus pass judgement--because it's not our place....
here were the reasons i gave my girls as to why kids eat lunchables....
i say maybe:
some people who buy them are just completely unaware as to the chemical make up of those food items...the items look like food--so it's tricky by just looking at them...but if you read the ingredients, you can see that actual ingredients...if you can't understand what an ingredient is, then most likely it's a chemical....so we read the lables together....
some parents don't know how to cook...yes, my best friend does not know how to cook, or rather has not found the joy in doing it as i have....so it's easy for a parent to reach for a lunchable, because it looks like food--see explanation #1 above
some parents work so hard that they don't have the energy to cook, so they buy lunchables and again goes back to explanation #1...it takes time to cook...
i am here to say that cooking from scratch and it takes time--it takes me almost up to 3 hours a day (which includes preparation and clean up).....it's not easy...but for me it's how i look at it all......
when i first started, i'll admit--i huffed and puffed and got angry about the length of time it took to cook--even though i love cooking....but now, it's become a priority of mine, a habit, something i don't look at as a chore...don't get me wrong, when i have cranky kids to feed and we just got home at 6:15 from ballet class and i am on a strict time frame to get the kids into bed by 8pm---well, it can get a bit hairy...but that's where my meal preparation and menu planning have come into play....
but when i focus on what i make to put into my family's bodies, it makes me so happy to think that i am building their bodies with wholesome nutrition.....
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
my girls were asking for seaweed as a snack yesterday!...Trader Joe's sells this baked, salted seaweed which comes in squares that are amazingly tasty...they like it so much that they were fighting over who got the last odd sheet--we took scissors and cut it in half...
in my quest to increase my nutrition from all different sources, seaweed has tons of nutritional benefits--just google!...no, i probably won't be making it my weekly salad, but once in a while for a salty snack--why not?
peer pressure was in full effect yesterday when my girls' friend was loving her seaweed too!
last night as i was doing my yoga in front of the TV (that's my only time to watch TV--if i am doing something health or work related ie yoga, or some pilates---or working on the laptop--i have really cut down on TV in my life and it gives me so much more extra time--a completely different blog)....and i was watching Too Fat For 15...
i felt so sorry for these kids...they only know what their environment is, and most of the kids were the way they were because of their parents issues with food....the blurb on the TV was that the USA is facing a phenonmenon of younger generations of americans whose life span are actually shorter than their parents....just tragic....
it really starts at home...if you don't have junk food in the house, the kids can't reach for it....and if it's there, you literally have to teach your kids moderation.....i know, i deal with it all the time and we don't have junk food with the exception of ice cream, creamsicles, otter pops, drum sticks and a bag of candy whose contents have been collected since last halloween....i don't believe in taking away treats completely from the kids because i don't want them to go the opposite extreme, feel deprived and then become closet eaters because they don't want to dissapoint me..
my kids instinctually want more and more and more candy...even though i know my overall plan with them, they have the ability to make me feel guilty that i even limit their consumption of sweets...afterall, if they like seaweed, love kale, eat their lentils, relish asparagus, eat their fish, then what is an extra creamsicle or a larger scoop of ice cream for a kiddo?...so easy for me to slip into wanting to please my kiddos and make them happy through treats.....
but if i don't teach limits on treats, then they will never learn to respect them....i let them have one big dessert, either after lunch or dinner, and when they have that big dessert, they have to chose a smaller treat for after the other meal....
interestingly enough, they prefer to have their big treat (which is a drumstick, or a creamsicle) after lunch because they feel too full to eat it after their dinner....so they usually pick a small back of skittles (you know those halloween mini sizes) or gummi bears for after dinner.....they came to that conclusion on their own that they don't like to feel so stuffed after dinner....
my point is, i have to teach them this stuff on a daily basis...it is a daily battle to get them to try new meals...it's not easy...not too long ago i had a 5 day streak where they did not like anything i was making...i felt discouraged, but the past has taught me that if i keep re-exposing them to things, eventually they just except it as normal....for example my 6 year old hated salmon a year ago, after i kept giving it to her, i think she realized it was not going away out of our diet....she now doesn't even bat an eye when i put salmon in front of her.....but then i face the new thing she hates to eat--oh man, they hate eggplant!
has it always been this difficult to teach children to eat good food?...do children in india complain about the curry blends or other spicy condiments for their food?....do children in japan complain about eating raw fish and miso soup for breakfast?...
children only know what their environment provides....and their environment is their parents...
Saturday, August 07, 2010
remember my oil spill clean up earlier this week?...the silver lining of that major inconvenience (and that's a nice way of putting it), is that it really prompted me to clean the pantry---and i am still cleaning the dang thing---ugh!!
it's a nice sized pantry, and i've waited all my life to have a pantry like this...but when you have a big pantry, it's just super easy to buy stuff to put in it and fill it up...
i clean the pantry once a year....i blogged about the last clean up...last year my reminder to clean the pantry came in the form of little bugs (thanks to the hot summer weather and my attempts to keep our AC bills low by not turning that AC on--then my husband comes home and asks how i can function in a house that's 80F--and i thought he would be proud that his wife wants to save money)......
anyway, throw an almost full time job i have, plus 2 young children wanting my attention incessantly, and i'm already into my 5th day of cleaning it out....
the damage this year was not bad at all---a honey spill (just more impossible things to clean up) and tons of onion skins everywhere--but aside from that, there was nothing else that was gross.........i managed to survive one year without bugs!!!...and i think this has to do with me and the husband's ability to use what we buy and making almost everything from scratch--so we have good turnover and don't give those darn bugs a chance to hatch.....
(for those of you who have not had the pleasure of the bugs hatching--they come out of flours, grains, and even pasta...it's not an issue of hygeine--that took me a while to understand that i did not cause these bugs)..
another focus this year was to get rid of the last of the processed foods, and i am happy to report----with the exception of the popcorn i bought from costco and won't throw away even though i know it's not a good quality corn being used (food inc and fast food nation still echo in my head, and i don't think will ever stop resonating--thankfully), i had only the smallest box of food to take to the local church food bank...
there's something so therapeutic about having tackled the pantry...thank you olive oil glass spill for giving me a kick in the rump!
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