Food

I am not a "Foodie"!
(Just to make things clear.) I don't want you to get the impression that this is the gourmet corner or anything like that. No, but food can be a big deal in a family - for better or for worse!

So this is how we started out. I was a vegetarian with a slow metabolism. My husband was a healthy eater (a little picky) with a fast metabolism. Our first child was a lazy eater, couldn't care less about food. Our second child was a ferocious eater, chomps off a bite of my bagel at 7 mos. old. Our third child was a healthy eater with gourmet taste buds, who loved cooking shows at 6 years old.

I had my ideas: whole grains, lots of veges & fruit, vege-dogs & burgers, tofu, sprouts, okay sometimes fish & lean meats & chicken. Sounds ideal, right? Everything was fine until they got old enough to visit friends houses and go to birthday parties. The world is not an ideal place to keep an ideal diet.

All hell broke lose: "Mommy, why can't we eat white bread? Why can't we have potato chips & soda? Why don't you buy that nice white rice that Auntie__ makes?" This was the killer though, "Grammy buys us "Happy Meals" with those yummy french fries & it comes with a toy!" Aaaarrrrrrrggggggg!!!!!!

What is an idealistically health-minded mother supposed to do? Compromise obviously. Only a little though. We made rules. 1.) You can have soda only on Sundays (because they served soda at church pot-luck lunches). 2.) If you eat mommy's healthy food without complaining, mommy will buy you french fries on special occasions. 3.) You can eat what you want at friends houses but don't ask mommy to buy that stuff for home.

Everything was fine until we moved from Florida to New England. Do you realize how different it is to buy food in different parts of the USA? Oh well, we adapted and did the best we could, on a strict budget. The good news is that raising my kid's with a health consciousness has paid off (even though we may have compromised a little more as they got older and time was an issue). Now my teen & adult children care about what they eat, they make healthy choices for themselves.

Time & Energy Saver:
Everybody has to eat, so let's face it, some of us need a little help in the kitchen. Actually, anyone could benifit from this kind of help - even the greatest chef! A kitchen tool that keeps it all organized and ready:
Whether you are an at-home mom or a working mom (I've been both) if food is not your favorite subject you may find yourself with a time/energy problem. It's simple really; if you love doing something then you make time for it and it gives you energy because you are enjoying it. If you have to do something out of necessity, repetitively, and you wish you could be doing something else, it will drag you down and you will find ways to avoid it.

So what does a non-Foodie mom do?
If you are lucky you might have a husband who likes to cook (so idealistic but not lucky am I). Obviously if you've got enough money you can hire help, but most of us aren't that lucky either. So the next logical choice is to teach your kids to get their own food & cook as soon as possible! (Click on books to purchase from Amazon at a good price!)

Ha! There is a trick though. I have to whisper this...Ssshhh...you have to pretend that you like cooking & baking & everything that goes with it so they will like to do it too. Be a good actress and don't let them catch on to your reluctance. Start with little things that they can help with, then gradually include them in various parts of meal prep. Put food on the table so they can help themselves to breakfast, and have them help with lunch prep if they take it to school. Make it fun, for your sake as well as theirs.

Make cooking a family affair! From the beginning make cooking something that everyone participates in. Have a boys night where Dad & the boys have to plan & make dinner, the girls can clean up. Then have a girls night when Mom & the girls plan & cook & the boys can clean up. On other nights break the tasks up so that each person can do something like: drinks, table setting, salad prep, side dish prep, main dish prep, etc.

Be creative! The more you involve your kids in the kitchen & make it fun, the sooner they will learn to take responsibility for themselves. Believe me, by the time they are teenagers you will be so grateful when they offer to cook dinner for you.