Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Getting Real About Food

These conversations about food are challenging; feeding a growing family is a big part of a mother's job, and picky eaters, dietary restrictions, and environmental concerns make decisions seem so complicated!

In this month's Domino magazine there was a woman who tried to eat locally for a month and wrote about the fact that it was hard and expensive but also delcious and satisfying. In O! Magazine, there was a woman who tried to "do everything right" for a month -- exercise, eat right, floss, wear sunscreen. She also found it hard and time consuming, but did find some new habits that were easy to maintain.

I have recently been eliminating all simple carbs for health reasons and it has been an intense experience, but I have learned alot, too, and now that I am working carbs back in I will continue to eat Fage plain yogurt for lunch and a grapefruit instead of orange juice in the morning, among other small changes.

My friend K has been listening to our conversations so far, and she asks: what are people really eating? K proposes that we keep track of what we eat/serve our kids for 5 days and then post it, and I do think we could all get some good ideas from one another. This is a call for honesty, so I will begin by saying that yesterday my children had Chex for dinner.

Are you game? No recipes needed, just a simple list, to be posted next week?


Kat said...

What a super idea, Mary Alice - we're in! We might be embarrassed with the results, but like you said, honest answers will be the most helpful :)

I like what you said about habits...It's so true that with foods, good (and bad!) habits are not so difficult to establish.

Right Said Red said...

Great idea! I'm a little overwhelmed this week because the baby's baptism is Sunday, but I will start to write down what we all eat for next week.

On a completely different note, I was a little daring this week and actually purchased brussel sprouts. I have never liked brussel sprouts but I watched a cooking show last weekend and it was all about cooking brussel sprouts properly. The lady on the show made the sprouts look delicious. I followed her directions, marinated them in olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, then baked them until slightly brown in the oven. The result: not bad. I can't say that I loved them, but they were definitely more pallatable than the overcooked sprouts I have eaten in the past. Charlie (age 2) took one bite--I was proud of him for trying--gagged, then spit it out. I guess I should try feeding him the sprouts 9 more times before I determine he doesn't like them. Unfortunately, that means I have to eat them 9 more times!

sixandthecity said...

Red, we want to know what you are eating when you are stressed! Even if you don't have time to journal it this week, next week will you tell one thing that you served while you were just making do? Your equivelant of toasties?

BTW, my fast and easy we just got home and it's after 7 pm dinner is quesadillas on whole wheat tortillas, I just put one on a non stick skillet, shred some chedder on top and then fold it up. Also, pancakes for dinner.

As for brussel sprouts, I love them! My mom makes great ones, I will get her to put up the recipe, we had them at Christmas.

texas mommy said...

I am up for it, though I am afraid Juris Mater will kill me if I reveal that my boys devour sauteed spinach and garlic!

As for brussel of the few foods I hate, but Grandmom served them to Dash when she was babysitting and he loved eating the "Green Balls". I can't stand the smell of them when I'm pregnant (or any other time for that matter) so he'll just have to eat them at grandma's.

I wish I could figure out a way to calculate the quantity of food these boys consume. I can't fathom no snacks. We have 3 FULL meals and an am and pm snack. If I give them ham, cheese, beans, carrots, toast at 4pm this still leaves me struggling to distract them until Mr. Incredible gets home for dinner and about half an hour of "I'm hungry" whines. Needless to say, I am terrified of what our food bill will be when they are teenagers! They run around constantly and burn off so much of what they devour!

B-Mama said...

Count me in for the fun! I have a feeling most will be aghast at the amount of processed food served in our home... We are processed and frozen Kings and Queens, but are aiming to do better once our Daddy gets out of law school and we can afford more organic! :)

I take heart in knowing I grew up on Kraft Mac 'n Cheese and still am functioning fairly well!

Kat said...

The brussel sprouts topic leads me to a question for all of you: If your hubby does not like a certain food, i.e. brussel sprouts, would you still serve it as part of the family meal so that your kids (hopefully) don't develop the same aversion?? I've tended to stay away from foods that I know that ET doesn't enjoy eating, even though he says that he'll eat anything that I cook, but I think that may be a bad idea because some of these foods would be good for our kids to like! Thoughts??

B-Mama said...

I hate peas more than any other food in the world, but still feed them to the kids (mostly because they're so kid-friendly!) I love stuffed zuchini, but haven't made it because it's one of GG's most unfavorite veggies. We tend to eat a lot of salads, carrots, and steamed broccoli/cauliflower. Other than that, we're not too adventurous!

Juris Mater said...

All things in moderation (except holiness)... processed foods included. Some days I can't manage to give my toddlers a satisfying and energetic day and also pull off a completely-from-scratch dinner. So like any good high-fructose-corn-bred American, I reach for my Hamburger Helper, thaw a pound of mad cow beef from the freezer, dump in a cup of antibiotic-injected milk and toss a bag of non-organic baby carrots on the table. $5 meal. One pan and a few plates covered in food-like-substance to clean, and done. Infrequent, but it happens. The Hamburger Helper tastes off and feels even worse an hour after it goes down the hatch. I'm always striving for excellent nutrition within the confines of our budget and time, and I firmly believe in its importance. But here's to moderation! I'll probably be the most embarrassed. But I love the tone of this post, MaryAlice and K--the point is not to be embarrassed by the skeletons in our closets (ie: the boxes of just-add-water magic powder that turns into food in our pantries) but to get actual ideas.

I'm just glad Red is feeding my family one meal on Sunday for the baptism reception. That means we can eat Fritos dipped in canned chili the rest of the week and still come out on top, right?

BTW, MaryAlice, whole wheat quesadillas and multigrain pancakes are two of my Top Five Greats as well. Quick, nutritious, and it's mind-boggling all the healthy things that you can stuff into those. Yessss!

Right Said Red said...

I will write down our "stressed diet" for you...but the real reason I thought I would wait until next week is I don't know if I will actually remember to write down what we are eating every day. When I get busy I have a hard time remembering those sort of things. I think it will be quite interesting to see how we eat when mom is busy and stressed...I'm guessing we will be eating a lot of cereal!

k said...

Hi guys. As the originator of this request I will say. PLEASE we want the truth. This is for me to know what real families eat on a day to day basis...that means it might be something awesome one night for dinner that I will steal and it might be cereal for dinner (which I truthfully never thought of, and is great for those tough nights). I truly am struggling with just meal planning breakfast & lunch EVERY DAY, it is the hardest thing I have adjusted to as a parent and just need some advice. We do a pretty big mix and live in a great farm area with lots of farm friends, but I still do processed and frozen and so I am anxious to hear everyone's spectrum.

On the brussel sprout front try roasting them olive oil, lemon juice, pancetta or bacon...and then finishing with some parmesan cheese. Sounds similar to Red's recipe but I would say the pork product (so nice and salty/smokey) and the parmesan make a BIG difference. Think I got the recipe from Cooking Light years ago, so you could perhaps find it again, but we just wing it. Um, but my child would never eat this so kudos to you Red for your guys even putting them in his mouth.

My guy tried banana today and I was thrilled so that is what I have to work with, banana, seriously, who doesn't like fruit!?! He's a nut.

michelle waters said...

Just found this blog through Eileen on Him... I love the cathedral analogy and will keep it in mind as I raise my little souls. I went to Dartmouth but no hard feelings for you Tigers!