Thursday, April 27, 2006

Why, in my day, you could buy meat anywhere! Eggs they had, real butter! Fresh lettuce in the stores! [UPDATED TEN MINUTES LATER VERSION!]

I have had to change my shirt four times today.
Will Terzo EVER stop spitting up?
Maybe it’s something he’s eating...
read on…

I found this article on Salon about kids’ food choices so interesting, I thought I’d give you my considered and esteemed opinion on it. Just because I can. Hey, you’re the one still reading...Food is just such a weighted topic. (The letters on this article were vehement, both sides.) And most mothers buy into it wholeheartedly, because we are all trying to be good moms, and *clearly,* good moms don't feed their children things that are bad for them.

This seems to be on everyone’s minds these days; Surfing Free just posted about this yesterday.
And there are medical reasons for more rigorous monitoring: Carolyn of TMI Spot maintains a completely separate blog to track what her glucose- and casein-sensitive son can and can’t eat. (She has links to other moms who are dealing with diet restrictions and toddler nutrition, too, if you’re interested.)

Food for our children is a HOT topic.

Just to be right up front: here is a typical day of eating with my boys, and I admit I am not averse to treats of ice cream, the occasional cookie (preferably homemade – it’s the preservatives and chemicals that scare me more than the sugar), or a lemonade/juice box. Mostly because then, *I* can have a coffee or a chocolate croissant or an ice cream.
And as I noted in a previous post or comment, other than allergens, like nuts and strawberries for the baby, my kids are pretty much allowed anything once in a while, except soda. And that’s for no special reason other than it’s rarely around and they prefer juice anyway.

2 bowls Honey-Nut Cheerios or corn flakes with whole milk
Half a banana
Cup of apple or orange juice

Dannon fruit yogurt
Strawberries and/or grapes and/or apples
Annie’s whole-wheat bunny crackers
Chocolate whole milk

Fig Newtons or graham crackers. They also have some kind of fruit, even if it is just some raisins or dried apricots.

A little of whatever we are having, say:
Baked chicken
Steamed broccoli
Sliced apples or oranges
Whole white milk or water
Brownberry’s buttermilk or oatnut bread

Once they get up from the table, they are done. They may eat bread and milk if they are still hungry after they have gotten up. But I am not running a restaurant and I don’t generally cook especially for them. That said, if we are having something I KNOW they hate, like tilapia sautéed in lemon-butter sauce with capers (tonight) – I may make them mac-and-cheese (yes, from the box. They HATE homemade.) or chicken or scrambled eggs. If I am feeling benevolent.

  • Primo will eat any kind of fruit you put in front of him with the exception of kiwi. He’s tried it twice and hated it. He loves chicken and turkey and salami.

  • Segundo’s favorite meal is Bush’s vegetarian baked beans, corn bread, and milk. He is the carb fiend. No danger of him EVER going Atkins on us.

  • Terzo has had some real food – bagel, waffles, plain macaroni, rice – and the only baby food at which he has turned his nose up so far is the Gerber jarred rice-and-turkey. Which I suppose is a good call on his part, actually. Not sure what I was thinking with that purchase.

I do stress about their food. I stress whether they are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need, that they are getting the proper balance of roughage – very important in this time of potty-training, that they are not getting waaaayyy too much sugar. My husband is a fiend about it, but I think that’s because he is not with them as much as I am. So he can be a hard-ass. Also, their whining doesn’t nearly grate on his nerves as much as it grates on mine.

My pediatrician (he’s mine, I tell you! The rest of you drooling moms – hands off! He loves ME!) explained to me that when judging toddler food, it’s really more important – and realistic – to judge their diet over the average of a week’s worth of meals as opposed to one day. He said there are toddlers who can go two days without eating (with NO chocolate stash in the nightstand drawer!) and then eat their body weight or something like that in one meal. Hmmm.

Maybe I was a toddler in a former life.

And maybe the pint of Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby I devoured YESTERDAY will be balanced out by all the fruits and veggies I intend to eat TODAY.

[Gah! I just told you what my children eat! So I should tell them that, say, if a woman named Badger pulls up in her minivan and says, "Hey little Segundo, I know you like to eat BAKED BEANS AND CORNBREAD, hop on in!" they should NOT go with her. They should call me and I can go out drinking with her instead.]


blackbird said...

gosh - now I am thinking about what Youngest eats (he DOES have a disability that effects what he can manage, but still...)
He had a donut for breakfast.
With milk! Whole organic milk!

For lunch he has a yogurt, goldfish crackers, an organic apple and ARIZONA ICE TEA! (good god, the sugar)

Dinner is organic burgers, cucumbers and string beans, tater tots (organic!) and strawberries and ice cream.

Seems sugar heavy to me.
Fortunately I can say that he plays outside all day long and that he weighs 60 pounds and is 4'6".

I could go on forever about this.

Badger said...

Hey kids, there's also a DVD player in that minivan! Come on! I'm a friend of your mom's!

Okay, now that I've creeped you out...

I have posted on this topic pretty extensively, as you know. Right now I'm stressing because I have told my kids that on the first day of summer vacation, Operation Make Your Own Damn Dinner goes into effect. This is the new edict at Casa Badger whereby if you don't like what Mom makes for dinner, you can make your own (in the form of a sandwich and a veggie, both of which must be approved by, but will not be made by, me).

Oh, and summer vacation? Is only ONE MONTH away. I'm buying earplugs NOW.

Sarah Louise said...

Cannot stop laughing!

Joke said...

The Y chromosome is a volume control on whining. This, I theorize, is what allowed the patriarchy to develop.


P.S. I a sanely wary about sugar, but an aboslute BASTARD when it comes to weird-ass ingredients. In fact, whenever I get the "Daddy will you buy me this [insert junk food]?" I invoke the rule that I do not buy anything with ingredients the son in question cannot read/pronounce clearly.

BabelBabe said...

I think one of the most impressive things I have EVER heard is a friend of mine (who shall remain nameless until she cares to out herself, if she so chooses) who has NEVER ever EVER in her 34 years of life eaten a Twinkie.

So excellent rule, Joke.

Carolyn said...

Your kids eat a lot healthier than mine.

My son used to like apples and grapes. I still offer them. He sticks up his nose.

I brought home delicious, fresh asparagus from Whole Foods. It was the best part of the meal I cooked. He said "EEEYEEEWWW."

He lives on meat and cookies. I am caught between guilt and hoping that he will eat something.

My second daughter is as bad as he is.

My oldest child is a treat and eats everything without complaint, but we do not eat nearly enough veggies.

MsCellania said...

I used to be an absolute idiot about what our sons ate. Then I had to lighten up as the snacks at school and other parents' houses were mostly junque. And I was raised with No Junk Food and I went batshit for it when I left home. Twinkies for dinner? You betcha! Koolaid/Pepsi/Cigarette for breakfast? Hell, YES! So I am rationalizing it with I don't want My Sons to leave home and go all batshit.

I laughed at your Organic White Milk. Darn it; we only drink Organic Whole Brown Milk in this house!

MsCellania said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sarah Louise said...

It's me! I'm the nameless friend who has never eaten a Twinkie!

Joke said...

I'm also a Twinkie virgin. Is that rare?


P.S. Never had a Yodel, Ding-Dong, Devold Dog, et al., but I have had Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets.
P.P.S. I actually buy my kids Organic Cheetos. Really.

Sarah Louise said...

Organic Cheetos? Do they lack the bright orange coloring? Off to google this...

Badger said...

Never eaten a Twinkie? That's not impressive. That's just sad. Sad, and wrong.

P.S. I'm a Ho-Ho gal, myself.

BabelBabe said...


I am from the Philly area and until recently you could not get tastykakes out here. The peanut butter kandykakes are my absolute tastykake favorite.

BabelBabe said...

oh, and Badger - somehow I could have guessed that...

MsCellania said...

Oh waidaminit - my mom bought us Little Debbie's! So YES I did have junque fewd.

And sorry Joke, but those organic cheetos are just plain NASTY. I just tossed a bag I could not sell to even my most my Cheetos-loving visitor. He is an autistic 4 yo, and gave me a complete sentence "Dose are willy yucky antee bickee." His mother almost fell out of her shoes. She now offers him horrible stuff to eat to hear his comments.

Joke said...

Actually, to me, organic Cheetos are like crack.

Badge, your "Ho-Ho" comment has generated so many potential puns my brain almost imploded under their combined weight.


BabelBabe said...

and if you eat enough Ho-Hos you will implode under your combined weight...

Surfing Free said...

That is a great rule Joke - I am going to use that one. No pronounce-y no eat-y :)
I worried about sugar and then I add worrying about salt on top of that. But I work full time and I never have the time to cook little treats and snacks from scratch so I know I am failing with the salt thing and well, sugar is a battle I have already lost. But both love most veggies and all fruit so I hope it balances out.
Very intersting Salon article - thanks for posting it :)

Suse said...

I didn't know Bush is a vegetarian. This puts a whole new spin on things.

Badger said...

Joke, I was SO going to preemptively tell you to shut up after my Ho-Ho comment, but I didn't want you to think I was referring to your prattling about your snack cake deficiencies.

Although come to think of it, that too.

Sarah Louise said...

Bush is a vegetarian? Was that in the Salon article I didn't read?

Going to bed now,


Lazy cow said...

Grrr, I'm away from the computer for a few hours and am late to the discussion. Hate that.
I love this thread. Food and food preparation is constantly on my mind, and I discuss it with my girlfriends endlessly (too bad I hate to cook). You sound like you have a good attitude towards food (but what the hell is that dish that starts with "t" that your kids won't eat?)

jess said...

This is a fascinating topic for me...even though I don't have kids. I've known a lot of people who've been vegetarians or vegans, sometimes I'm required to be a vegan myself, and my attitude towards food restrictions is constantly changing. At one point I was very supportive of people wanting to go veg - but now? I'm all about the meat and dairy - not just for taste but for health. Then there's my friend who has decided to eliminate gluten from her life - a self-diagnosis that I take with a grain of salt because she's always gone on food kicks like that. Her 3 year old is eating the same diet - but is rosy and healthy. But I worry for her going out into the world with mama's food restrictions hanging over her head.