|Teach them how to eat well and they’ll pass it on.|
I had one of those rare mom-affirming moments the other day. I gave my kids smoothies made from an instant smoothie mix that you find in the freezer department. I never buy that stuff, but we were on week two of “soft” diet for The Girl after surgery and I was out of ideas and quite frankly-money.
So I used a free item coupon and made the kids fake smoothies.Guess what? They hated them. Even The Baby who is a total sugar fiend hated them. They all wanted “my” smoothies instead. It felt pretty good.
Let me be clear, I am not someone who feeds their kids a perfect diet. There are plenty of Oreo cookies around this place and we have been known to enjoy those zero-worth freezie pops in the summer. We eat sugar, sometimes a lot of it. It’s just that if given the choice between making and buying, I almost always choose making. I wish I could say it was because I am devoted to good health, but often it is because I am devoted to good wallet.
I have found from early on that it is usually cheaper in the long run (after the initial sticker shock for fresh produce) for me to make most foods that can also be store bought and the added bonus of knowing exactly what’s in the food I give my kids has become even more important. I make smoothies with only yogurt, fruit and ice. I make old fashioned popcorn for snacks instead of bags of chips. I made baby food purees and later used purees to sneak into home cooked meals. Now I have kids who eat vegetables pretty well so I can stop sneaking. I make dinner almost every night and it almost never (I said almost) involves macaroni or nuggets unless they’re is a sitter or it’s a late summer beach night and I’ve had a few cocktails. I make icing and often cakes from scratch and I am NOT a baker. I got the recipes on the back of a can. I am about to embark on making my own bread and waffles. (That just pushed me over the crazy edge didn’t it?)
My point is, I’m not super ambitious or even particularly culinary inclined and even I can make a good deal of healthy foods that we all like. I have figured out lazy work arounds for most everything. So, when you see the ladies on the morning talk shows steaming and chopping and pureeing baby food, don’t be scared. There is a way to do it that is way easier and requires far fewer pieces of fancy kitchen equipment than they have. Trust me. I have neither time nor fancy kitchen equipment and I fed my babies a diet of those cute little ice-cube tray foods pretty often.
Feeding kids well requires a little extra time for planning but if I could manage it, then everyone. Believe me, the peace of mind that comes from knowing what you are putting in your kids’ mouth is worth every extra second.
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