Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Busy Mom's Journal: Kid Food

My Fridays are nothing short of boring.  I don't really have much of a social life.  And honestly, I don't mind it one bit.  On a Friday evening, all I really want to do is play with my kid, put him to bed, and curl up with a book or watch some TV.  So in my quest to shirk all social responsibilities, I've stumbled upon "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" on ABC's Friday night line-up.  

This is the basic premise: Jamie Oliver (a cuter-than-cute British chef ) comes to America to tackle the obesity problem in one West Virginia town. His central place of intervention so far: the school cafeterias.  Both he and plenty of health experts believe that the enormous amount of processed food American children eat is leading to a rise in childhood obesity.  Being a teacher myself, I can attest to the fact that school food is some of the most processed stuff around.  Jamie's solution is to introduce the town to the idea of cooking with fresh ingredients.  Real pieces of chicken, instead of chicken nuggets.  Fresh fruits and vegetables, instead of french fries.  

I like that idea.  I think it's noble and good.  But I must say that it hits close to home and pings my "Mommy-Guilt meter".  More importantly, it hits close to my refrigerator.  I'll be the first one to admit that the easiest food to feed my son is full of processed ingredients.  At the end of the day, it's just too easy to heat up a turkey hot dog and some Easy Mac in order to get his dinner on the table fast.  That way he's happy and I can focus on making a healthier dinner for myself. 

What a double standard!  I feed my kid chicken nuggets regularly, but wouldn't make a steady diet of them myself.  In my mind, they're "kid food":  things we eat as children, but try not to eat too much of as adults.  What I feed my son is born out of ease and finding things that a toddler will eat.  [MOMMY-GUILT-INDUCED DISCLAIMER: Before you call Child Services on me, bear in mind that he loves to eat veggies and fruit, so there are plenty of those mixed in.  I also don't feed him very many sweets at all.  Animal crackers and yogurt are about it.  There.  I feel better.]  But even still, he eats plenty of processed food, especially in the protein department. 

So two nights ago in my endeavor to feed more "real" food to my son, he waited (with the aid of a few animal crackers to tide him over) while I made dinner: a healthy frittata made with leftover Easter ham and veggies.  We all sat around the dinner table and ate dinner together.  It was good.   

Can I do that every night?  Sure.  Will I do that every night? Probably not.  But I will definitely keep in mind that I am teaching my son healthy eating habits that will last his whole lifetime.  I will focus on finding easy recipes that both he and I can eat, made from healthy, whole ingredients without too much processing.  That way he can enjoy pure, healthy food and I can eat it too.  I'm not saying goodbye to kid food forever.  No way.  I think moderation is the key. 

So tell me about your family?  What do you feed your kids?  How do you feel about "kid food"?  Leave comments.  Discuss. 


  1. Kelly, 12 years into parenting, and I sooooo relate with you!!!!! I just heard about the Food Revolution show this morning on the radio, and I am very intrigued.

    Last week I caught a few minutes of Dr. Oz. Someone asked him about his thoughts on the healthcare legislation. His response was something along the lines of - If Americans would focus as much time, money, and attention on losing weight and acting healthy as they are on this legislation, then we would not have a healthcare crisis. Obesity is a huge source of the problem - no pun intended.

    After hearing that, I thought about the helplessness/hopelessness that I feel towards healthcare.... We know that Saten is the author of helplessness and hopelessness!! We are engaging in healthcare solutions by promoting victorious, healthy eating and exercise programs. I find that approach freeing and exciting, rather than hopeless!

    I do that exact same thing with my kids as you do - feed them quick and easy, while I eat more healthy. I have been thinking about how I need to change that habit. My Tyler is addicted to sugar in a big, bad way!! He drives crazy with his begging for sugary snacks - yet I know that I have created the monster! I am inspired by your blog entry!

  2. Heidi, that's an interesting take on the healthcare debate that we all can do for ourselves. Something tangible. Good thoughts.

  3. I used to hate the fact that my kids had food allergies and I couldn't just pop in a frozen dinner for them, instead of cooking.

    But, it is exactly THAT reason that I LOVE their food allergies. My four-year-old has never had anything processed in his life, it would make him sick. So, I have to make EVERYTHING myself...which means, a MUCH healthier meal for everyone. I also do not cook two meals...well, because technically I'd have to cook 3 different meals as 2 of my kids have different allergies. I make ONE meal that EVERYONE can eat.

    I know, it's strange, but I do thank God for their allergies, it is making us ALL healthier, because we eat NO processed foods!

    Good for you though, Kelly. It is hard, but SO worth it!

  4. Serena: Wow. That's pretty amazing to have to handle all those allergies. I'm sure you've become very good at it. I'm finding that it definitely takes planning. I can't get home from work and have no plan for dinner at all. That's for sure. Otherwise it's hot dogs and easy mac again!