The twins’ much anticipated shark themed birthday party finally happened this weekend! … Anticipated mostly by them, while I was mostly apprehensive about pulling it all together. I’ve been worrying for weeks about how to create a birthday party that didn’t include the usual party “crashers” like soda, processed pizza, candy, artificial colors, preservatives, and loads of sugar. Now that they’re in kindergarten and on the “party circuit” there’s a certain level of expectation to be met, and I could tell they were a little worried about whether their friends would end up with carrot sticks in their goody bags.
This weekend the kids were invited to two birthday parties in one day which meant lots of games, lots of fun, and lots of birthday food (cake, candy, pizza, etc.). This always lead to lots of anxiety for me as I try to balance being the “junk free mommy” (who wants her kids to eat healthy) and the “mean mommy” (who doesn’t let her kids eat the birthday food). So, this past weekend I sat back and let them eat what they wanted, but as they rode a sugar high from one party to the next I started planning out a special “detox” dinner for that night.
Did you know that 3 out of 4 kids prefer homemade mac n’cheese instead of Kraft? Well, at least 3 out of 4 of my kids do! I recently decided to do a little investigating and taste testing on one of the food staples of every kid’s life: macaroni and cheese. Here’s what I turned up in my investigation – Kraft macaroni and cheese is chock full of some crazy ingredients! sodium tripolyphosphate, yellow #5, yellow #6, and many others! How can such a simple dish contain so many items that I don’t recognize?
But here’s the good news, making your own mac n’cheese only requires a few ingredients and takes about the same amount of time as the boxed version. The most time consuming part? shredding the cheese. If you can spare two minutes to do that, then there is really no reason to ever grab that blue box again. Just look at the comparison:
My hubby surprised me with this breakfast for Mother’s Day and it was delicious! He also did a great job picking out ingredients to make this healthy and m’organic (which was a bit of a surprise!). I think it’s a great example of how easy it can be to eat real food and make good choices. You don’t need to be a nutrition expert, or spend all your time in the kitchen, to pick up a few changes along the way and really transform your diet. Continue reading
I just walked home from my next door neighbor, Megan’s, house where I watched her rehearse a speech she’ll be giving next week in NYC about the relationship between health and food. As I listened to her I was riveted by the statistics: 1 in 3 children born since 2000 will develop Type 2 Diabetes, childhood allergies have increased 400%, nearly 1 in 67 children are diagnosed with Autism. There will always be a debate as to the relationship between food and some of the health problems we’re now seeing in our children, but what really struck me listening to her is how the changes in our food supply have changed our concerns as mothers.
Now that we’re eating real food, I’ve also been trying to swap out meat for fish more often. But, to tell you the truth, this has been a slow change for us mostly because of two reasons: 1) the kids aren’t always big fans of fish, and 2) I was never really sure what to buy — farm raised (less expensive) or wild caught (more expensive, but possible environmental concerns). After spending a little time researching (and a little time in the kitchen), I think I’ve found the answer to both issues – how to choose our fish and how to make it taste great!