Monday, April 9, 2007


A huge issue for me as a mom (and a woman) is meal planning and nutrition.

As a parent I don't want my kids to have the same food issues that I do. I grew up very poor and food wasn't always available. I was always praised when I finished all my food. My mom even took proud pictures showing me holding a clean plate. I still have "clean plate issues". If it's on the plate I feel obligated to eat it. In this day of huge portions that's obviously not healthy. Even though I know what the problem is I still struggle with it. Conversely DP struggles with sweets and treats. A trip to my MIL's house is a feast of cakes, candies, cookies, chocolates, popcorn and even hot cocoa with fresh made whipped cream. So yeah, we have food issues I'd rather not pass on to my own daughters.

My MIL and my DP are gourmet cooks. They swap recipes and I'm often drooling over the latest creation. That is until I realize it has a pound of butter and a quart of cream...or it's wrapped in bacon and stuffed with a special cheese that adds 10 pounds at the sight of it. My mom was a simple, healthy cook out of necessity. She didn't know what gourmet cooking was but she knew how to feed 15 people with a block of government cheese, a can of salmon, a bag of elbow noodles and a few homegrown tomatoes.

I'm trying to find a healthy medium. I'm trying to please too many picky eaters. I'm working around food allergies, high blood pressure and SID texture issues. I'm trying to make sure our meals are nutritious and delicious. Why is this so hard?


Anonymous said...

Because it is such an emotional thing.

At least for me.

Most days I am doing okay with it (most days! not all!)

But learning how to feed four kids instead of two was a STEEP learning curve.

Maggie said...

It's hard. I have trouble and I live alone. Once I bring a kiddo home and try to meet his wants but keep things healthy, I'm sure things will get harder yet.

Maybe we should start a healthy, kid-friendly recipe swap. What do you think?

Amanda said...

We have these same concerns. Both PB and I grew up on a pretty crappy diet - me, because I was picky and only wanted to eat junk food and PB because his mom was gone a lot and he only knew how to cook convenience foods.

Hard habits to break, but I'm with you in that I certainly don't want to pass along the same dietary issues to my kids.

Fostermama said...

I would LOVE a recipe swap! I think I spend more time finding a recipe than I do cooking a meal! LOL

fostermama said...

[other fostermama]
Wow, that does sound hard. Practically, as well as emotionally.

One thing that FosterMommy learned at a cool nutrition program a bunch of years ago was to not focus on what you're trying NOT to eat but on what you do want to eat.

I have had some practical success w this recently: I have a junk food and overeating issue that I'm always struggling with. I tend to eat healthily at meals and then snack way too much. And I often forget to eat bkfst or lunch. 2 months ago I decided that I was going to make sure to eat enough at 3 meals a day. But no snacking between meals on anything other than veggies, fruits, and nuts. And no desserts/sweets at any time.

Instead of thinking, "I can't have brownies and I can't have toast, and I can't... what am I going to eat?" I can instead ask myself, "What nuts or fruits or veggies do we have around that I'm in the mood for?"

Do you have a food coop or health food store around? There are so many options for healthier and different kinds of foods that can make changing your diet more exciting. Though still a lot of work. Another idea from FosterMommy's classes was to go to the store and choose one new piece of produce each week that you'd never had before, and use it in a recipe.

I actually get a kick out of cooking for allergy avoidance. It's a creative challenge. If you have enough resources, I bet you will too. One book we've liked (though we don't make many recipes from books - I'm inspired by recipes but cook from the fridge-brain combo) is the Allergy Self-Help Cookbook.

I bet FosterMommy would be happy to help you, if you want. She hasn't done any nutrition counseling in a couple years, but she is trained in it.