Welcome to my Weblog!
Welcome to 1 Mother 2 Another! To read my most recent weblog entries, scroll down. To read entries from one category, click the links at right. To read my journey from the beginning, click here. To find out more about me, click here.
Top 5s
Short on time? Click here to go to my Top 5s Page - links to my top five recommendations in every category from Breastfeeding Sites to Urban Living Solutions.

Changing Habits, One Meal At A Time

We try to eat healthy in our house. We definitely don’t eat enough vegetables, but we’re working on it. And the girls understand that I’m happy to let them have a cookie – as long as it’s one we’ve made ourselves. We’re working on understanding that homemade junk food is way better than store-bought junk food (and I use the word “food” loosely in that case).

Sometimes it’s hard; sometimes I think I’m lecturing waaaay too much, or turning my kids into those weird children who will sneak out of the house on a Friday night just to have a Twinkie. And then chew a piece of gum when they come home to disguise their breath.

I worry about finding that balance between not making food SUCH a big deal – it’s just what we use for fuel, no more, no less – and making sure they understand the importance of what we put in our bodies. I worry that they’ll fear food, and become paralyzed in a 7-11 when they’re 16 years old and off with friends. I worry they’ll develop a Dorito habit and hide the bags as they come in the house.

In short, I think about this a lot.

We watch TED Talks on Monsanto and genetically-modified food; the girls understand artificial food dyes and why they are bad for you; Cora can explain how our local cattle rancher, from whom we buy all our meat, is a much better choice than the mass-produced CAFO beef you get everywhere else. So I know they’re hearing me.

And sometimes, I get proof they’re really listening, too.

A few months ago we went to a quick, family-friendly restaurant with friends. Maddie chose to get a salad for her meal and went through the salad bar, happily topping her lettuce. When we got back to the seat, she looked at the little square imitation-ham cubes and said, “I hope these pigs were humanely raised.”

I told her we’d finish that conversation after the meal.

Just a week or so ago, I offered to take Maddie out to lunch and she asked if we could go to a local deli because she was craving a baked potato with all the toppings. As I started to grab my car keys, Maddie said, “Actually, never mind. They have that fake bacon that doesn’t taste good, and the imitation cheese they use is icky. Let’s just do something here instead.”

Yes, please.

Cora is finally understanding how artificial food dyes affect her – they can cause temporary ADD-like symptoms in her – and why we don’t have any artificial food dyes in our house. When candy comes home for Valentines Day and such, she willingly lets me “buy” her Smarties and SweetTarts with a couple pieces of fair-trade chocolate, saying, “This is better for the environment and better for my attitude.”

Thank you, Lord.

And just the other night, we were out at a restaurant as a family. Maddie perused the kids’ menu, then said, “Oh, no. The macaroni and cheese here is Kraft! How can they do that to kids?”

The waiter stared at Maddie.

“Mom, this stuff is full of genetically modified ingredients and artificial food dyes! I really wanted mac and cheese but I cannot eat this – it’s just not right!” and Maddie wouldn’t back down – not out of fear, but indignation. (And yes, she really talks like that.)

Maddie finally settled on a plate of pasta in a cream sauce, with chicken and broccoli. I didn’t have the heart to tell her the cream sauce was ultra-processed and the chickens probably weren’t free-range. She was trying so hard to do the right thing, and I didn’t want to rain on that parade.

It feels like a tightrope sometimes, this healthy eating thing – that balance between empowering and paralyzing our kids.

But some days, I feel like it’s working.


Post a Comment

House Rules

Here are the rules for posting comments on 1mother2another.com. Posting a comment that violates these rules will result in the comment’s deletion, and you’ll probably be banned from commenting in the future.

1) Register first. If you would like to post a comment, you must create an account with us. Check out the home page to do so.

2) Constructive comments only. If you cannot maintain a respectful tone in your posting, even in disagreement, your comment will be deleted. We’re all trying to find our way in this thing and are struggling to be the best moms we can. If you disagree with something I say, feel free to politely email me. If you disagree with another reader’s posting, you’re welcome to kindly post in reply. Vitriolic diatribes will be deleted. This site is about encouraging and supporting, not tearing down and chastising.

3) Questions welcomed. If an entry raises a question, you’re welcome to email me directly or post it. Keep in mind that postings will result in public replies by strangers and not just me.

4) Don’t steal. All original writings contained within this website are under copyright protection. If you link to us, please credit us as your source and provide a link back to our website. If you're interested in using an excerpt in published material, please contact us.

5) Share your photos! We'd love to have photos from our registered readers to show on our home page under "Maddie's friends". Email us a jpeg of your little one's best photo to photos@1mother2another.com. Please, no photos from professional photographers which fall under copyright protection.