We were walking through Trader Joes and Hunter picked up a can of what looked like knock-off classic Spaghetti O’s. He asked, “Mommy, what’s this? Can I put it in my cart?” It dawned on me my kids had never experienced the 1980’s staple in kids’ diets. An irrational thought flashed across my mommy brain, “Oh my gosh, my kids haven’t even had Spaghetti O’s! What kind of parent am I?” The can did say organic and it was from Trader Joe’s so I said, “Yes, you can put it in your cart.” Read More
It’s coming. Are you ready? In just a few short days our little ghosts and goblins are going to come running home, eyes glazed over in a sugar-induced high, and shout in amazement, “Mom, look at all this candy!” Read More
My neighbor asked me the other day if I had seen the article in the New York Times about horrible tooth decay in toddlers. Apparently, they are putting two and three year old kids under general anesthesia to fill all the cavities they have in their mouths. We’re talking twelve at a time. The article goes on to “mention” snacking as a problem but seems to put more emphasis on parents not thoroughly brushing and not having fluoride in water (using bottled water). Uhh, did my parent’s brush my teeth thoroughly when I was little?? Read More
Recently for my two year old’s birthday, I decided, with the strong prodding from my mother in law, to be an overachieving mom and indulge my son in a homemade Thomas the Train cake. I always feel like my younger boy is getting the short end of the stick on stuff like homemade cakes, new clothes and birthday parties. Like many of you with boys, we are all about trains all the time in our house. I decided to really splash out and make him a James cake (Thomas is so last year). For those of you who aren’t familiar with James, he is a gallant bright red train engine. Read More
Take a stroll through your refrigerator and pantry and peruse the ingredient lists. Virtually every condiment, canned good, and even spices contain “natural flavoring.” So what exactly is natural flavoring? And if it’s natural why don’t they just list the actual ingredient the flavor is derived from? Read More
I have to admit that I prefer to do most of my grocery shopping at a store such as Trader Joe’s mostly because I’m lazy and always rushing through the store like a mad woman and they make it easy for me. I place my innate trust in them. I know that if I pick up whole grain bread it doesn’t have preservatives or other unsavory stuff. (Note: I’m not getting paid to say this). Unfortunately Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods is not “just around the corner” from me. So the other day when I went into our local big box chain grocery store to do some serious last minute shopping I was frustrated beyond belief. Read More
This past week we embarked on another family trip. The only direct flight was at a horrifying 6:55 am and it was over three hours. After our last flight I had given up any pretences that my two angels would settle in for a nice nap. The boys are at the age where flying is actually exciting. Will is especially enamored with the lavatory (but I digress). When we landed we then had a four hour drive to our destination (a beautiful place in the middle of nowhere where I grew up). Needless to say, the boys were more than tired. Read More
Psssst. Hey, kid. Over here. Want a snack? Why does it seem that everywhere I go, someone is trying to feed my children? And nine times out of ten it’s something that either contains cheese spelled with a “z,” glows in the dark, or boasts a sell by date that hovers close to when my six year old can legally drink his first beer. I say, stop the insanity! Read More
We thought we were being clever. We booked ourselves on the 6:55 am flight direct to Minneapolis. Two hours and twenty minutes. Piece of cake. We would wake the boys, bring bananas to fill them up on the car ride to the airport, and they would be back asleep upon take-off. Not quite so fast perky parents. First we got cocky and underestimated the time required to park the car, check and pay for luggage, and get two kids, a dog (yes the dog), a double stroller and ourselves through security. By the time we reached the gate, the plane was boarding. We again thought we were being smart by pre-boarding the plane so as to not disturb anyone – and to get away from the stares at our very own three-ring circus. I didn’t realize how LONG boarding takes! 20 minutes later Will and Hunter started jumping on the seats and I realized that was the first indication of trouble with a capital T. Read More
For this trip to the Grandparent’s house I decided not to be my usual high maintenance mother, insisting on keeping our set schedules and cooking healthy meals. Instead, I gave the reigns to the Grandparents and let them have the week to spoil their only two grandkids as much as possible. This included a week-long extravaganza of activities, eating out every day and treats galore. After a breakdown (or two), the ambitious grandparents did see the value of afternoon naps for the boys. So we would get up in the morning and eat breakfast then be out the door to start the day’s planned activity. By 11:30 the boys would be on the brink and we would grab some food with the echo “I want mac and cheese!” always present if at a restaurant or at the pool we would hear “I want chips!”. We would rush home and put the junk-food filled boys to bed for naps.
Up until now, my kids are young enough that I haven’t experienced the parental “punch in the stomach” of disappointment. You know like when you prepare your kid to be an engineer and he ends up being a professional bum. So an incident happened and really I KNOW it is no big deal. Read More
Ok, so I admit, now that my children eat everything that we eat, I find it REALLY hard to prepare food without a dash of salt here and there. So I went on a mission to find out how much sodium I may be adding to my little one's diet. Read More
I recently got around to watching the film “Food Inc.” Being in the middle of America’s bread basket, I found it fascinating. We are usually pretty good about avoiding fast food chains, but one has to admit when you are in the car with two kids it is SO easy to go through the drive through. Though I am somewhat proud to say that Will doesn’t like McDonald’s chicken nuggets (I’m under no illusion this phenomenon will last for long). Read More
When looking for convenient food to serve, it is difficult to avoid cured meats. From ham to cold cuts to sausage to the good old hot dog, they are everywhere! And let’s face it: They taste good.
In many stores now, one can find foods labeled “uncured” “naturally cured” or “nitrate free.” So what exactly are nitrates and are they bad for you? Read More
Last week we were having some behavioral issues with Will -- more so than usual that is. By mid-morning he was beside himself and nothing seemed to make him happy. I thought, “my goodness (stronger word most likely used), so this is what they mean by the terrible two’s!” Daddy was on breakfast duty and reported that he was eating great. “In fact he ate three bowls of yogurt every single day! He loves this stuff you bought.”
As the Holiday season winds down, I cringe a bit at the food that has entered my child’s mouth like the ENTIRE piece of pumpkin pie Grandma fed William. “It’s OK,” she said “It’s pumpkin!” (she didn’t have to deal with the ensuing sugar high that followed) Read More
Maybe it's the lazy, hazy days of August, or maybe it's the fact that I am pregnant and getting bigger by the day, but sometimes my cooking motivation just goes down the tubes. Inevitably though, my laziness backfires. We don't eat as healthfully and the whole family always seems slightly unsatisfied, requiring more snacks and "searching for something" in the fridge. Even William doesn't eat as well as usual. We also end up spending a lot more money by running to the grocery store for a last minute meal,or worse, the take-out joint.
Remember when you could go to a restaurant and actually eat your food? When traveling, you have days and days of eating out. So how to survive? We recently got back from a five day trip and I need a vacation from my vacation! After a few break downs (William, not me thankfully) and a miserable plane ride home, of course I came up with a few tips for this new way of life. I hope you can learn from my mistakes! Read More