A couple weeks ago, I was in the grocery store with Molly and Charlotte. I'm pushing the cart around. I was actually picking up food with plans to prepare meals at home. This is a big deal for our house. I'm feeling pretty good about myself as a mom. So, we reach the bread aisle. I need to pick up some bread for sandwiches. I'm standing there and another mom comes up with a girl, a little older than Molly. Our girls wave to each other and smile. I give the other mom that "Aren't our kids so cute?" smile. Just a normal, Wednesday morning interaction in the grocery store. I reach down to pick up our bread. The other little girl reaches to pick the same kind. All of a sudden, I hear it. The other mom saying, "No, no! We don't eat white bread at our house, little miss Sally Mae goody-two-shoes."
Ok, so I added that last part about Sally Mae. But, I was annoyed. And, the rest was true. I'm going to go with the assumption that the mom didn't know I had my hand on that exact same type of bread when she said such a condescending thing in such a loud voice. And, I know, I know, everyone from Joy Bauer to that Eat-This-Not-That guy says that you don't eat white bread. I just cannot get on board with wheat sandwich bread. I don't like it. And, to be fair, I always get the whole grain white bread with lots of fiber and no high fructose corn syrup. That's gotta be at least somewhat better. Right? Maybe?
After being made to feel like a fairly horrible mother right there in the grocery store, the government decided to pile on. Has anyone else seen this new food "pyramid" that's out there? It isn't actually a pyramid. They've changed the shape. It is now a circle. Or, a plate, as it were. I've got to admit, it does make a lot more sense for it to be a plate. I mean, that is the vehicle from which we actually consume our meals. Well, most of the time. Unless it's from a bag (Chick-Fil-A), box (Noodles), aluminum foil (Chipotle), or chinese take-home container (Pei-Wei). What? Am I revealing a bit too much about my food consumption habits? Anyway, here are the new food recommendations, on a plate:
Great. Now I have a very visual, very colorful guilt trip.
I know there are some of you super moms and dads out there whose kids eat all-natural, completely organic food and lots and lots of veggies. And, you swear they love it all. And, by the way, they are also geniuses. Well, you all can stop reading this blog entry right now and go sit by yourself in a room and feel incredibly self-satisfied. Have fun with that. And, don't tell me about it.
But, if there are any of you out there like me, getting my kids to eat vegetables can sometimes amount to pulling teeth. Or, something else horrible. Like being forced to watch entire Major League Baseball games on TV. That is my definition of pure torture. To me, every TV baseball announcer's voice is akin to nails on a chalkboard. They drive me absolutely batty. (Get it? Batty. Bats. Baseball. No?) Anyway, back to vegetables ...
I try to get my kids to eat their veggies. Tonight, we successfully convinced Molly to eat seven torn-up pieces of lettuce. Do I really have to admit that this was only accomplished with the promise of a cookie for dessert? I'm pretty sure that is the antithesis of the point of eating veggies. Plus, where is my dessert section of the plate? Is that dairy circle over there actually supposed to represent a cupcake? I can go with that. Cupcakes often have buttercream frosting, which surely has some dairy, right?
I'm not saying the girl doesn't eat some vegetables; she likes carrots, sometimes broccoli, sometimes corn. But they certainly don't constitute more than one-quarter of her plate. Then, fruit to round out the half. For some reason, I cannot get my go-to meal of easy mac with a fruit cup on the side to fit into this new plate. I'm ruining my children!
I know a big part of the problem is that I don't cook. And, Cory only has a few go-to meals that he can make. Substituting and changing things up doesn't really happen. Plus, Cory's never one to think, "Oh, I can just add a few more veggies to this!" Sometimes, I have to work as hard to get him to eat his veggies as I do the girls. We have tried a few recipes out of Jessica Seinfeld's book about sneaking veggies into meals. One: They took forever to prepare. What with the pureeing, the mixing, the buying of random ingredients. We still have a box of whole wheat bread crumbs in our cabinet from one of those experiments. Hmmm ... maybe I can interest Sally Mae's mom in those. And, Two: The results just weren't that good. I don't know if I can blame the recipes or the chef for that part.
So, I'm left feeling guilty and just hoping against hope that if I eat a big salad with dinner, one day, the girls will decide they want to do the same. I mean seven torn-up pieces of lettuce is a start, right? Only about 200 more and it could constitute a whole salad. And, if the point of this new food plate was a lot of guilt-buying of vegetables ... well, it worked. Our fridge is now stocked. Anyone want some broccoli?