Thank-you very much.
We’ve been on a downhill slip ‘n slide this summer into the deep dark hole of sweets, treats and fast food. And folks, it ain’t good. A couple of weeks ago, I realized that our rotating lunch schedule pretty much consists of frozen pizza, mac & cheese and grilled cheese and it’s nearly always followed by my 4 year old requesting dessert of some kind. And if that’s not bad enough, stick us in a car anytime within about 1/2 an hour of a meal and we’re probably not passing by the multitude of fast food joints to go home for a salad. I mean, really, when you pull into the drive through at Taco Bell and you hear your not quite 2 year old in the back going “yummmmmmmm,” it’s kind of funny. But when she does it at pretty much every single fast food restaurant? Yeah…then you’ve got a serious problem on your hands (not that I’m talking about my 2 year old or anything).
And it’s not just the kids and finding something that they actually WILL eat, it’s us grownups too. I’m so busy taking care of everybody else’s needs that by the time I get around to eating I’m STARVING and will pretty much just grab whatever’s there (which is usually full of sugar or comes out of a bag and/or box) and that generally does not end well. And my poor husband! Let’s just say he’s simply defenseless against all the goodies I keep on hand to try and bribe my children to eat.
So before this family is too far gone, I decided to take control. I’m the the grocery shopper/meal preparer around this house, though I will gladly acquiesce both of these titles to someone else (anyone else…takers?). So if there are going to be healthy eating habits around these parts, it’s going to start with me. Period.
Ironically, for the little extra encouragement I needed to get started, I had planned on purchasing some new cookware, (hey, you do what you gotta do right? Who wants to make healthy tasty dishes in ratty old pots and pans anyway?) something perhaps along the lines of Le Creuset. And wouldn’t you know it, it was right about then that Jamie from CSN Stores contacted me to see if I’d do a review for them. I could pick anything I wanted to review. There’s over 200 stores on this virtual mall carrying all sorts of different products, everything from toys to ceiling fans, including…COOKWARE!! I’m chomping at the bit. (So yeah, you can be looking forward to a review in the near future and what’s that? **SNIFF SNIFF** I think I smell another giveaway. Stay tuned…)
But drastic times call for drastic measures and can not wait for new cookware. So, I got started. I planned out our meals, I cleaned out the fridge and pantry, pitching every single garbage food item I could find (and the fossilized pickles) and re-stocked with healthier goods. I moved the snacks up to a higher shelf so little hands can’t get at them unaided, but kept the fruit & veggies easily accessible. And I went puree crazy with the hopes that I’d be able to slip a few fruits and veggies into the dishes I prepare for my kiddos (and husband) unnoticed a la Jessica Seinfeld and her Deceptively Delicious cookbook.
It’s been about two weeks now and except for a late night tango with a can of mild cheddar cheese dip my husband bought for me after a particularly rough day (it was a weak moment) and an end of summer field day/party at my mom’s full of eats that aren’t quite on our menu anymore, I’m happy to say we’ve been doing pretty good. I’ve discovered my 4 year old LOVES celery and my anti-veggie 2 year old will happily devour them if they are disguised as something else, like say cheese sticks for example (it had cauliflower in it if you must know, but don’t tell).
Now the trick I believe will be sticking with it and the key to that might just be in the meal planning. If I just take 15-20 minutes to plan out our meals for the week and write up my grocery list accordingly, I’m good. The danger sets in when I grocery shop on a whim with no plan. I might as well go in hungry to because I’m probably stocking my cart with things that may look tasty, but I probably don’t actually need and would be woefully disappointed if I ate (at least after I ate it anyway).
So I’m totally open to suggestions you guys. Old habits die hard and this isn’t the first time I’ve hit the reset button. So how do you stay on track and keep your family’s diet in check? And what sort of things do you keep on hand so that when the “I’m huuuuuuuuuuungryyyyyyyy” whine creeps in the middle of your making dinner, you’re prepared? And feel free to send a few words of encouragement my way too, because honestly, this may be far harder than the marathon for me. Seriously.
P.S. Are you in the Gu Giveaway yet? Really, it’s so easy to enter it’s ridiculous. Look I’ll even give you the link right here so you don’t have to find it. That is how extraordinarily terrific I am. In fact, I would just go ahead and enter you myself, but that really wouldn’t be fair to the people who have already entered. Maybe next time ;-)