When kids are hungry, they are going to eat what they can scavenge, whether it’s a bag of exotic-flavored cheesie puffs or carrot sticks. Convenience food is whatever you deem it. It just needs to be easy to open and have the ability to be plopped into a waiting mouth. We fall into eating junky convenience foods when we are hungry, tired, time-crunched, or otherwise less discerning. (Picture me right before naptime running on little sleep. Exactly where are the chocolate chips? Tell Me!) I have been rethinking this concept of “convenience” since last summer when I fell in love with dried fruit. It required no peeling, minimal trash, and easy to pack. Oh, and all of my kids loved it. Continue reading
Are you nervous about maintaining a healthy home during the week of Halloween? Or do you just throw your hands up and allow sugar comas to reign supreme? I think there can be some moderation. You can still be an exciting mom without handing out trans fats from your front steps. I’m handing out Continue reading
This was a big deal for me. I realized I had been living in a cultural crap trap that goes a little like this,
“If I want to be the hero, I need to bring really good junk food.”
This is especially true with my interactions with teenagers.
Why do I fall i nto this trap? It’s easy. Junk is always a socially safe option because you know most teens won’t turn it down. The odds of having your treat well accepted are high. Plus, when their mouths are full, I can get in a few words.
I really wanted to be the hero and arrive at the gathering with some kind of Fancy Junk Supreme. But, I wanted to be brave this week and serve vegetables. This kind of bravery is the specialty of the Don’t Panic Mom community. The cucumbers and green beans went the fastest, followed by broccoli. I didn’t even serve a goopy dip.
After this week I feel much better about being the lady who brings vegetables. I kind of like that reputation.
Want to read more about the Crap Trap? These posts ought to get you thinkin’:
The Scene: Jury Duty
I thought I would be the social hero by sweetening-up my fellow jurors. I told the disappointed group that I would bring homemade cinnamon rolls if we were called back for another day of service. We were. Then I had one of the most important “crap trap” realizations of my life.
While waiting on some court formalities we were all waiting in the deliberation room. I was conversing with a middle-aged gentleman about his family. He took the conversation to an unexpected place, diabetes. He said that his entire family, including his himself, had the disease. If fact, his mother had lost a leg from complications. His brother’s legs were also soon to be amputated.
My mind was racing. Was this guy serious? I can’t believe what I am hearing! He contentedly ate my cinnamon rolls while we waited to go back to the court room. I felt like a criminal. How many functions have I brought these treats? Too many to count.
These cinnamon rolls are amazing. I won’t change the recipe. But I will change the size of the actual rolls and the frequency in which I serve them.
I am so grateful for that “Crap Trap” moment because it helped me realize that I can contribute to a culture that supports health. Which will be good for everyone, diabetic or otherwise. I am leader when I bring fruit, instead of cinnamon rolls.
Have you had to change a tradition to make it healthier?
I have this ingrained idea that ice cream is THE definition of a reward. It stems from a lifetime of ice cream cones after winning (or losing) a softball game, getting good grades, served at every birthday party, etc. Needless to say, I have A LOT of positive associations with ice cream.
This has crept into my ideas about parenting and giving ice cream as a reward for good behavior and sometimes even a bribe for finishing vegetables…. yikes! The more I read about child nutrition I learned that I was giving my kids really confusing ideas about food.
“We don’t eat vegetables because they make us healthy, we eat them because we get ice cream.”
Here is a link to a great post by Child Nutrition Expert, Jill Castle, about this topic. I am now working intentionally not to use food as a reward. I am also dialoging with my children about what I like about healthy food and making connections to health.
“I like bananas because they are yellow and sweet. They give me energy to run and jump.”
Here is my recent success about getting Out of the Crap Trap:
- The Scene: At the doctor’s office for vaccinations
- The Crap Trap: I wanted to offer my son an ice cream cone if he stopped crying and cooperated with the Medical Assistant. Completely logical!
- Out of the Crap Trap: I resisted my urge to offer the ice cream probably 3 times in my mind. I finally said with a giant smile, “I will let you pick any park in the city and we’ll go play together.” He received his shots and we went to play later in the day when it warmed up outside. < big sigh of relief > When we went back a few weeks later for a booster-dose, he was very calm and asked about going to the park again. SWEET!
I know it is actual work to get out of the Crap Trap. Our culture of junk food makes healthy living extremely difficult. But we can do it! How have you escaped the Crap Trap this week?
There I was at the Dollar Tree, bold and energetic, searching for something non-candy to distribute to ghosts and miniature versions of Hannah Montana. My plan was to buy glow sticks. They are cool for a range of ages and they can use them that night as they leave my house eager to find someone with actual candy.
I could only find large glow sticks and I couldn’t rationalize dropping $100 to make my subtle non-candy statement (still paying off student loans…). I also looked for Halloween themed pencils, stickers, anything! No luck. The staff actually laughed when I asked where the Halloween trinkets were- as they set out Christmas merchandise.
What did I do? I bought tootsie rolls. Yes. I did. I felt depressed and defeated. How could I give out tootsie rolls???!!!!!
Halloween isn’t a problem and candy isn’t a problem. The problem comes when candy collection and consumption trumps common sense. So is there ANY point in trying to redefine the culture of Halloween? I say yes. It is tons of fun to dress up and spend time with friends and neighbors. I also realized that no one is forcing me to give out empty-calories from my front porch.
My Halloween plan for 2012… I found glow sticks at Michaels Craft Store – 15 sticks for $1. That fit into my budget and my message. Cool.
Will you join me in handing out non-candy items from your porch? What’s your plan?