kid cooking

I spend a huge portion of my day preparing meals for my children, my daycare children and my husband. Let’s not forget the food I prepare for myself! For the most part my children eat pretty well. My 8-year-old has a salad every day and most days I pack one in his lunch. I am pretty proud that my son insists on a salad in his lunchbox. I always wonder what the lunchroom moms think of me. They must think, “Wow, that mom is doing something right.” I didn’t do anything special to get him to be salad boy. I think he is so picky at times and he refused to try sandwiches, so he really didn’t have much of a choice.

I prepare snacks and lunches for my daycare children every day too. Thankfully, I am signed up with The Association for Child Development as part of my licensed daycare. In order to be a part of this program for my daycare, I need to serve a fruit, veggie, meat or meat substitute and milk for lunch. I have to keep online menus of what I served and it does keep me from skipping a fruit or veggie on their plates. They also educate me on nutrition and I get a small reimbursement for the food I buy and serve. The Association for Child Development (ACD) also sends me a neat newsletter with nutrition information, recipes and health topics for children.

As a blissfully busy mom to three (ok eight during the work week), I am continuously faced with the challenge of not eating the children’s chicken nuggets, French fries, hot dogs, and mac n’ cheese lunches. In the beginning I did help clear their plates of the chicken nuggets or French fries. I did that because it was hard to throw food away, but mostly I was hungry because I accidentally skipped lunch. When you have to multi-task like I do, you can forget to eat. Many moms know where I am coming from. I bet you can reach out in one direction and hit 3 ladies that have the problem of eating the “junk” their kids eat. Many kids have that palette that craves or “needs” French fries…but our goal is to make them veggie lovers. Right? As part of my fitness goal, I am making separate snacks and lunches for me- usually 30 minutes prior to the children’s eating times- so I am not hungry when I smell the glorious grilled ham and cheese. Yummmm. This works for me pretty well. I’ve come to crave my chicken, spinach, and tomatoes over cous cous lunches. That is the goal, right?