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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Clever ways to eat veggies – for you & the kids

The other day the children and I had “personalized turkey burgers,” which is a quick, school-night meal to fix that is fun and filled with variety. I’m sure you can fix this using beef, but this is a non-beef eating household (even though I allow the children to eat beef when out – a little occasional cow never hurt anyone). Make your turkey burger or buy previously prepared, but all-natural turkey burgers (Butterball’s are great). I’ve done both methods – getting the frozen variety is even easier because you can pop them in the oven while you do other things, season them when they’re half done and flip them then take them out.

I put the burgers on the plate and took all of the ingredients to the table: two types of cheeses, three colors of bell peppers (raw), spinach leaves, tomato, pickles, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, 100 percent whole wheat bread and blueberries (I’ll explain that in a bit). My son was “brave” and tried the green, red and yellow peppers. I thought the yellow pepper was a little tasteless or something and Andre didn’t like it as much either. I already knew he wouldn’t like the green one, but he tried anyway and so did Amareah. Anna, who had already tasted the yellow pepper and made a yuck face, didn’t even try the green one. We all decided that the red one was the sweetest, but Andre and I choose to add red and yellow to our sandwiches.

DSCF4830 This process went on for about 10 minutes as we all decided what we wanted on our burgers. We all had most of the vegetables, I’m happy to say. We’re a big fruit eating family – breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and dessert – so instead of having chips or something like that with our burgers I chose blueberries. Needless to say, fruit doesn’t last very long in this house at all.

What’s so funny about my failure to consistently provide vegetables for us to eat is that I like vegetables – sort of. I really prefer salads with all sorts of crunchy, yummy, fruity, dark leafy goodness, but I hate fixing it. I really dislike that it often goes bad before I can eat it all… and that make me not want any… It’s a deadly cycle. Then there is the fact that my children have somehow all developed different personalities and tastes. The nerve of them to be individuals! That makes it pretty redundant for the types of veggies all of them will eat.

Before I realize it we’ve gone weeks without a peep from a veg and, of course, a kid! They don’t say a word. If I keep up with creative and fun ways to incorporate vegetables into our meals both the children will learn something, enjoy new tastes, be healthier and enjoy time with mom and I’ll get more vitamins, maybe lose a few pounds and feel like Mom of the Year.

What food group is a problem in your home?



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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tales of a Single Mom: They pushed every button today

Yesterday I had to stop to the store to get a few grocery items. I was really tired so I decided to go after I picked up the children from school. I should have known things were going to go badly when I had to fuss at two of them before we were even out of the van.

2012-05-03 21.53.09Now, let me tell you something about myself you may not know: I’m an old-fashioned parent mixed in with the cool mom. I’ve already raised a child so I have certain expectations when it comes to behavior and listening. I don’t understand today’s generation where a parent or other authority figure has to tell them something more than once. “In my day” those kids were labeled “bad.” Although my oldest daughter Amber wasn’t perfect I didn’t have to talk to her nearly as much as I talk to these children.

2012-04-30 11.17.35  Once inside the store I have to tell the 5 year old (for the millionth time) that we are not at the playground so stop spinning around and come stand next to the cart. Two minutes later I send her to the bathroom with her older sister to get her nose cleaned (it was a diversion) and to see if she needed to use the bathroom.2012-05-03 12.46.53

While they were gone my 8-year-old son and I enjoyed shopping in the produce section. I had him read the cost of the vegetables and fruits. Weigh the potatoes and figure out how much they would be and some other random math and food stuff. It was glorious… until his sisters came back.

2012-06-20 20.13.16 I must admit that  my middle daughter, who’s 7, is normally well behaved because her siblings often aren’t so she makes an extra effort. My only issue with her is she doesn’t feel well a lot, so she says,  and complains… she holds her forehead, she grips her stomach, she in general, looks pitiful making me feel horrible. 

By the time the trip is over the little one has her nasty thumb in her mouth (which I’ve told her to take out of her mouth from the time she got in the van at the school), my son is stopping every few feet to look at something or touch something (even thought I always  tell him to stop.touching.that!) and his worry-we-will-leave-him sister says every.single.time, “Where’s Andre? Andre?! Come on!” At the checkout… I always go through the self checkout so I don’t have to talk to anyone else… the middle one is leaning on the cart, the youngest is leaning on me and you never know where the boy is. Eventually I’ll find him, turn around to finish scanning my groceries, step to the left or right to grab something and trip over him. Yup, now he’s standing next to me and I didn’t know it. Why can’t he be still? That was another button.

2012-05-03 21.45.28

2012-06-20 21.43.15









We leave and by now I’m annoyed enough – I didn’t tell you everything! – to tell them that I never had these problems with their sister Amber and immediately know I need to stop saying that. Today, I need only take one of them at a time or none of them. If only just to maintain my sanity because by the time we got home my brain, ears and body was so tired all I wanted to do was get in bed. Was that possible? For a mom, nope, not even close.


All the pictures above are of my three youngsters over the past nine months … don’t let their cute looks fool you! :-)

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