When this week’s TIME magazine came in the mail, I quickly snatched it from the mail box and proceeded to let out a long sigh and a mini eye roll as I read the headline: What To Eat Now. The operative word that produced irritation within me was ‘Now.’
So, they’ve changed it again on me… It seems that every other week there’s some new diet, new food to eat, another to avoid, another that is must in brain growth for kids. Is it kiwi, the new super fruit, or do blueberries still hold the largest concentration of antioxidants? Do we go meatless or bulk the kids up with protein from chicken or “the other white meat?” Should be bake or fry in olive oil? Go whole grain or gluten free? What’s the new craze now and how am I suppressing my kids’ nutritional needs this month?
As a mom who loves to cook for her hungry family of five, I read these articles and try to implement the most nutritious habits in my daily menus. But in order to keep up with the trends, a healthy weekly menu that’s high in nutrition is also high in price. And lately, it’s high in debate too – what seems good for one is seemingly not so good for another.
Good nutrition has infinite benefits. It keeps our insides functioning optimally and maintains mental soundness as well. The phrase “you are what you eat” serves to many of us as a nourishment compass, instinctively guiding us to make good decisions for our bodies. And teaching our children these good habits has never been more important.
Just look at the behavior of a child who eats donuts breakfast … (donuts in my kids’ empty tummies are treats from the devil). But the same is true when the lunchbox comes home and it holds the only really wholesome, healthy items that were packed in the morning. Gone are the pretzels, juice box and granola bar. Still in tact are the healthy sandwich, string cheese and bowl of fruit … and home comes a grumpy, exhausted child with a big appetite and an even bigger attitude.
But with three different eaters, how’s a mom to get it right?
I have one eater who begins his carb-focused eating at 6:30 a.m. and continues his gluttonous rampage through about 1 p.m. My youngest throws back most of his food within these times and then around dinnertime has room for just a few bites and a whole lot of milk.
Our daughter clears her plate perfectly each time, eating all that’s offered including cooked vegetables and tons of fruit. But if she had it her way, pasta with butter and Parmesan would dot that plate of hers every night.
My oldest son, who looks as though he hasn’t had a bite to eat in months, needs food. His mood depends on it. I watch the clock and make sure his high-speed metabolism doesn’t zap away all the food his body needs for energy. But as he gets older, his tastes are changing, becoming pickier about colors and textures he never had a problem with before.
So when the latest craze in food came on the cover of my magazine, I was interested but not very optimistic.
I found a sliver of time to read through my TIME. I read with skepticism but was actually surprised by its contents. It seems Dr. Oz is bringing it back it basics.
Written by Dr. Mehmet Oz, nationally recognized doctor and host of the increasingly popular The Oz Show, Oz highlights the idea that those foods favored by ‘foodies’ might have a more complex flavor, but on the nutritional front – that block of frozen spinach might hold just as many nutrients as the local farmer’s organic spinach leaves. And those canned beans can be good too. He favors ice cream in moderation, fresh air-popped popcorn, regular peanut butter over gourmet market brand and even goes for non-organic milk and eggs when it comes to the nutritional and economic favorite. Go low on the meat intake, high on salsa and guacamole … In!
Finally, an article that OKs some of the foods that I routinely buy either for price or convenience – how refreshing!
So as I pack my kids’ lunchboxes and make dinners with a 50-50 rating overall on most nights, it’s good to have a decent guide to go buy in terms of ingredients… now just to put them all together right for my picky little nibblers…
Moms, are you stuck in a menu rut yourself? Use the comment section below to add any good nutritious and tasty tips or recipes you use for your family or any other food facts that might help us all out…