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August 20, 2007 / allyo

Love is a hot meal. Homemade, of course.

Recently on a board devoted to what you feed your kids (and why), a long time poster started a thread about 1-5 minute healthy meal options. With this time constraint, 99% of hers and follow-up posts were cold meals. I was shocked. No, really. Growing up with a full-time stay at home grandfather who knew how to cook and enjoyed it, plus an extended Italian family, in my mind, a proper dinner has always meant hot food, at best lovingly prepared from scratch, at worst, pulled from the freezer where it was placed in a ziploc bag after being lovingly prepared from scratch. Suffice it to say, figuring out dinner 5 nights a week for me and a now almost 3 year old, without my husband (who cooks for a living, of course) at home to help, has been one of my most difficult personal parenting challenges.

So I decided I needed to think about what my goals are, really, with regards to feeding my child. I came up with 2 things: providing nutritious and enjoyable foods, and doing so in a way that makes growing, making, and eating a wide variety of foods second nature.

I’ve been obsessing about the 2nd goal, without remembering that first and foremost, my responsibility is to feed my kids. (Remember that, before all else, feed the baby?)

So what if we’re having a cold relish assortment and cold sandwiches. Those veggies we’re dipping in store-bought ranch dressing were grown in our garden. Well, all but the carrots. And the hummus? Well, this week’s batch was store-bought, but Jamie knows intimately how to make hummus, even if we only do it maybe once a month. He knows how to bake bread, even though we’ve only done that once. And he absolutely knows how to make cookies and muffins. He, the Kitchen aide, and the Cuisinart are close pals, and he’s not quite 3.

The point is not to toot my own horn, or make anyone feel inadequate. Try the next blog over, rhetorically speaking, if you’re looking for that because there’s no shortage of finger-pointing among parents on the internet. What I’m saying is to back up a step, take a deep breath, and realize chances are, you’re doing a hell of a lot better than you think you are. Yes, even if frozen pizza or boxed mac and cheese is on the menu tonight.



Leave a Comment
  1. Mechelle / Aug 20 2007 6:51 pm

    I love your insight! I too struggle with the same issues and four very picky kids. As long as it is healthy and they eat something who cares specifically what it is. Thank you!

  2. Austina / Aug 22 2007 1:04 am

    At least you care on what you feed your son!!!! How many parents don’t even care what they put in their bodies let alone their children’s? I say do what is healthy and keep on the portion control. Again, my two cents….

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