Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Stream of Consciousness....About Food.

Summer has been jam-packed so far.  And I'm a-okay with that because I kind of feel like that is what summer is for.  I swept up grass clippings and sand from the kitchen floor last night after dinner and was happy about that, I've washed at least three beach towels and bathing suits each day for the last week and I'm happy about that too, and I've unpacked a weekend's worth of clothes each Sunday night for the last three weeks after Georgia gets to bed way past her bedtime, and I'm pretty happy about all of that too.  We are a good-summer-busy.

I had all these grand summer resolutions (which I'm learning are as futile as New Year's resolutions) when school was done for the year and have made barely a dent in them.  Which is frustrating and liberating all at the same time--more on that below.  

Instead, we've been spending most days like this.........

Rainbow prints....get some of that high pigment Crayola sidewalk chalk, draw a small rainbow, spray it with a water bottle, and when it's nice and wet gently put your foot or your hand on it and then make prints all over your driveway.  They're so cool!  Thanks to our creative Madi for coming up with these little sidewalk works of art.......

One of my goals for this summer was {kind-of} re-vamping my pantry.  And not really the organizational re-vamping--the what's in there kind of re-vamping.  I've read three amazing books in the last year, French Kids Eat Everything, Food Rules, and Bread & Wine that all deal with our attitudes and beliefs about what we put into our bodies, how it's to be enjoyed, and the way in which we should approach it.  They're all a little bit different, and a little bit the same.

Where one might discuss avoiding food extremism (which I'm all about) and just incorporating simple, easy-to-handle "rules" about being more healthy and aware, another one deals with what we teach our kids about food based on........ how many snacks we give them (just as one example), and yet another one gives practical and mostly healthy, whole, recipes to instill an intelligent love of food and making good meals for those we love.  They're all poignant.  And yet--I read them and I'm left feeling a little overwhelmed because there is just no way I can successfully do everything they mention--save for Bread & Wine; a book that is inspirational and convicting while not leaving you feeling overwhelmed.

So anyway--I knew that with the start of summer and the promise of more free-time {allegedly} I wanted to weave some of these ideas into our family pantry with more permanence.  One of the elements of Food Rules that I appreciate the most is that the author states right from the get-go that you shouldn't try and incorporate all of his rules.  You should do a few at a time until you're ready for more.  

One of my favorites?  Five ingredients or less that are things your grandma could pronounce.  In other words--ingredients that are actually food that you could buy.  In general--I'm doing fairly well at this.  I do have to stand around reading labels longer in the grocery aisle and I can't shake Georgia's love of nutri-grain bars and macaroni and cheese even though I've tired replacing them with various home-made versions--but I'm okay with that because I'm not going to make this an obsession--just a general good practice.

Additionally, one of the concepts that resonated with me the most from French Kids Eat Everything is the one about not letting our kids snack.  Because American kids are so frequently pacified with snacking while riding in the car, waiting in line, being patient while mom is on the phone, or because they're bored, they are less hungry than they should be at meal times meaning they are more picky about what is put in front of them.  They can be.  They're just not that hungry....so if they don't eat what's put in front of them--no big deal.  They'll catch some fruit snacks in about an hour.  It's a lot easier to get kids to try new stuff when they're actually REALLY REALLY  hungry.  We've gotten pretty good about no snacks between breakfast and lunch and only one really good snack between lunch and dinner.  That one gets pushed a little bit since Chris doesn't get home from work until around 6:00 and Georgia's stomach needs a little more TLC than that.

And there's so much more.  So much more.  I'm trying to keep these things at the forefront of my mind on most days when it comes time to make lunch and dinner and go to the grocery store.  And like I said above, I want it to be a general good practice, not a rigid habit that results in it being a deterrent to good choices.

How about you?  What are your tricks for eating healthier?  What are your summer goals?


  1. Loving all the amazing color and cuteness in these pictures! So fun!!

  2. It's so hard - I try to do my best and not get obsessive about it. I want to read the French Kids Eat Everything book...heard its fantastic!

    1. It is soooooo hard! You'd love the book. It's as entertaining as it is education!


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