Friday, April 9, 2010

What Goes In...

Hi everyone!!! How's it going? It's going over here I think! BTW- thank you SOOOO much for all your comments on my last post- I'm so happy to be a part of the lovely blogging community!!! : )

Not too much is happening in my neck of the woods- we've had a couple of great days weather-wise and now it is back to "normal" for spring time here. I think. Chilly, rainy, and dreary. Oh how the rain brings down my mood!!!!! Does that happen to anyone else? I don't get grumpy- just blah!

Well like I said, there isn't too much going on here you know? But I have some stuff to share.. so let's start at the very beginning, a VERY good place to start!
(anyone??? you know that??)

There was a hearty discussion going on over there at Hangry Pants with Heather regarding school lunches and who is ultimately responsible for providing healthy school lunches for children and what really is the defintion of a healthy school lunch. For me? It all starts at home! I feel like for the most part, we food bloggers are in an elite group for knowing what is "healthy" and what is considered "junk" for kids. However, there are parents who WANT to provide healthy lunches and foods for their kids and can't really afford to.. whether that's because the food budget doesn't allow for it or there are many mouths too feed and not enough to go around. It IS cheaper to buy a bag of Dorititos than a bag of Cinnamon Apple Chips. It IS cheaper to buy a box Stop & Shop dino shaped chicken nuggets than a box of Cascadian Farms chicken breasts. Reading about the school lunches on Heather's site made me remember about how when I was growing up, we got free lunches because my father was either un-employed or under-employed for a huge chunk of time. With four kids to feed, mac& cheese and cereal were staples in our diets. It's also where my disordered thoughts about food started kicking in. A portion of my Advanced Placement Chemistry class was spent learning about nutrition (I guess my teacher thought we should know about it? I have no clue why we did this..) and we measured calories in food. Suddenly I knew how many calories were in that free calzone I was eating. The tater tots. The nachos with nasty orange cheese. Gross. Me. Out. And I started obsessing over everything that went in my mouth. I gave away half my food and only drank skim milk and ate the piece of fruit that came with the lunch. I lost a good 15 pounds in a very short amount of time. I brushed it off as "growing into myself" but inside I was panicking... how could my mom let us eat this crap??? Why were we eating this crap??
I don't believe we had much of a choice. It was a financial burden lifted not to have to get four lunches together everyday and only having to worry about dinner.

Being a single mom myself when the Peanut was in school I had the chance to apply for free lunches for her and I chose not to. Instead I added money to her account and everytime she got a lunch menu, we picked four days where she could buy lunch and that was it. Does it suck trying to make sure I have enough money for breakfast lunch and dinner for her and myself? Yup- especially because she's a pretty picky eater! Have you ever met a kid who doesn't like bread? Well, if you have met the Peanut, that's her! Won't touch a sandwich! But we've made it work and although I feel guilty sometimes because she has the SAME lunches almost every day- it's the best we can do for now!
here is a peek inside the Peanut's lunch bag..

Crackers, cheese, ham rolled up. Yogurt, fruit, and some goldfish! Yummy!
The Peanut's digestive system does a whole lot better with out a ton of wheat and processed foods. Did you know that? She is the first person I know who functions much better on an organic diet! ; )
I think we would all function better on an all organic diet.. haha! But on pay-days, that's when we get the "good stuff" and in between, we get the cheap stuff. Pick your battles folks! So did my long-winded post have a point? Maybe not, but I needed a story behind why I took a picture of her lunch box. Ha!

Seriously though, anyone care to jump in the discussion about where nutrition starts? Home or school? Parents should be teaching about nutrition or leave it up to health class and after school trips to Dairy Queen?

Well that's all for now dears.. I have a ton of other things to talk about, but I'm planning to do a weekend post as well, so look out for that! And TONIGHT I'll break the computer out at home and get officially caught up on everything! I know Christina left me an award a while back.. so I have to put that up. And I have a couple of funny stories from this week as well.. I didn't want to stuff it into ONE post..


  1. This is a great post...I can't believe she doesn't like bread!!! WHAT?! Send it my way !

    Seriously, though, it's so true. Thank you for sharing your experience growing up as well.

  2. My cousin Taylor that just stayed w/ us doesn't like pizza! hehe

    I agree w/ you that it starts at home. We didn't have a lot growing up either but my mom almost ALWAYS packed our lunches. We would have a sandwich, a piece of fruit, and then some veggies to dip in dip. I never remember having pre-packaged stuff, even single serve bags of chips or juice boxes. At the time I thought my lunch was so lame next to everybody elses brightly colored Doritos or Lunchables but now I'm really happy that my mom took the extra time and effort and I've told her that. I think it started us off on the right foot of understanding what real, wholesome food is.

    However I do have to put in my 2 cents that IF the parents' only option is free or reduced lunches then the SCHOOL needs to do a better job of providing healthy options. Our local schools here contract their lunches out to McDonalds, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. YES! Little mini stands inside their cafeteria. So if a parent just hands their kids $5 or isn't asking them what they are eating, their kid could very much be eating a cheeseburger and fries EVERY SINGLE DAY. Bleck! I think those have no place in a school cafeteria. I also believe that vending machines full of empty calorie snacks and sugary sodas and energy drinks DO NOT belong in a school either. I survived for 12 years in school w/o vending machines and I'm sure these kids nowadays can too.

  3. Awww - Peanut is the sweetest!
    She doesn´t like bread?!
    That´s what I call a picky-eater.. hehe!
    Amazing post, girl.
    Have a fabulous weekend!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,

  4. Bread-hater? Oh no. Peanut, my dear, perhaps you just haven't tried good bread. Nobody can hate bread...possibly?!!
    Hee hee, I take it that your point of this "long-winded" post is that food training starts young, and it's the responsibility of parents..and if your kid is still a picky eater, goddamn, deal with it! Be creative!

  5. OK. I totally agree with you. It's about the habits you teach children at home. My school just adopted a new lunch program. They run out of salads EVERY DAY. (They prep a certain number for each lunch period.) It's amazing to see the children get so excited for their meals of roasted chicken and veggies. You can tell that a lot of parents are teaching good habits even when they don't have a lot. You can also tell which ones aren't even trying (girl who brings a full size bag of chips with a container of dip and a honey bun every day for lunch!).

    P.S. Peanut... seriously? Bread is key!

  6. I think this looks like a great well-rounded lunch!! I should probably take some of your advice... I often have the weirdest lunches :S