Feeding My Kids Healthy Food Was A Mistake

So You Want Healthy Food?

I have a set of Tween Eating Machines in the house.  Word on the street is the older they get, the worse it becomes.  Did I mention in addition to the eating, we are also beginning to navigate the waters of puberty?

So yeah, there’s that.

It astounds me the way my kids go through food.  Granted there are 4 of them in our blended family, but my 2 kids own the groceries like a son of a bitch.

I’m all for healthy eating.  I prided myself on the way I raised my babies in terms of their food.  Homemade this, organic hormone free that.  I thought I was developing their taste buds and impressionable little minds to only want the good stuff.  Our field trips included visits to the farmer’s markets where I would patiently point out all the seasonal produce and introduce them to the farmers that grew it.  I even managed a farmer’s market.  It was a shoo-in for healthful eating in our home.  Or so, I thought.

This is what I longed for my children to crave and beg for….

what you want your teens to eat

Sadly, this is all they want…..

the food your teen wants to eat

It’s like my kids have turned against their heritage of healthy eating.  A mutiny against all that’s good, if you will. What the hell happened?  After all that work of making baby food from scratch, mixing homemade granola bars, cooking applesauce, creating vitamin rich soups and serving organic milk, this is what I get as thanks?  What planet are these children from?

My son tells me that I work too hard in preparing foods from scratch, that I should create ‘simpler’ meals.  Don’t think for a minute he actually cares about my work load. I am on to his game.  What he really means is, “Why can’t we just have boxed mac and cheese with a side of ketchup and hot dogs?”

My daughter is a little better, but not by much.  Perhaps it was the steamed beets I gave her as a toddler that ruined her, I don’t know.  Currently her favorite foods are popcorn accompanied by a large dish of Rocky Road.  Throw a roast beef in there and it’s all good in her world.

I feel like I have failed as a mother in terms of their nutritional input.  If I had known their lust for junk was going to be so pronounced, I never would have wasted time making healthy food in the first place!  OK, perhaps I exaggerate but I do wonder.

So, I have to be resourceful and get in touch with my devious side.  I hide healthy shit in their food.  Mac and Cheese has flax in it, their brownies house pureed black beans, chocolate chip cookies contain wheat flour, smoothies have chia seeds and roasted squash hides out in tomato soup. It’s one lie I am OK living with.

I try to engage my kids in preparing grocery lists so they can have some ownership in family meals.  It was a huge mistake to ask my son for his suggestions:

  • Cookies
  • Fruity chews
  • Chips
  • Soda
  • Crackers
  • Beef jerky
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Grape jelly
  • White bread

and, wait for it….

  • Lettuce. Iceberg Head Lettuce.

Hey, while you are getting your healthy on with the lettuce and all, how about some bologna, plastic cheese and mustard to go with that white bread?

It appears I have a child who was born in the wrong era since he prefers the diet of a kid from the 70’s.

Meanwhile, pass me one of those bologna sandwiches….

Jessica Hoefer-Land

guest blogger Jessica Hoefer Land  talks about getting kids to eat the right thingAbout Jessica: Jessica is a wannabe urban homesteader, living in Portland with her blended family of 4 kids, 3 rescue dogs and 4 chickens named after Starbucks drinks.  Described by colleagues as a “Feminist Jedi Master”, Jessica was a former pharmacy student but decided she preferred baking instead of drugs so went to pastry school. In addition to writing for BLUNTmoms, Scary Mommy and The Epistolarians, Jessica can be found spreading ‘peace and ‘wisdom’ over at her blog, The Dalai Mama, at www.travelingmercies-jessica.blogspot.com

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Jessica is a a wannabe urban homesteader, living in Portland with a blended family of 4 kids, 3 rescue dogs and 4 chickens named after Starbucks drinks. Even though Jessica is a vegetarian, she really misses bacon. In addition to 10 to 20 Parenting, Jessica is a regular contributor to a variety of urban living and parenting magazines. She can also be found spreading 'peace and wisdom' over at her blog, The Dalai Mama, at www.travelingmercies-jessica.blogspot.com

Latest posts by Jessica Hoefer-Land (see all)

Jessica Hoefer-Land

Jessica is a a wannabe urban homesteader, living in Portland with a blended family of 4 kids, 3 rescue dogs and 4 chickens named after Starbucks drinks. Even though Jessica is a vegetarian, she really misses bacon. In addition to 10 to 20 Parenting, Jessica is a regular contributor to a variety of urban living and parenting magazines. She can also be found spreading 'peace and wisdom' over at her blog, The Dalai Mama, at www.travelingmercies-jessica.blogspot.com

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