What a crazy and very exciting past few weeks this has been. I now can officially say I am the mom of an 8, 5 and 2 year-old since we recently celebrated my eldest child’s birthday. My 5 year-old graduated from preschool yesterday and will start Kindergarten in August and the 2-year-old…well, he is a full-time job at the moment-aren’t they all? So I (like most moms) am transitioning from “school mode” to “summer mode” in the next few weeks. The headline of this post is “Sugar” because it has been on my mind since my last post. You already know I adore sugar, but since I am officially on break from birthday planning for a while, I can’t help to think about all the ways my kids (and yours) are eating the sweet stuff. It’s all about celebration-or is it? My take on sugar is to eat it where you want to eat it: sweet and sour pork, chocolate desserts and ice cream. But when it sneaks up on us in every form of food…that’s when I draw the line. I want to know what I am and what my kids are eating. So I prefer to make my kid’s birthday cakes, muffins and other foods, so I know what goes in it. Here’s the fun part though. At my son’s birthday party I made a dark cocoa chocolate cake (laced with whole wheat flour, oil, no eggs and completely delicious) with a filling made of…sssshhhh…..pureed dried plums (a.k.a. prunes) with 90% cacao, my orange peels and lite whipped topping—the worst offender in the bunch. The frosting was homemade chocolate marshmallow-nonfat frosting. So the cake was trans-fat free, heart friendly and tasty. I also brought a tray of fresh cherries on the stems and strawberries. I put a few of each on each plate. I didn’t ask if anyone wanted any. Guess what happened?
- Kids asked for more fruit….so I ended up putting the platter on their table and they finished it.
- The parents said “thank you” for not bringing a store-bought cake. REALLY? That was a surprise!!!! In FL, there is one store where most everyone purchases birthday cakes. This is good news! Parents are craving parties where the same old foods are not provided.
- Kids are learning that they can eat fruit and healthy cake and still have a great time!!!!
So the next part of the headline is “Summer”. So here we are. Parents are really in charge now. No more school lunch. You are packing your kids lunch (for the most part) this summer for camps. I will post another blog in more detail about summer eating, but for now will say: start keeping the watermelon, peppers, cucumbers, mangoes, pineapples and other fruits and veggies in front of the kids at home because the kids will be around more often for the next few months.
Yesterday the new choosemy”Plate”.gov was launched. In short, this is why I speak about fruits and vegetables for the most part. We have got to eat more of these amazing food groups. Your kids will eat it, but WE have to offer it to them.
And one last shout out to Matt Reed at lpntornbridge.org who classified my blog in the Top 50 Blogs Dietitians Should Read. Who knew Matt? Thanks and at the end of the day, I am a mother who cares about my family and the future of their lives and others. We have a bit of work to do!