What do I think of (or picture rather) when I’m sautéing ginger and garlic for my chicken empanadas or roasting broccoli or cauliflower for dinner? I wish I could say it was the magnificent sun setting over turquoise water in the Caribbean, but welcome to my reality! It’s the sandwich my 16 year old had for a dinner out with the guys the other night. You’re not going to believe this. Or at least I didn’t.
Chicken fingers layered with mozzarella sticks, onion rings and French fries on a white bread roll — all fried! Ok Zack — really?
There’s no better incentive than this mental image to give me a turbo boost in my efforts to cook healthy foods food for my family. I’m on a constant mission to combat the evil world of junk food my gluttonous teenager consumes regularly. With sandwiches as grotesque sounding as that one, it seems I’ll need to work even harder than I already do to get him to eat healthy foods. Honestly! If I had the nerve I’d go to this place and give them an earful! How can they possibly create such an unhealthy combination of junk and conceivably sell it to teenagers? But I’ll hold back and continue to do everything in my power to fight the evil elements out there — super sized sodas and sandwiches as grotesque as that one in the teenage world of eating.
And instead, I’ll continue to incorporate some simple strategies in my overall approach to feeding my kids. First of all, I don’t deprive my kids of treats and junk food but rather minimize them. I hope this lack of deprivation will reduce their cravings in the outside world. I also try to start the day with something tasty but healthy — homemade muffins or a smoothie and a side of fresh fruit. I pack my son a lunch 4 out of five days a week letting him splurge on Fridays. I’ll give him a decent amount of spending money but not too much (I’ll have to find out how much that sandwich is and deduct a dollar!) I make junk food like foods at home — chicken tenders, crispy tortilla flutes, steak-um like sandwiches — hoping to satisfy the urge with better made ingredients. And finally, I rely on my friends to keep me sane and strong throughout this battle.
What are your strategies?