The other day, I was supposed to be hard at work but -- now confess, how many of you start your days the same way? :P -- but I was taking 15 minutes to slack off and browse one of the community websites/chat-sites that I visit once in a while. I came upon a post by one of the women there who complained that her teenage son is drastically overweight and won't eat: fruit, vegetables, cheese (seriously? the kid doesn't know what he's missing), yogurt, and basically anything else remotely healthy or in any way good for you. All he wants to eat are chips and other junk food, Chinese food (from which he diligently takes out the vegetables, apparently), hamburgers, fries (it's a vegetable! dzing!), and well, you get the idea. He won't eat his mom's cooking and just ends up ordering Chinese food.
Now, it's really hard for me to work up a lot of righteous indignation (given the amount of butter in the tart recipe from yesterday), but I just have to know -- is this normal? Or is it a matter of a combination of starting good habits early and feeding them healthy food by brute force until they learn to comply? When I was growing up, my mom would always say: "Oh, you don't like what I made? Why don't you work for a full day and then stand in the kitchen for an hour to make dinner while your ungrateful children refuse to eat it?!" She was, and still is, a big proponent of the Jewish guilt thing, and I don't blame her (secret: it works). By the way, what's the difference between a Jewish mother and a pit-bull? A pit-bull eventually lets go! Da-da-dum, thank you, I'll be here all week. (Don't kill me, mom)
A lot of people blame the sad state of affairs on our solitary culture, on consumerism, on video games, on commercials that glorify junk food, on schools that fail to serve healthy food in cafeterias, on anything, in short, but themselves (by the way, it came out later in comments that the lady's husband loves junk food and hides it from her around the house - hmm........). Although our house is still free of those screaming/crying/ pooping/laughing little things that you trip over when you get home from work, I know -- I know! -- that nothing having to do with kids is ever easy or simple. But please tell me (someone? anyone?) that you've succeeded with your own little brood. I'm hoping that giving ourselves good habits will go a long way to passing them to our kids... That, and a good big dose of Jewish guilt. One of my very close friends is Italian and we are hoping that the time-tested lethal combination of Jewish and Catholic guilt will seal the deal.
The 10pm Munchies Snack
1 crunchy apple
1 juicy orange
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup low-fat vanilla or plain yogurt
A handful of plump, golden raisins
pinch of cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg
Skin the orange and cut it into bite sized pieces (I know it sounds mean mean and violent to skin and chop things, but that's life for you. The orange is going to a better place...). Remove the core from the apple and also cut it into bite sized pieces. Mix together with the teaspoon of lemon juice in a nice bowl. Put a good glug of yogurt on top, dot with raisins and sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. Voila!
Even my meat-and-potatoes husband likes it (in the interests of full disclosure and protecting his masculine image, yes, yes, he loves a good steak and all that jazz; but when he's too lazy to make a snack himself [most days], this is what he will eat if I put it in front of him. And he'll even enjoy it!).