Saturday, September 27, 2014

Eating En Famille

My husband, daughter and I eat dinner together most nights. It's on the (way) early side, especially when you compare us to regular New Yorkers, but I think it's really important. Here's why:

  • I've heard a million different versions of "I don't have time to cook" from my clients. Yet they manage to make sure that their child(ren) have a green veggie, protein and starch at every meal. If your toddler is feasting on salmon, sweet potatoes and chard at 5pm and you're doing fast food Chinese with your SO at 9:30, I don't believe your excuses. I DO believe that you're not valuing your health nor taking care of yourself as much as you protect your little one. Treat yourself as someone who deserves to be nurtured and cared for. Make a double batch of that salmon (or ask whoever made it to!) and reheat it for you
  • If you wouldn't consider giving your kiddo what you're eating (coffee and wine excepted), maybe you shouldn't be eating it. 
  • I've also seen the flip side, which looks a lot like "my kid will only eat peanut butter and jelly." So, Jr is digging into his sammy at 5pm and you're eating his leftovers at 5:15. I hate to sound preachy, but I'm gently suggesting that kids mimic us. If we can eat a balanced meal together and they see Mom and Dad eating broccoli and chicken, maybe they'll try it. Maybe. Put a small PB&J on their plate along with the greens and see what happens
  • Picky eating is sometimes a power struggle. Do not make meals a battle zone. If kiddo eats his broccoli, fine. If he doesn't, fine. Keep offering it, maybe in different incantations (steamed broccoli with cheese may get rejected, but roasted broccoli with garlic may happily get eaten), but don't make too big a deal. 
  • You learn stuff and get creative. I'm totally not above an enormous dollop of ketchup to get those greens down. Eliza loves straight balsamic vinegar, which I never would have known had she not seen my put it on my salad and asked for her own. 
I don't cook dinner very often, most of our meals are brought in or made with very little effort (frozen veggies thrown into a pan with shrimp and a little sauce). I'm not saying you should sit down to a homecooked meal every night. I work through dinner every Tuesday and Thursday, so Daddy and Eliza are on their own and usually that means pizza. But some meal-eating QT can really have lifelong benefits, both for your bebe AND you

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Judgey Parent

Eliza started preschool yesterday. It's a little home-based, non-academic, gentle flow place: there aren't any lesson plans and the tuition is cheap. As this is Park Slope Brooklyn, the families this set up attracts are a bit more into homeschooling, elimination communication (mine is the only girl in diapers) and gentle parenting. They also all seem to be members of a farm share. I totally get the farm share thing, but the two seasons I tried it, it was a disaster. I know that it doesn't work for me and my family, but I get a slight edge of defensiveness when I hear someone throw "our CSA" into conversation CSA=Community Supported Agriculture Almost nothing makes me more mama awkward than packing meals and snacks for my kid that she'll be eating around other moms and kids. I mean, I'm a nutritionist! I feel like I should be setting an example! I planned what I would send her the first day for weeks. Mind you, the first week was only 2 hours, all she needed was a snack, but I was on a mission to be just as good as these other CSA moms who's kids think goldfish are pets, not food. I lovingly packed Eliza a cup of organic yogurt (sweetened, though, fail), two sticks of hormone-free cheese (not local, not organic-hmm), organic dried mango, sliced organic bell pepper and carrot sticks (NOT baby carrots, of course) and an organic local apple (win). I figured it wouldn't be the best snack there, but it would hold its own.

Okay, 3 points already:
1. My mission to be "just as good as" the other parents. HUH!? Why am I basing my worth as a parent on what I pack for one snack in comparison to other snacks packed?

2. Yes, I do in fact realize that I packed enough food for the entire day. I'm a Jewish mother. Back off

3. The parents are NOT with the kids at preschool. No other parents would have any idea of what I packed unless their kid instagrammed it.

And the over arching big point? I AM THE JUDGEY PARENT. About myself! I couldn't care if little Henry has conventional pretzels or if Willa brought pizza for lunch. Those people who talk about their CSAs? They're not talking shit about me and my lettuce from California. That's what I hear because I am the one with the inferiority complex. How much of the "Mom Wars" are simply about our own insecurities?

I'm already learning so much in preschool!