Tag Archives: healthy child

My son, a cupcake, and a major parenting dilemma.

We just finished our third week of daycare, and things are swimming right along beautifully! :D

(Can you tell we’ve been watching a lot of Nemo lately?)


I expect that there will still be bumps in the road, and yes, there is a lot of crying in the morning during the dropoff. But – and this is pretty dang amazing, if you ask me – the director of the daycare has been sending me a text message when little man settles down (which is usually about 5 minutes after I leave) and she’s even been sending me photos on my phone! I’ve been able to steal of glimpse of art projects, snack breaks, and big smiles throughout the day, and it’s made SUCH a difference in my adjustment (it’s harder for us than it is for them, right?)

For this mama who works 60 miles away from that daycare, a photo to calm my nerves midday is absolutely priceless!

But then, on Friday, I got a different kind of text message. It struck fear into my very soul.

“Project today is decorating cupcakes. We’re going to eat them at lunch. Wanted to check with you to see if its OK. We can take him into another room if you want.”

Oh dear. Ohdearohdearohdear. What do I DO!?

Well, I say NO of course! I tell her to take my son as far away from those evil things as she can. Wrap him up in bubble wrap and don’t even let him hear you say “cupcake”!

Yeah, right. If only. (I did NOT tell her that.) I chilled out for a moment, and thought about it, and ran it by my coworkers (One of whom called me a food freak and mocked over the cubicle wall in his best teacher voice “Oh no, little man, you go into the closet by yourself and play with a carrot.” Haha. :| )

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I go to pretty good lengths to make sure my family eats the most natural diet possible. We fall off the wagon once in a while, but when it comes to my son, I’m pretty vigilant. He gets his fair share of treats, but they’re always healthy, “real food” ones, and he really hasn’t had any cake other than on his first birthday, 11 months ago.

But it’s not the cupcake itself I have an issue with. Really. As I’ve explained to my mom a bunch of times – he can have cupcakes. And cookies. And ice cream. And all the good stuff that I sure as heck grew up with and loved. He just gets pure, natural versions of them.

THIS is my real fear:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll admit: Cupcakes are happy food. Ingredients ending in “5 & 6″ are not. :(

And even though I knew (as my coworkers dutifully pointed out) that one cupcake never hurt anyone, there was one thought I just couldn’t escape: If you say you believe in something to your very core, what does it say about you if you buckle when that belief is challenged? Who are you, really, if you let that happen?

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Can you guess what I did? Cupcake or no cupcake?

What would you do?

 

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Filed under Green Living, Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food

It’s fall! Eat a pumpkin!

One of the first and absolute best signs of fall? The arrival of all things pumpkin!

It’s all so tempting – pumpkin donuts, pumpkin butter, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin ice cream – you name it, they’ll be making it with pumpkin this time of year.

But you know what I look forward to most of all?

The actual PUMPKINS!

Few things make me happier than the first visit to the farmer’s market after all the pumpkins and fall/winter squash arrive. There’s just something about the feel of the fall harvest that makes me all swoony and nostalgic.

And even though I love all the things that can be made with this seasonal treasure, I think my favorite thing to do with pumpkin is just cut it into chunks and bake it!

Call me a pumpkin purist. ;)

Ok, so sometimes I do add a little bit of cinnamon or curry powder and a drizzle of oil to prevent sticking, but that’s it. And for about 3 dollars, I can cook more fresh, local pumpkin than I can even use (well, almost–we freeze some.) Just 1/4 of our first pumpkin of the year made 3 nights’ worth of side dishes and 2 lunches.

It’s a thrifty mom’s dream! And SO good for you, too! Just look at the color – it screams, “Hey! I’m crazy high in nutrients!”

It’s even a hit in my son’s daycare lunchbox! Bite-sized pieces of sweet, bright orange yumminess –what’s not to love in a toddler’s eyes?

So, before you add the cream cheese, heavy cream or brown sugar, I urge you to give fresh pumpkin a try in its original state. Start with an eating variety, like a Cinderella or neck pumpkin (and make sure you wash it well.) Just cut into small cubes, toss with curry powder or cinnamon and a bit of oil, and bake in a 375ºF oven until fork tender. Easy as pie! :lol:

One bite and you’ll understand just what good ol’ Ma Nature had in mind. :)

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Do you look forward to the pumpkin harvest each year?

Have you ever eaten a fresh pumpkin?

 

 

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Filed under Recipes & Food

Simple, Beautiful, Whole Foods

I don’t eat whole foods exclusively, but I definitely take advantage of their wonderful simplicity whenever I have the opportunity.

One of my favorite things about eating whole foods is the appreciation I’ve gained for natural, beautiful, single ingredients

Like these tiny little organic potatoes I purchased from a local farmer…

There was a time when I would have fiddled with these potatoes, adding ingredients until they were unrecognizable.

No more.

Now, I know that letting these babies shine on their own, roasted with just a touch of olive oil and sea salt, is what appeals to me most.

Sometimes, a single, perfect ingredient can really help take a few others to a whole new level. 

For example, the beautiful bright red tomato from our garden that, when combined with our basil, garlic and yellow pear tomatoes (along with a bit of fresh mozz) took our quickie pizza from merely “good” to “Let’s make another one!”

And once in a while, a very special magic happens, and a few of these simple ingredients that are so perfect on their own come together to create a whole foods masterpiece. (Which is exactly what happened when I checked my inbox and found this Guacamole Salad recipe from Katie at Health for the Whole Self. Thanks, Katie! I just happened to have all the ingredients on hand, although in different colors…)

In case you haven’t noticed, eating clean, natural, whole foods makes me downright giddy.

The only thing that makes me giddier (giddier?!) is the hope that I can pass on an apprecation for whole foods to my boy.

On that note, I’m off to the garden to go find some more! It’s a stellar September day, with a little sun and a little breeze, and there are lots of butternuts and beets in the garden, waiting patiently to be roasted for this little one…who, incidentally, turns 10 months old today! 

He’s far cuter than my computer, so today I’m all his.

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Do you try to incorporate “whole foods” into your everyday diet? Is there a whole ingredient (veg, fruit, grain, etc.) that, in it’s simplicity and perfection, you just LOVE?


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Filed under Green Living, Home & Garden, Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food