Thursday, November 8, 2012

Do you ever get tired of thinking about food?

Food. Sometimes it seems like it's all I think about.

Read the grocery ads. Make the lists. Prepare the (very tight) budget. Check what I have on hand. Make more lists. Make a menu. Go to the store. Walk up and down the aisles...yes, even the middle ones. Try and stick to the lists...but usually don't...a few good deals sneak their way into the basket.

The menus are only for dinners. Lunch is another animal altogether.

When the boys were in grade school I packed their lunch every day. They didn't like the yucky school lunches. They bought them for a while but three lukewarm chicken nuggets and chunky chocolate milk didn't satisfy them (duh) so they'd come home starving. I ended up feeding them a full meal after school anyway so I figured I'd save us the couple of bucks we were paying for school "lunch" and send them with a healthy bag lunch.

(On a side note, I cannot believe what they feed children in our schools. It is not nutritious. It is not satisfying. It is not FOOD. It is garbage. Empty calories. Some of these kids have to eat it every day...sometimes twice if they are on the free food program. And we wonder why kids are bouncing off of walls and having trouble focusing? They don't need a pill, they need healthy, nutritious FOOD. To call it a "nutrition department" is a joke.)

Once the boys got into junior high they preferred to buy their lunches. Middle schools sell "better" food....nachos, burritos, soft pretzels, pasta. And honestly, when I was working at the middle school, while the food didn't look the most healthy, it looked fairly edible if you look from the eyes of a 13 year old. Was it filling? For a while. Was it nutritious? I don't think so.

Now that the boys are in high school and our budget has tightened up a bit I have been compromising with them for lunch. I give them enough cash to buy a chicken Caesar salad, a slice of pizza or a sandwich  and then they take a bottle of water or Gatorade, a granola bar or some nuts, some chips or Chex mix and some fruit. (And a treat if I have any!)

I have been making muffins for us to take on the go, too, now that the weather has cooled down enough to use the oven. (Although I made some the other day that contained no flour and they turned out concave and chewy. Won't be using that recipe again!)

I don't plan breakfasts. Many mornings I whip up a smoothie for the boys and myself (Chris doesn't care for them...he opts for a banana and a muffin, if I've made some.). Ian supplements with a couple of waffles. And on days when I have time I will make them a breakfast sandwich. OR when I am really organized, they can warm up a frozen breakfast burrito that I made over the weekend in an attempt to think ahead.

As if that's not enough, now I have to help Ian maintain his wrestling weight. This requires not just planning a menu, but planning a healthy, low-fat menu. We eat mostly healthy and balanced meals most of the time. But sometimes something is on the menu because it was on sale. And came in a package. (Gasp!) Or it includes gravy. And butter. What can I say?

See what I mean? Feeding a family requires a LOT of thinking about food.

And sometimes I don't want to think about it.

But most of the time I love feeding my family. I am grateful that I am able to think about it, plan for it, acquire it and feed my family. Not all mothers can say that. Some mothers have nothing to give their children. And many of them are reliant on (or at least take advantage of) free food programs to feed their children. I could go on and on about this...but I won't. Not today.

Because you know why? I have the day off of work today...darn furlough days....and I have to run to the grocery store. Imagine that?


Denise said...

yeah, i here you on all of this. I told someone that i had to unload all my groceries when I got home last night and her response was like...yeah, so? stopped me in my tracks and got me thinking.

we have so much to be grateful for...

Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

Have you read this blog:

It's a British child's perspective on school lunches. At one point, the district caught wind of it and tried to shut her down. Tons of people came to her rescue, emailing the power that be and telling them they had ALOT of nerve. (Including ME!)It's really quite smart on her part!

And yes, when you're the chief cook & bottle washer, the whole "what's for dinner" thing gets old real fast. At least there are good recipes on Pinterest.

You Can Call Me Jane said...

Yes, yes, yes! And yes:-).