I’ve been a wee bit busy

It’s been a long time since my last post, but I have not stopped trying to improve the healthy intake of food by children around me. But I may be a bit less obvious about it. My kids are growing… eldest now 14 and youngest 9! When I started this I had a three-year-old. So, their food choices are overall healthy, but of course, they’re kids, so when given a chance, they’ll eat the junk. But I’m so proud that my kids overall shun McDonald’s and the like. I’ve always tried to be open to the occasional unhealthy foods/snacks/candy so that my kids had a healthy attitude with food. They don’t hoard food and don’t overindulge when given the chance to eat candy and other unhealthy stuff. And my eldest knows that if he has more than one soda at a meal, he’ll feel ill, so he has one and done. It’s the balance that I’m proud of. They will eat a large variety of fruits and vegetables and they like spicy foods, international foods, fish, meats, etc. I do still wish they’d eat more combinations of vegetarian options. My middle son still steers clear of most foods combined in one dish besides some pasta dishes and chili. He likes things separated on a plate with distinct tastes for each item. 

Growing up quickly and enjoying Chicken Aloo Gobi

Enjoying Chicken Aloo Gobi (curry with coconut, cauliflower and potatoes)


Proud dad looking on









One of the reasons I’ve been remiss in writing is that I’ve been busy. Really, really, busy. Growing boys have sports, scouts, Odyssey of the Mind, plays, camps, school, music lessons, play dates, etc. And now year-end shows, parties, concerts… I’ve also just gotten a new job and no longer working as an investment advisor. I was laid off from my company when it went a little more corporate and got rid of its smaller producers who worked from home. You’d think that would’ve given me more time to write then, but another reason is that I stopped writing is that I felt we were in a pattern food-wise and I didn’t have much to share. I’m certain I’ve created recipes, but when I did, it was probably at a busy time, and I just didn’t get it on here. 

Before I got my new job I was working as a cafe supervisor at my son’s elementary school. I loved working there with all the children. The woman who was my coworker felt that many of the kids were being “bad” if they were talking to friends at other tables and she didn’t exactly do things the same way as I did. But after some time, she tolerated my “let’s make this fun, not punitive” attitude with dealing with the kids. (They’re just babes really, 5-10 year olds.)  One of the changes I made was in encouraging the students to eat more fruits and vegetables. I’d done that as a parent volunteer, but this was different, and more challenging, as an employee. I felt it necessary when I’d see what the kids ate every day. Like the boy who for his lunch had white bread and butter, cheese slices, blue jello, blue cotton candy, chocolate and no vegetables. He did have grapes but refused to eat them, because he ‘tried them once and didn’t like them.”

At first I brought in an apple slicer. So many of this age group are dealing with loose baby teeth and gaps until their adult teeth come in, so they’d shy away from whole apples. Slicing them was easy and it increased the number of kids who’d eat apples. Some told me that when I wasn’t there, they wouldn’t buy apples because they’d only eat them sliced. And since I’ve gone, apparently they’re not eating them anymore. 🙁 

I also piggybacked onto the reward system the school used in classrooms and hallways… for respecting self, others, environment. So, if the kids brought in from home or chose from cafeteria 3 or more fruits and veggies, they’d get a reward. The reward would be put in a bin and at lunch we’d choose 4 winners to pick friends to sit with at the reward table or pick a prize from prize box. It was amazing how quickly those kids would rush back into the lunch line to grab more fruits and vegetables or tell their parents to pack more. Then if there were some kids who never ate any (and I mean never) then I’d offer them a reward for just getting 1 or 2. And they found they liked more than they’d ever realized. 

Mostly what I found was the kids were willing to try new things and eat more if they felt there was an immediate reward for it, it was fun, or it was just easier to eat. I hope that some it stuck and since I’m gone they’re doing it at home or school. It’s not always that hard, and they are all good kids.

Here’s a link to my summery grilled peach & ricotta toast which will be perfect for the upcoming season. 

Summer deliciousness

Summer deliciousness

Resolutions– some goals for me


I haven’t been writing lately for several reasons, one is that I didn’t have much time over the holidays with kids home and my husband working crazy hours each day.  But another reason is that I was at a loss of what to say– that’s pretty rare for me.  I think it’s not exactly that I couldn’t come up with something, but that I wanted to be really careful in what I say.  I’ve had a crazy year (or few) and I’ve suffered the brunt of not filtering more.  So, I’m trying to find my voice in this new year without alienating more people of whose opinion I care about.  

One of my goals is to impart some advice without seeming high and mighty or even careless. And this year I really need to make money to continue to live where we live (where my kids have great schools).  So, another goal is to take what I’ve shared here to a new level.  What do you think it should be– a book?  A pitch for a show?  Or just getting out there and pounding the pavement with cards in hand and willingness to show more people how they can get kids to eat/feed their kids well?  


Guest Post- SaHMMY’s Cajones Grandes

One of my earliest followers from when I started my blog on tumblr 3 years ago was “The SaHMMY”, a witty, sometimes snarky and always funny, former actress/comedian and now stay-at-home-mom who asked me to be a “guest chef” on her site/blog.  Twice!  I was incredibly flattered. It was so nice to feel the love.  I also follow her blog and the goings on of her life, her kids, her crazy ass dog… and love every minute that I spend reading about it all.  She’s one of my tumblr friends that I hope to actually meet one day.  My mom, when we were younger, would have said that we belonged to the Mutual Admiration Society.

So, a while back I asked her (Jeris Donovan a.k.a. The SaHMMY) to write a sort of testimonial about my blog. “I’d love to hear from people who may have been inspired to get their kids to eat well after reading my blog” (I must have been feeling sorry for myself that day.)  What I got is so f*%&ing funny and I’m so honored to be a positive influence.  Not that I always live up to it myself!  And I still need to get a juicer!! 

Since I just found out my son and I didn’t win the White House/Epicurious contest, I figured today would be a good day for some feels.


One day in high school while sitting on the “Senior Ledge” (really a long marble bench that became a rite of passage), a classmate dared me to say the “F” word.

“No way!” I said.

“Why not?” he asked.

“Because my mother will find out,” I snapped.

“No she won’t,” he said. Then we shared a long look. “Yeah, you are probably right,” he replied. I had dated this boy two years prior and he knew of my mother’s mad snooping skills. She knew everyone and was just intimidating enough to get the truth out of someone quickly and painlessly. Her ominous powers kept me in line all through high school and most of college.

I share this little story because this same sense of “she’s gonna find out” comes over me every time I plan a meal for my family except the person isn’t my mother, is it Vanessa.

I can’t even remember when I started following My Kids Really Eat This. I think it was around two years ago when I bought a bread machine through Craigslist from a couple in the nearby crunchy town of Carrboro, NC. A stranger would have voted us most likely to meet in a Target parking lot for a bread machine exchange: one of us in a Prius and the other in a Subaru wagon, all of us in Keens. I think that becoming determined to make my own bread was the catalyst that led me to Vanessa. I began gardening, forcing inspiring my kids to try new things, and became more conscious of what we were putting in our bodies. Continue reading

Six Months Later

26 angels

26 angels

I am one of the lucky ones.   I didn’t lose anyone I love.  My children were safe.  They were actually miles away.  But we were affected and I have changed.  That day and that town that borders my small town in rural Connecticut, are now infamous.  No one I knew knew of that town if they didn’t live within 10 miles of it.  Well, they may have heard of it, but they didn’t usually know it.

That town two miles from my driveway is where we go to get ice cream from the farm stand with the grazing cows.  That town my best friend and her family had lived in and where her kids had gone to school until a few months before that fateful December day.  Her 6 year old daughter could have been a victim had they not moved.  That town where we still go to see movies in its town hall.  Where we shop.  Where we visit doctors and dentists.  That town where we played lava tag in the park just minutes from the school.  Or where we swam in the summer in that park.  Or sledded in the winter in that park in that town.  That town that we drive through to get to the highway.  That town we’d bring our bikes and bike around the old mental hospital grounds turned into biking and hiking trails, soccer fields, baseball fields and even indoor playing fields.  That town I have so many connections to. Yet, that town is not my town.  It is not our town.  But it is.  That town where it happened.  That town that everyone now knows.  That town that felt tremendous pain. 

The pain is shared just like our borders. 

We have so many connections to those killed.  Friend of a friend.  Friend’s nephew.  But our connections don’t really matter because we still have our loved ones.  It is hard, yet not as hard as it can be.  Not as hard as the families that lost innocent children or loving adults.

We are connected in so many ways and feel their pain yet spared so much of it.   We are the lucky and we must fight for them.  Our neighbors.  Our friends.  Our family.  Our new found voices.  For the 26.  For the town.  For Newtown.  For Sandy Hook (the town within the town).

Please visit www.sandyhookpromise.org and take the pledge.   And please contact your legislators to get common sense gun legislation passed– like universal background checks.  Don’t let this pain get to your town.  This will happen again if the national laws don’t change.  This will happen again if we don’t change the conversation. 

This is the one subject I will get off-subject for.  Today it was 6 months ago.  Yet I remember what I was doing and who I was doing it with.  How we learned about it.  How we looked around us in case someone was headed our way.  How we called our schools and checked in on our kids.   But as I said, we got good news.  We got our kids back that day.  

Together we are strong

Together we are strong

I took these photos when I dropped off coats and backpacks in Sandy Hook a week after 12/14.

A Rebuttal- Cult of Organics

The other week I read a post on BlogHer called The Cult of Organics.  Although I consider myself a moderate voice when it comes to food politics and beliefs, I still took umbrage with it. I’m sorry that the author got condescending reactions to her food choices, but I believe there are plenty of good/viable reasons to choose organic foods– some of the time.   Money is an issue for me but I still buy organic milk.  I buy organic strawberries.  But, I don’t buy only organic foods.  I choose which foods I buy that don’t need to be organic and those which do.  I might pay more for some of these choices, but it’s a price I’ll pay now so my children don’t need to pay it later with their health.  I guess I also consider myself a “food snob” because I care about and enjoy food; it’s a big part of my life.  I am not part of a cult but an informed consumer, who is concerned for the long-term effects of pesticides, over use of antibiotics and uncertainty of GMOs on my children’s well-being. 

It may be surprising, but I am also the mom who allows my kids junk food, occasionally,  and I let them drink a soda when at a party, and I also throw a frozen pizza in the oven when I need   to.  But when I choose most foods, they are healthful and often times, made at home.  I think lumping everyone who buys organic or chooses to make homemade-from-scratch foods in as “elite” or “food snobs” doesn’t give the author credibility as a moderate voice.  I don’t think I’m hostile to people who choose non-organic versions of foods, but I found the article to be hostile toward those trying to educate others about them. 

Even if you haven’t read studies, articles or books on pesticides in foods (like those with endocrine disruptors); pollutants that have gone into our rivers and oceans affecting the flora and fauna; bee colony collapse; cancer causing ingredients that are banned in other countries; rises in autoimmune diseases, allergies and neurological disorders; children starting puberty younger;  or the rises in obesity, you can often see the difference in organic over conventional fruits and vegetables… a potato that’s not organic won’t sprout eyes but will just go rotten.  Or how about those ginormic strawberries that are perfectly, uniformly red, but lack a true strawberry flavor? And do you really want to buy your food from the world’s largest herbicide company –which is also the largest seed company?

I will choose antibiotic-free meats because food-producing animals are being given more antibiotics than humans as the norm to prevent illnesses that better living conditions could solve.  Those antibiotics get into our foods and water and we are getting close to an era where antibiotics will no longer work for us humans.  I don’t mean to be fearmongering and sensationalist, I am just trying to say sometimes organics are the best choice.  (In my parents’/grandparents’ day there was no such word as organic food there was just food, because then there was a fraction of pesticide/herbicide use and no GMOs.) As far as Jayson Lusk’s arguments against organics in Food Police go,– he doesn’t dissuade me, I’m not in it for most of the reasons (mostly economic) he gives.  Many studies giving out favorable information on conventionally grown foods are funded by food companies who grow the food, they not only fund the studies but consequently benefit from the dissemination and promotion of those very studies.   

I will not buy berries, apples, spinach, celery, potatoes or corn that are not organic (or at least locally produced without GMOs and most pesticides).  But I will buy broccoli, cauliflower, peas, avocados, mushrooms.  I am not a cultist or someone who is extreme.  I am an informed consumer.  My children’s milk is usually organic and always without hormones.  And the one thing I am not is rich.  Far from it.  I struggle, especially because my husband has been unemployed since January and was basically working for free for several months before that.   But I will forgo movie outings, dining out, new clothes,  cleaning people, and expensive salon trips to put the money into our food choices. 


Conventionally Grown Lettuce vs. Organic Lettuce at Trader Joe's - just a little bit more expensive.

Conventionally Grown Lettuce vs. Organic Lettuce at Trader Joe’s – just a little bit more expensive.

And I will buy frozen foods.  Even some canned foods.  And many of the “Food Police” (Pollan, Bittman,  Nestle, etc) actually do say if it comes down to it: buy vegetables and fruits in any way over not buying them at all.    If you’re looking, I find that Trader Joe’s is a great place to not only find well-priced foods but also those that are free of GMOs, artificial colors and other harmful ingredients.   Choosing to join a CSA actually saved me money and I was introduced to many new and different foods that I otherwise wouldn’t have chosen.  And those foods are pesticide-free– bugs are hand-picked then squashed.  So it’s possible to buy organic foods on a tight budget.  

I try to share information on how to prepare foods that are healthful and convenient.  I love cheap food but realize there are prices to pay.  For me it’s the whole economics — health and wealth are the factors in my decision making. I also think it is worth the extra money. Sometimes.  So, sure, let’s have some reasonableness.  Just realize us “food snobs” or those you claim are in an organic cult aren’t always the ones with the hostility.  Want to find quick ways to cook healthy foods?  Search through my blog; it’s got plenty of ideas and many of them take short-cuts so they’re convenient. You might also find my popular pizza that takes so little time but is actually pretty healthy.

So, let’s get along but understand, tolerance goes both ways.  

NYC GOV: NYC Restaurant Voluntarily Adopts City’s Sugary Beverage Portion Size Limit


NYC GOV: NYC Restaurant Voluntarily Adopts City’s Sugary Beverage Portion Size Limit

I am Sam. Sam I am.

Tonight while reading Green Eggs & Ham to my youngest son (6 years old now) I realized I am Sam! No, really I am Sam, as in Sam I am of Green Eggs and Ham.  I am the one out there trying to get people (not just kids) to try things I’ve made or just to try something slightly different than they’re accustomed to.  I am the one thinking, you just need to be in the right situation, place, weather, darkness… to try the food.  If you notice at the end of the book Sam looks a bit dejected but thinks he’ll just try a different angle.  “You do not like them. So you say. Try them!  Try them!  And you may. Try them and you may, I say.” Other guy agrees. Then the long pause with the visual picture of the other, grouch guy (Knox from Knox in Socks?) eating it and he likes it!  (Maybe his name is Mikey.)  Anyway, I realized that’s me—SAM IS ME. 


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They might actually like it, if you give them opportunity.


This gallery contains 3 photos.

Some days I think it’s impossible to get my youngest to eat what we’ve made for dinner (or breakfast and lunch) if it’s not one of his limited favorites at the moment.  He said he was NOT going to eat … Continue reading