Thursday, December 2, 2010


I realized something yesterday- thoughts about food occupy about 95% of my waking hours.  The kids wake up at the same time I do, so from the second my feet hit the floor in the morning, it's all about eating.  What will they eat for breakfast. Does everyone have their food and drink. Is there any hope that Mommy can actually make and consume a cup of coffee before the morning gets too crazy.  Is there any food to send with Daniel for lunch in the fridge or freezer or cupboards. 

Then it's on to snack time and trying to ignore Vivian's constant requests for "more cookies?" and convincing Ethan to eat something other than chicken nuggets.  Followed soon by a lunch of chicken nuggets and peas and a small sample of some other food that I try to sneak onto the kids' plates in the hopes that they will eat it without noticing that it's a chicken nugget.

Yes, I am already developing a love-hate relationship with chicken nuggets.  On one hand, I am SO glad that there's a food that will bring Ethan to the table and that gives us some peace from the "just take one bite of lunch, please!" battle.  But on the other hand, I saw an episode of Jamie Oliver's show in the school kitchens about chicken nuggets and have been kind of grossed out by them since then.  The solution for this is to go back to the nicer whole meat nuggets that I was buying at Trader Joes, but I have to find some way to 1) keep myself from eating them and 2) not think about how much of our income is going to pay for fancy chicken nuggets.

My doctor was reminding me yesterday, at Vivian's 18-month-appointment, of the importance of thinking more "big picture" with the kids' nutrition. Try to get in veggies a few times per week and don't beat myself up if it doesn't happen every day. Keep introducing other options, but be okay with chicken nuggets if that's what it takes.  Other than Ethan's weight and the other sensory stuff, he's healthy. Even though he's eaten almost nothing for 19 months and has gotten his nutrition from a high-calorie, sugar-filled drink. He's still okay. And if he's okay on that, a few months of chicken nuggets isn't going to hurt him either. 

The other reason that food is taking over my mind is that, out of the four of us in this condo, there is ONE person who is at what would considered to be a normal weight. And that's Vivian. I fall on the severely overweight side, while the men in my life just don't really like food. Daniel especially loses weight when he's stressed, and we all know that's been an issue lately. You should see him walking around, with his tiny jeans on and the belt in the tightest notch, still having to tug at his waistband to keep them up since he's lost weight lately. And they don't make smaller jeans in men's sizes. Yeah.  Not intimidating to a food-loving woman of Germanic descent. :)

So I've got two people to fatten up, one to slim down, and one to keep on the right track and introduce to new tastes and flavors.  Overall, we've really been trying lately to eat more whole foods, more fresh foods and steer away from the packaged foods completely. I haven't been worrying as much about calories as quality of the food. Which is probably good for my health, but has packed on most of the weight I lost a few months ago. I still need to amp up the exercise and work on moderation in my food choices. I just keep wishing that this got easier as I got older (and possibly wiser) rather than more complicated, as I now have post 2 babies and 2 c-sections body and a slowing metabolism, plus a crazyish life.

Seriously. Adulthood. Complicated!


Karen said...

There is a great recipe on the Bisquick box for breaded and baked chicken fingers (you could cut them nugget shaped), give it a try! At least you will know that it isn't processed and deep fat fried.

I hear ya. We have a few stand-bys in our house that make me feel nuts every time I have to prepare it.

The Rathmell Family said...

Hi Carrie,

I'm pasting my recipe for homemade chicken nuggets (cheaper and unprocessed):


• 1-2 pounds of chicken or fish (I buy hormone-free meat at Whole Foods. When I buy chicken, I buy boneless/skinless chicken breasts or cutlets; when I buy fish, I buy either fresh, wild-caught salmon or frozen wild-caught salmon. If you buy fresh, tell them to de-bone and skin it for you. If you buy frozen, you’ll probably have to skin it yourself. Use your sharpest, thinnest knife and slowly work it down between the skin and the flesh).
• 1 egg (2 if you’re making a lot), beaten with fork
• 1 food paintbrush
• Breadcrumbs, either plain or Italian
• Wax paper
• Cookie sheet

Cut the meat into nugget-sized pieces. Lay the pieces on wax paper. Brush each piece with egg, flip them and brush the other side with egg, as well. (You can just dip the pieces in the egg if you prefer, but it’s messier.) Dredge the pieces in breadcrumbs and lay them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Bake at 375º for 20-30 minutes until done. Chicken’s juices will run clear when it is done, and fish will flake easily when it is done. Allow to cool, and freeze them on the same cookie sheet on which they were baked so they freeze individually and don’t stick together. Store in a Ziploc bag in the freezer, heat for 30 seconds or so in the microwave before serving.