Feeding Your Family: Moms and Dads and Food Oh My

Posted by: , May 5, 2010 in 12:35 pm

Shut Up and EatWe need to face facts.  The family meal is fraught with disaster and a prescription pre-written to fail, almost every time.  You (the earnest Mom), hate making it day after day after day, and they (the annoying children) hate eating it.  Mostly because you made it with your own hands, in your own kitchen, with disdainfully fresh and nutritious grocery store ingredients.  Come on Mom!  Everyone knows food goes through an amazing taste transformation once it’s been passed through a drive-thru window. In fact I’m thinking of installing one on the side of my house so the kids can grab their breakfast sandwiches as they ride by on their bikes.  To make it really authentic, I’m thinking of charging them and getting the order wrong half the time. Hopefully I won’t get the pre-requisite zits and “uptalk” pattern of speech. And I’m nixing the hair net, okay?

I honestly don’t understand (or care, frankly) why they don’t love my cooking, or at least like it.  But the whys don’t really matter.  The indisputable fact is that whether they (or we) like it or not, moms are “supposed“to get three meals down the adorable, little throats of our offspring by the end of each day. I’m pretty sure that rule is in every parenting book ever written.  Whether we’re serving these meals at home, or bundling them up and sending them out to schools and camps, the food is “supposed” to be healthy and lovingly prepared.

After 17 years of trying to achieve this balance, my advice is this:  Go for one or the other. Either it’s healthy or you loved making it.  (If it’s neither, it’s take out.) If you knock yourself out making that perfectly nutritious meal each and every time, I have to tell you, the love will surely be missing.  If you’re able to snatch a Lunchable out of the fridge, throw in an apple and a Wagon Wheel cookie, and send them on their way in five seconds or less, you’re going to feel the love.  Maybe not for the kids, but for the packaged-goods company who just helped you out.  It’s all good from where I’m standing, baby.

Excerpted from “Shut Up and Eat! Tales of Chicken, Children, and Chardonnay, Kathy Buckworth, Key Porter Books, March 2010, now available at bookstores everywhere.


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