Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pantry Fairy

Recently I had a visit from the Healthy Professor at the Times Union. She arrived with a reporter from the paper, and a photographer. I had won a "pantry makeover." I wasn't really sure what this would entail, except that I had some idea that they would be going through my pantry and offering suggestions on healthier alternatives for food.

When they arrived, we sat around my kitchen table and the Healthy Professor tried to get a feel for what I really needed and wanted from this visit. I explained to her that I felt overwhelmed by what to cook for dinner each night. I also felt discouraged by my picky eaters - a.k.a. - Maddie and Aidan. After looking at what was in my pantry, the Healthy Professor told me that there was a disconnect between my pantry and my table. She said I had a stocked pantry - but I was missing the link between what was IN the pantry and what goes ON the table.

She told me that I was too wrapped up in finding the perfect recipe and that I just needed to cook what I like. I don't need recipes. For instance - I could cook chicken, with diced tomatoes and Italian seasoning and serve it with green beans and rice. Wala! Dinner is served. How easy is that? No recipe involved!

We also spent some time talking about what to do with my picky children who refuse to eat anything besides spaghettios, chicken nuggets and grilled cheese. After talking to the Healthy Professor, I decided that the rules definitely needed to change in our house.

I told Maddie that we were going to allow her to have two special meals a week where she could pick what she wanted for dinner. The other 5 nights, she could eat what I was serving or she didn't eat at all. And the same goes for Aidan. He is starting to show signs of pickiness and I need to put an end to it right now.

So - tonight everyone sat at the dinner table and we all had the same thing. Brian and I ate. Maddie sat and pouted. Aidan smashed all of the food with a fork. That was how that went. Not great. But - we have to start somewhere - right?

Look for the article by Jennifer Gish in the Times Union on Saturday, May 29th! I can't wait to read it...

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