Shifting the Food Expectations of Special Occasions

Mini fret du jour:   all efforts to help my children eat healthy will inadvertently contribute to an obsessive, over-consumption of the world’s most horrible food when they are teenagers and I can no longer guide the menu selection. My husband informed me the other night that he really hopes that I will experience life with less worry some day soon. Oh Yes. I realize everything in this life is a choice — including the way we feel.  And breaking the Mommy Fret pattern is a doozy for me!

What would happen if I chose not to worry about anything?  That is the question, isn’t it?  If I didn’t fret about and plan and do and reconsider and ponder all that could be done to protect and care for the hearts and minds and bodies of my children, what would happen?

Ideally my trust in the universe and in myself and in my children and their ability to understand and know would translate into a life experience with more levity for all of us I’m sure.  So. Yay!  Another opportunity to reflect on what it means to Protect, Love, Honor and Let Go as a Mother — all at the same time.

A lovely woman that I work with told me that she grew up a few blocks from where we live today in a hippie family. Five children in a two bedroom house.  They all went to the Waldorf school which was affordable then.  Plus they had an additional discount (or perhaps even free?) because their Mom drove the school bus or something.

Anyway, she said her groovy, hippie Mom was all about feeding them the healthiest possible food.  And when she got into middle school and was visiting friends’ houses that had hot dogs, pizza, pop, cookies, chips…….she thought she had landed in Disney Land and gorged herself whenever she had the opportunity.

So I find myself in this ongoing conundrum where I don’t want to be the mother who makes junk food so verboten that when my children are exposed to it, they freak out and form rebellious addictions. (I have these myself!) And I don’t want to be apathetic about it either — which to me translates into unspoken endorsement.

At our first 3 year-old soccer game (mine has yet to want to leave the sidelines), one mother brought cupcakes for the after-game snack.  The game was at 9:00 in the morning.  I wanted to pull my hair out I was so annoyed.  Who wants to tell your child, in front of all the other children, that they can’t have what everyone else is having?!

My Go Along to Get Along persona continually trumps my desire to go against the grain on casually accepting the food that is put in front of our children.  I’d like to get better about this.

I got brave for the girls’ recent birthday party and boycotted the traditional cake or cupcakes.  I made raw pie and ordered raw, vegan chocolate cupcakes from Whole Foods.  I thought for sure I would hear some children complaining that this wasn’t normal or right or something (including my own!) — but they were 100% pumped.

The raw pie is super simple if you have a food processor.  I don’t have any specific measurements — I just go on feel.  But you combine dates and your nut(s) of choice for the crust.  If you want to get fancy — add some cinnamon or nutmeg or something.  I go plain jane.  Then blend up some strawberries for a layer of sauce.  And then decorate with a layer of bananas, followed by sliced berries.  Done!

I haven’t tried making the raw chocolate cupcakes myself yet — but the ingredients were cacao, walnuts, cashews, coconut oil, agave and dates.

Now…..for Halloween.  So outside of boycotting trick-or-treating, there’s really no way to be a Loving, Cool Mom and avoid sugar completely on Halloween.  But my general philosophy for the time being is that there is an opportunity to introduce different fun, sweet holiday food traditions at home, to not make a big deal out of traditions outside the home, and to simply minimize the Sugar  Crazies where possible. My plan for Halloween is to fully enjoy a neighborhood party with one of our friends, to go trick-or-treating, and to let each girl pick out two candies.  I’m undecided if we’ll make up the Great Pumpkin story for donating the rest — or simply say we’re giving the extras to our Dentist who is collecting candy to protect children from cavities.  (Isn’t there some dentist in town who is actually doing this?)

On the home front — here’s a non-sugar sweet to consider for Halloween season courtesy of Chef AJ:  Caramel apples made with date paste and a few drops of caramel extract.  If you’re concerned about the artificial nature of the extract — skip that and just do apples with date paste. Super easy to make. Just soak dates in a little water or almond milk and blend.  When you’ve got a consistency that you can roll the “sticked” apples in — you’re ready to go!

Looking ahead to Thanksgiving meal planning?  Check out these healthy modifications to the traditional menu we all love from Dr. John McDougall.  McDougall is a great resource on multiple fronts for those of you researching healthy eating.  I think I’ve recommended one of his books here before (available now on his site as an eBook) “The McDougall Program for Women“.

All for now my friends.  Until I find a partner in crime for developing content more often for Attachment Mama, please anticipate once a week (or so) posts for the time being.


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