Every now and then, Aristu, my youngest will agree to eat a small bite of peanut butter. He’s not crazy about it; he refuses to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The last time I tried to give him one, he spat it out and exclaimed peee-uuuuu, baby speak for disgusting.
So I was quite amused when yesterday he seemed to suddenly discover peanut butter. His older brother, who loves all things with peanuts, was licking a tablespoonful when Aristu asked for some. I gave him a teeny weeny bit in bis baby spoon. He licked it, murmured deli-cious, and asked for more.
He went back and forth for almost half-an-hour, licking at spoonful after spoonful of peanut butter until I became concerned that he was going to fall sick. Billi, my oldest, who thinks that peanut butter can do no wrong, explained in the way only a serious 12-year-old can, that peanut butter was full of protein and couldn’t possibly hurt his little brother.
Anyway, Aristu didn’t fall sick and actually finished his dinner by eating four florets of brocolli and some applesauce and a slice of ham. When I think of previous dinners when I had to deal with his fussy eating habits, I was glad I managed to get some good food into him. Take one day at a time, huh?
The other day my youngest asked that I modify the lunch I pack her and leave out the chocolate peanut butter cup.
She doesn’t eat lunch in the cafeteria except on Fridays, so whatever I put in her brown bag is eaten in her classroom, she said, and she worries that someone in the class might have a peanut allergy.
“I know it’s my favorite dessert,” she said. “But I can’t be sure there isn’t someone nearby who might be affected. You can keep it in for Friday, though.”
I used to wonder what would be the upshot of all the health education and peanut-free table alerts and cutbacks in what you can bring into your child’s elementary school classroom for a birthday treat.
Now I know. It’s an awareness of others on a whole different level that I don’t think my generation had.
That strikes me as not being a bad thing.
Just a quickie today â€” I got an e-mail the other day from some folks over at Grandparents.com who enjoyed my Halloween protein pus pockets post.
So I checked out the site and found a fun tidbit â€” the Jif peanut butter folks are holding their Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest.
The folks over at Jif give away $35,000 in scholarships to the creative little chefs. Four children get $2,500 apiece and the big winner gets $25,000.
Children have to be aged 6 to 12, and the deadline is Nov. 14. Go to Jif.com for all the details.
Labor Day is around the corner. That means last minute Back to School shopping, arguing with my 7th grader that he has more than enough clothes and shoes to start the school year, and buying soccer paraphernalia now that he has FINALLY decided he wants to do team sports. And of course the dreaded morning chore: packing lunch for school.
Since Billi started complaining a couple of years ago that school lunches were a cross between nuclear waste and roadkill â€” yes, he has a flair for the dramatic â€” I’ve started making lunch for him. My husband, of course, thinks Billi is old enough to make his own lunch, but I’ve managed to guilt-trip myself enough to feel I should do it.
I don’t really enjoy it, mainly because I can’t come up with interesting ideas for lunch. I make cold meat sandwiches two days in a row and then I worry about all the nitrites. I make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and then think I wouldn’t want to be eat that more than once a week. When I give him bagel and cream cheese, I think of dough and fat. Then I wish he was back in elementary school when he was happy enough to eat school lunches and didn’t complain.
So all you moms out there who fix your kids’ lunches, what do you do?Â What is good for the kids, quick to fix and tasty?Â I know that’s a tall order, but hey ….
Our 2-year-old niece was visiting from California with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law last month and it was fascinating to get a glimpse of what may be in store for us, especially when it comes to mealtime. Our niece is a petite little thing, currently she only weighs 2 more pounds than JD, who’s 10 months old!
Before they got here, my sister-in-law e-mailed me a list of requests to get at the grocery store, including a gallon of milk. Also included were what I would consider kids staples — bananas and kiwis, Dora fruit snacks, yogurt, mac and cheese, natural peanut butter and jelly, etc. What was surprising was mealtime itself. The kid must have subsisted on air because I rarely saw her eat anything off the plate. After toying with her food for a little while, with maybe a nibble here or there, my sister-in-law would coax my niece to eat a few bites, but that was all. She did drink a lot of milk, though. That gallon was almost finished by the end of the week!
The only time I saw my niece eat almost a whole meal was the night of “Bite and run,” which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. As my niece ran around the first floor she would pause for a spoonful of yogurt as she passed through the kitchen. Of course, she probably ran off any calories so I’m guessing that meal was close to a wash!
Meanwhile, JD is still pretty receptive to everything we’ve put in front of him. I definitely appreciate the captive audience at meal time. However, I’m starting to see a preference for sweet — fruit is met with big smiles and hand clapping while veggies and proteins, not so much. And I tried giving a few bites of american cheese and cottage cheese the other day and got gags and grimaces in return. But I’m not discouraged yet. I figure I have a little more time before I have a picky eater on my hands. And if I believe the experts, I have only 6 more tries before the new foods become staples.
Something like that, at least.
When I first heard about the PB&J Campaign, I nearly dismissed the idea out of hand, because the campaign’s goal appears to be to make vegetarians out of us all.
We are avowed carnivores in our house, and I have happily eaten veal and lamb. (Look, it’s hard for me not to inject a Homer Simpson drooling noise here, so let’s just leave it at that.)
Even so, it’s hard for me to argue that perhaps, as a society, we should eat less meat.
There. I said it.
This is the crux of the campaign:
Everything we eat comes from plants, whether we eat the plants directly or through an animal intermediary. The basic problem is that animals are inefficient at converting plants into meat, milk, and eggs. Relatively little of what they eat ends up in what you eat because animals use most of their food to keep them alive â€“ to fuel their muscles so they can stand up and walk around, to keep their hearts beating, to keep their brains working.
That cow, pig, or chicken has to eat a lot more protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients than it yields in meat, eggs, or milk. The result is that it takes several pounds of corn and soy to produce one pound of beef, or one pound of eggs, one pound of milk, etc. This holds true even if weâ€™re measuring calories or protein; it takes several times the calories or protein in livestock feed to produce the calories or protein we get from the meat, eggs, or milk.
That made me think.
For every pound of beef, eggs or milk, we’re using several pounds of food that could be eaten by others elsewhere around the world.
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