This is sponsored by VolunteerSpot.com
There’s been a lot of debate recently over the importance of home cooked meals. I’m not going to link to those articles because I’m way too lazy, but suffice it to say that one camp thinks making family dinner every night is an onerous, thankless, unappreciated task, and who really cares what the other camp thinks.
Of course, I know that it’s important to feed my children healthy food so they don’t grow up to become truck stop killers, but getting everyone together for a family dinner isn’t as easy as it sounds. Some nights Sam doesn’t get home until 5 p.m., Chris gets home even later, Jack is running out to soccer practice and I’m locked in my closet with a snifter of cranberry vodka and a Netflix documentary about grown men who worship My Little Pony. (“Bronies.” I give it two snaps up.) But like most people, our school nights can be a little crazy.
So that’s why, on those nights, about the best I can do for a healthy family dinner is to stand in the middle of the kitchen holding a carrot while everyone runs past me and takes a lick. Not entirely gourmet, but at least they’re getting some Vitamin K. C? D? Is there a Vitamin W? I don’t know, but I think it’s helping their vision.
(Note: Feel free to use the carrot idea for your own family, but just know that I’m already deep into negotiations with the Food Network about my own show, “Lickin’ Healthy with Wendi.” It’ll be the tent pole of my new lifestyle brand.)
I will say that not taking huge pains to be healthy all of the time has caused me embarrassment once or twice. Like when Jack was in his last week of preschool and he begged me to buy him a Lunchable for the class field trip to the deranged cockatoo sanctuary. (Is that still around, Austin? It used to be out on Hwy. 290 by the Chevron.) I wasn’t too thrilled that he’d be eating a sodium/nitrate-rich Lunchable, but I still bought it because I figured it was just one meal out of his young life and it was no big deal.
Guess what? There is no such thing as “no big deal” when other moms see what you packed your kid for lunch.
Because the second the kids and moms sat down at the picnic tables for lunch and Jack pulled out his Lunchable, the judging began. There were a few sideways glances and curled lips, then Jack yelled, “Look, Mom! The ham circles are all shiny! Like your forehead!” and the shit hit the fan. One mom choked on her organic berry, another spit out her edamame, and they all sat and stared at us like we were Oscar Meyer vermin ready to dump a vat of GMOs on their heads. It was bad. I think I even heard one of the demented parrots nearby chirp, “Listeria! Squawk! Listeria! Polly wants a stomach pump!” while I sat there, but maybe that didn’t happen. At any rate, the lesson I learned that day is to always give your kid healthy food when there are other moms around—because nobody talked to me for the rest of that field trip.
Not even when I stood in the middle of the bus holding up a carrot.
Luckily, my friend Karen’s amazing company VolunteerSpot.com is kicking off a healthy school year with BIG prizes for your family and your school. Enter here and win a year’s worth of free Cabot cheese, meal planning programs from eMeals, Soap.com gift cards, reusable lunch kits from Blue Avocado and so much more up for grabs – ends soon! Learn More Here.