You know what was cute? When the Captain and I first got married, and we would buy/cook food. Cure, simple little meals with hand-snipped fresh herbs and complicated procedures involving the standing Kitchen Aid mixer, our brand new registry blender, and- oh hell- we barely cooked. Because we ate out. All. The. Time. Because we had time and money.
So fast forward to AC (after children). For years, I have been determined to cook nutritious, appealing meals that are well balanced and attractive. And for the first few kids, it actually worked. My babies snacked on fresh fruit. They never experienced sugary snacks unless at the homes of their grandparents. Dinners consisted of complicated, winning meals cooked with fresh herbs grown right in my own garden.
Umm… not so much now. I knew our high standards for food preparation were faltering when kid #4 began to refuse fresh fruit for snack in favor of the Teddy Grahams I had bought for the big kids. And then began to prefer the junk food, in any she could get it.
It’s 11:30am; do you know where your children are? If not, maybe they’re hiding behind your basement boiler, scarfing Thin Mints… BUSTED!!
Then the sugar hoarding began…
#4 began to crave sugar much like a junkie jonesing for their next fix..
And like a junkie, #4 began stealing to satisfy her unending sugar craving. Any and all Halloween candy somehow made it into her grubby little hands. The climax came at Christmas time, when the kids were given chocolate advent calendars.
Kids #s 1-3 got the concept. One chocolate a day.
#4… not so much. Six days into the advent season, #4’s calendar was extracted from the daily hiding place and decimated.
Nine days in, #3 complained that his calendar was misplaced. It wasn’t misplaced, so much as commandeered. And devoured. The entire calendar’s worth… by a greedy #4…
Who hid the evidence under her bed, in the form of an empty calendar and a chocolate-smeared face. And of course, the absolute denial that she had touched a thing.
So I’ve been fighting the junk-food tide for a long time now. Waging my war against sugar, artificial coloring, processed foods, etc. It can be challenging to feed a family of eight (ok, seven, because kid #6 is still an infant) on a tight budget. So we joined BJ’s, a wholesale club. Because buying in bulk is what families like the Duggars do, and of course I want people to associate me with rabid breeders… (no, I don’t. But I like saving money).
The Captain goes to BJ’s to sign the crew up. Excellent. Raves about the product selection. Is pleased with how much money we will save in feeding this family.
And proceeds to buy an 18.5 bag of CAT FOOD. (Meow Mix)
Now, we have six kids. That’s a lot.
We have one cat. That’s not a lot.
And the cat, who is a pickier eater than the kids, eats about maybe 20 nuggets of food a day. And dislikes Meow Mix.
So Mitts the cat has been provided with a lifetime supply of cat food, compliments of BJs, whether she likes it or not. And the children were given cereal from Stop and Shop on a subsequent trip by the Captain, but at least cereal that was on sale. So in concordance with our efforts to save money, this was good.
The cereal? Lucky Charms. Which is not so good.
Yet I still try. I try to nourish my family with wholesome, non-processed meals when possible. I work hard to plan nutritious meals, and limit the junk foods brought into the home.
And yet somehow, #s 5 & 6 strive to outwit me at every turn, tag-teaming their way through any illicit, non-healthy goodies that happen to be brought into the home…
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