"But that's what you packed me yesterday" she'll complain.">
It's the same argument every morning. "Mom, what did you pack for me for lunch?" my eight-year old daughter will ask, somewhat challengingly. Every day I give her the same answer, "A bagel and cream cheese, an apple and some crackers."
"But that's what you packed me yesterday'" she'll complain.
I'll cross my fingers and pray that this morning might be my chance to add a little variety to her diet. "Want to try a roast beef sandwich instead?" I ask hopefully. "No, roast beef is gross," as is evidently almost everything else we have in the refrigerator. I am also 90% sure the apple I have packed her will come home uneaten. She'll have some excuse"it wasn't crunchy enough, or it was too crunchy, or too red, or she wanted green. It's like living with the lunchbox Goldilocks. Nothing is ever just right.
Food is honestly one of the things we fight most about at home. I feel like feeding my kids is a constant game of tug-of-war, and somehow I am always on the losing end"desperate for the kids to eat more of the healthy stuff and less of the junk. I need a plan, a strategy, but I just don't know where to begin.
Maybe I'll start small, just try to get them to eat more fruits and vegetables, aiming for the gold standard of five. It's positive"doing more of something versus less"and they tend to like most fruit, as long as it's not too exotic. Dragon and star fruit sure sounded fun at the grocery store, but didn't quite live up to their fantasy names once we got them home.
Vegetables are another story though; we have no super fans at my house. If I had a nickel for every sweet potato or asparagus spear they've turned their nose up at, I'd, well, have a whole lot of nickels. I considered, but rejected the Jessica Seinfeld approach . Besides the deceptiveness of adding liquefied broccoli to brownies--not that there's anything wrong with that -- it just wasn't practical for me. In a kitchen-full of small appliances, I don't think I even own the one that purees. I'm going to need to work on a much more transparent plan of attack for getting the kids to consume more of the leafy green stuff.
I know I am not alone in these battles. I don't think there is a parent in the world that doesn't think their child should eat healthier. And while I realize "What is healthy?" means something different to everyone, it's a goal we share. From organic, local and sustainable to grass-fed, free range, and cage-free there are so many ways my family could be doing better, it makes my head spin. I'm looking forward to picking up some advice and inspiration this Saturday at Isthmus Green Day and especially the "Healthy Food for Healthy Kids" forum at 1:30 p.m., which I'll be moderating. Folks from the REAP Food Group and MUNCH Madison will join a school district dietician, educators, parents and engaged kids for what I am sure will be an entertaining discussion about good tasting, good for you, kid food.
And I hope I'll walk away with ideas for serving rhubarb without a pie. Or for getting Goldilocks to say "just right" to that slightly bruised apple in her lunch.comments powered by Disqus
This past week, against both my will and better judgement, I accompanied 50 or so middle school kids to the Future Problem Solvers Wisconsin State Bowl, a popular academic and skit-writing competition.
It may be a bigger waste of breath than electricity to ask my kids to turn off the lights when they leave a room. If I've nagged them once, I've nagged them a thousand times. No, I've never noticed anything amiss with their fingers. But it appears they are physically incapable of flipping a switch to the "off" position.
I want to say thank you to the Board of Education for allowing Maia to return to class, unquestionably the place she belongs, as well as to thank them for adopting the new policies. But just as importantly, I also want to thank Maia and her family for their willingness to come forward with their story.
Some clever-clogs is playing Rachmaninoff on the piano at a party, and there it is again, that oft-heard adult lament of lost opportunity from a dejected onlooker: "I wish I could play. I wish my parents hadn't let me quit music lessons. I was just a kid -- how was I to know?" It's a reasonable complaint.
If you're checking out summer camps for your child, there are many issues -- some obvious, some less so -- to keep in mind. Here's a list to keep handy when you contact camps and camp directors, looking for the perfect spot for your kids to have fun, relax, and learn this summer.
I know, in the grand scheme of things, that my kid issues, when it comes to dining out, absolutely pale in comparison to those of parents whose kids have special needs. Many kids, especially those who are on the autism spectrum, are disturbed by changes in their routine, or anxious around noisy places. They may not be able tolerate waiting for a table or standing in line. So unfortunately, many of these families just avoid eating out at restaurants altogether.
It's weird to admit this, especially in a city surrounded by as much outdoor beauty as Madison. But frankly, I'm just not that into nature. I'm more of an indoor kind of gal. Give me an afternoon at the Chazen or the Wisconsin Historical Museum over the Arboretum or Olbrich Gardens any day.
Lavish costumes, gorgeous sets, a full orchestra and a concession stand where nothing cost more than two bucks and you have a pitch perfect experience at the theater. Oh, and did I mention the ticket prices were just $10 dollars apiece? One could afford to take the whole family for a live theater experience for less than an evening at the Lego movie would cost including popcorn.
I think the first time in recent years that I've felt a real sense of shame, as both a parent and community member, was last Tuesday evening as I sat in a crowded elementary school LMC to listen to Ken Taylor, executive director of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, and his colleague, Torry Wynn, present key findings from the 2013 Race to Equity report to our PTO group.
It's Wednesday morning at Allis Elementary School on Madison's east side, and 16 third-graders -- 10 boys and six girls -- enter into an open-space classroom in typical wiggly, giggly style. Some are making goofy faces at one another, some are bouncing around hand-in-hand with friends, and others are just trying to stay out of the whirling-dervish path of activity.
Of the 789 poorly-composed, way-too-dark and out-of-focus photos currently living on my iPhone, I can count on two hands the number that show my kids and me together. And my husband is in probably no more than three or four of those.
Something kind of magical has happened these past two weeks during the Sochi Olympics. There is no question, debate or disagreement on what will be watched on television once all homework is done. Everyone in the family makes time to sit down together to watch an hour of so of the primetime televised games.
Truth be told, though, this month I'm feeling a bit cinematically fried. In some ways, I already feel like I've spent the last week or so at a film festival. A festival specializing in minute-long glimpses of ordinary lives all ending with credits that feature the ubiquitous blue thumbs-up. Yes, it's been the February of the Facebook movie.
Just last week, on precisely the same day the Momastery post was getting over a million well-deserved views, Madison mom Suzanne Buchko was telling a similar story. Not on a blog but instead in the confines of the modestly circulated Franklin-Randall Elementary School weekly newsletter.
Late last month, the Madison Metropolitan School District adopted a five-year, $27.7 million technology plan calling for all district students, including those in the primary grades, to have significantly increased access to their very own tablet or notebook computer by 2019. Some parents, as well as education professionals, questioned whether elementary-aged kids, especially kindergarteners who aren't even able to read or write yet, will gain much benefit from introducing yet another screen into their lives.
This past Monday, had winter's unrelenting weather allowed, Middleton Cross Plains School District teacher Andrew Harris would have once again been at the helm of a classroom. After nearly four years of fighting his dismissal from Glacier Creek Middle School for viewing and passing on sexually explicit material on district computers, MCPSD has been legally forced to reinstate Herris, this time as a seventh-grade science teacher at Kromrey Middle School.
In a study published last week by the National Bureau of Economic Research, academics have found that the 16 and Pregnant series may have played a significant role in the recent decrease in U.S. teen pregnancies.
In our house, sad but true, we've rarely spent the Martin Luther King holiday discussing race, social justice or the power of non-violent civil disobedience. Instead, the third Monday in January has historically been treated as just another day off school, just another long weekend. And it's been a missed opportunity.
It's not something that happens very often, but last Friday, as news of the impending arctic cold snap reached our house, my kids were rooting for Governor Scott Walker. They were rooting for him to take Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's lead and cancel school throughout the state. They couldn't care less if he had the authority to do such a thing -- if he called off school, he'd be their hero.
Late last semester, as students were packing up their backpacks one final time before winter break, Middleton High School principal Denise Herrmann and assistant principal Lisa Jondle were co-authoring a note home to parents informing them of a widespread cheating scandal involving nearly 250 calculus students at the school.