One night a week, my children and I arrive home exhausted and hungry after 2 hours at the pool and playground of our local Y. My plan at this point is to put on a (hopefully educational) movie and make a quick pasta or pancake dinner for them, but they are always looking for snacks from the moment they walk through the door.
Last night I handed them a ziplock bag of crudite left over from the super bowl. They passed it around on the couch, and I know that some picked out red peppers while others went for celery. In any event, much more of the bag was eaten then I expected, which just goes to show that we can eat a lot when we are both hungry and non paying attention. While it is probably not the best to promote this style of eating, it was a huge improvement over the chip/crackers/cheese combo which they often pull out at that time of night, and did not spoil anyone’s dinner — in fact, I counted it as the salad course and we had cozy bowls of tortellini with peas just a few minutes later.
I am going to try to offer a crudite buffet more often — unlike a mixed up salad, it is fun for the children to choose their own vegetables, so the one who would squirm from cherry tomatoes even being on his plate can eat the rest of the food without a conversation. I might do it as a salad bar, as well.
I am also going to try to remember to keep that bag of veggies ready to go ever week, because when eating vegetables is easy, we just eat more of them (and less of other things). I have turned to baby carrots while cooking dinner, made myself a quick fancy salad for lunch, and a late night salad plate for my husband, just this week (can you tell I bought WAY too many vegetables for the super bowl?). Let’s be honest, my life involves enough thinking, so I might as well give myself a chance at success when it comes to mindless eating!
*** As a note to those who were participating in my swim lesson dilemma, my son did his lesson yesterday with no problems. I think the break down the week before was about gradually testing his limits to see where it would get him, and the answer, crying on the bench, did not satisfy enough to merit a repeat attempt. I do think I am going to take a break after this session, though, because he clearly doesn’t like the structure of the lesson and is not really learning anything. We’ll try again in the summer, and I wager that with a combo of lessons and time with me in the pool he will pick it up and swim on his own by August.