Sunday, July 20, 2014

Food Philosophy

I love grocery shopping. It could be because I love cooking or maybe because I usually don't bring the kids. It is alone time to allow me to sing along to the grocery store radio and read labels. You know you are old when you like the songs on the grocery store radio. This summer I have been thinking more and more about what I feed us as a family. The habits that the kids develop will take them into adulthood, and I want those habits to be good. I think our food industry has gotten out of control. There is so much packaged, preserved, nonfood out there that is is starting to scare me. However, I do believe in moderation. I think it is okay to have some of these things on occasion. For example, when we are at someone else's house I would not intervene in what the kids eat, but I would limit the juice to one:).

Overall Food Philosophy

I have been trying to purchase more organic and local products this summer. I have also been trying to make more from scratch, which is great in my lazy, summer fun. There is this thing I do have though, called a teaching job that will be pulling me back into the classroom in a few weeks. I love my summer, and feel very lucky to have it, but it is virtually impossible to explain how stressful and busy teaching can be. That being said, I know that once we are all back to the grind, I will not be able to make homemade granola bars. It just won't happen. Right now I am reading labels and trying to find the best snacks possible that can be purchased and are fairly healthy. Last night I bought Cascadian Farms granola bars. They only have seven ingredients, and if the kids like them that will be great. When I compare seven ingredients to the forty ingredients in the other granola bars that my husband eats I know what I want the kids to eat. I want my husband to eat them too, but I am taking it in baby steps.

Overall I feel like our summer menu has been popular. We have eaten fish tacos and it has become a family favorite with everyone. My picky second grader has been great about trying things and broadening her horizons. She is constantly asking me if something is healthy before she eats it. She will still eat it if I say no, but at least she is asking. My five year old is a pretty good eater already.

Below are some thoughts on the drinks that we buy. I will post some of my food thoughts later in the week.


This is something I purchase when one of the kids are sick or for a birthday party. Other than that you will not see juice in my cart in the grocery store. I think there is way too much sugar in it. Also, many concentrates, including apple, are made in China. I am uncomfortable with that. When at other people's houses I do allow them to have juice or a sweetened drink. My seven year old has developed a love for Sprite, but my five year old does not like carbonated drinks.


I don't care about soda in general. I do keep some on hand for company, but find if it is in the fridge and icy cold I may accidentally drink it. Oops. I don't want to do that. My husband, since it is the summer and we are free, likes to enjoy it, so sometimes I pick it up on sale. Overall soda does not make up a large part of our budget.


I have read a lot about milk and dairy in general and go back and forth in my thinking. The kids drink some milk and put it in their cereal. (I only give them half a cup at a time and limit how much they drink. They are both great water drinkers.) We use it for coffee and tea. I am in an organic milk phase (meaning I bought it last night-my phases are brief), but unsure of how I feel about drinking raw milk. I did buy some raw milk cheese that was very good, but certainly not inexpensive.

I love my coffee, and do try to buy the cheapest quality coffee I can find. We both drink tea as well.

We do buy water, but I want to try to get away from that. I know it is a waste of money and bad for the environment. We typically buy it for convenience. This year the kids took water to school in reusable bottles because I don't send in juice.

Speaking of the environment I have committed to using cloth napkins. I am sick of the wasteful way we use napkins. I am the worst offender. I am stocking up on cloth napkins and no longer purchasing paper napkins. People have been doing this for year, and I am late to the party but at least I showed up.

Vacation, Renovations, Summer

So many thoughts to share right now. We are on vacation just up the street from the beach. (This won't actually be posted until we return.)

Originally, due to the renovation, we weren't planning any trips. However, you only live once. We found a very reasonably priced cottage nine houses from the beach. I stuffed a cooler with food and have made all of our meals so far. This morning we are actually going out for breakfast. Well, it will be noon by the time we get there so for the kids it will be lunch. I guess that is a bonus. Now I don't have to make lunch. I have grilled chicken and left over macaroni salad planned for dinner. Our current plan is one night out and one night of take out. I have a few more dinners to prepare. I planned on making grilled chicken enchiladas with the left over chicken. We will be going to the grocery store today to get some ingredients for smores. That will be fun!

Vacation Update. We're back! It was fun, but family vacations are a lot of work. (I told my husband " a family vacation is the same play with a different setting". Basically five year olds don't have a vacation personality. They just have their regular personality, so if they are challenging at times that does not stop on vacation. Parenting is a nonstop adventure.) As I said, we have never gone away for that many nights. We ended up eating one breakfast, one lunch and one dinner out. Also, on the last night we got take out pizza. When we got home yesterday we stopped for sandwiches so we could unpack on a full stomach. Overall, our spending was okay. Yes, we did take a Pirate excursion that was pricey but perfect for the kids. Also a rainy day sent us to a movie. I think, considering it was a vacation, we did not eat a lot of meals out. I can't compare to the frugal blogs are I scour and read, but for my spendy little self I did pretty well.

Renovation 2014 starts Monday. I can't believe it, and I hope we can live through it!!

Renovation Update. We came home to an full driveway that includes a dumpster and piles of lumber. Yikes! This is really happening. I am excited. My original post way back when was about how small this house is. The definite plan is a shed dormer in the back with dog shed dormers in the front. The kids will each get their own, fairly large bedroom and they will share a new full bathroom. That full bathroom will be great for company to use as well. We will stay downstairs in our current (small) bedroom and the bedroom the kids are currently in will be turned back into a den like it was before we had kids. I know, I know nothing goes back to before you had kids, but humor me for a minute. It will be an extra room, which will be a luxury for us. We potentially may put a bar between the living room and kitchen to open up the kitchen, but that only a maybe.

The summer has gone well so far. I am trying to make a new commitment to my health. The "over 40" body just takes a dip. Gravity and flab. It is a wreck. Now this is not from a skinny person. I have always had a weight battle, but this is just ridiculous. When we return from our trip I am going to try some yoga cause this core needs to be tightened.