Posts Tagged ‘dinner time’
Yes, there’s another story in the news about a Mom who is suing McDonald’s because they have toys in their Happy Meals. Here’s her rationale:
“I object to the fact that McDonald’s is getting into my kids’ heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat,” Parham said in a CSPI statement announcing the lawsuit.
McDonald’s had this to say:
“When CSPI [Center for Science in the Public Interest] refers to America’s children as ‘an unpaid drone army,’ you similarly denigrate parents and families, because they are fully capable of making their own decisions. You should apologize,” the statement said. “At McDonald’s, we listen to what our customers tell us. For the past 30 years they have told us — again, overwhelmingly — that they approve of our Happy Meal program. Three decades provide a lot of listening time. That’s why we are confident that parents understand and appreciate that Happy Meals are a fun treat, with right-sized, quality food choices for their children.”
Has this mother never heard of the word “NO”? Honestly, it’s the one thing we have as parents to change the things our kids can and cannot have. A simple “NO” does the job quite well.
I understand that getting kids to eat healthy foods all the time is a struggle. It’s hard for adults to eat healthy foods all the time. At least it is for me! As parents our goal should be to get them to eat healthy most of the time. We understand that perfection isn’t an easy thing. Why can’t a McDonald’s Happy Meal be a sometime treat?
Parents have the right to exercise personal responsibility and control the things their young children are exposed to, the things they eat, the places they take them. Parenting isn’t something that is supposed to be happy and light. Often it gets uncomfortable and we need to deal with it. Everything in life isn’t easy, especially parenting!
Here’s my advice for this mother. Turn off the television. Don’t let your kids see the commercials for Happy Meals. Don’t take them to McDonald’s at all. If they still clamor for Happy Meals, you simply say, “NO.”
No. No. No. No.
Practice saying it with me. It gets easier and easier. The more you say it, the better it rolls off your tongue.
Parents should also be prepared for the first “no” to have no effect. Be prepared to say it repeatedly. For an hour. For a day. Be prepared to keep saying no. Because saying “no” to a Happy Meal to a toddler is an easy one. There are harder and more important things coming up as your kids get older.
But don’t take your weak parenting skills and turn them into a lawsuit. Looking for money? Looking for publicity? That’s when you sue a fast food company because you are incapable of parenting.
I’m getting tired of parents taking the easy road. That’s why school-age kids are terrors in the classroom. If you’re not saying “no” to them when they are young, they aren’t going to start responding to it once they get into school. Teachers have to say “no” a lot, maybe they could give lessons on that to parents.
I have to point out that I agree with Sarah Palin (gasp!) here…
Some, including former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, said watching what kids eat is the parent’s duty.
“Should it be the government or should it be the parents?” Palin said in recent speech. “It should be the parents.”
Of course, it should be the parents! I don’t want the government coming in and telling me how to parent my children. Especially when it comes to feeding them properly. Meals are the one thing I have a handle on and I’m not giving up that role to anyone else!
What do you think?
It’s been awhile since I’ve done a recipe! Since I am in the heat of the Nanowrimo, I decided to do one!
Are you looking for something yummy and pretty healthy for your family? This one fills the bill. As usual, I don’t provide exact measurements for ingredients. I like to cook by the seat of my chef pants!
Spicy Oven-Baked Chicken
Packaged fresh chicken tenderloins (I imagine you could use whole chicken, but I like that the tenderloins cook up so quickly!)
Put the chicken tenders into a bowl and add hot sauce. I used a lot–almost a half of a bottle for my 2 pounds of tenders. Remember: I am feeding the giant boys. I layered the tenders and hot sauce until the bowl was full. Then I poured buttermilk to cover. I marinated for about 2 hours, stirring everything every 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pick up chicken tender, shake off marinade, roll in bread crumbs until covered. Layer in oven-safe dish in a single layer, trying not to have pieces touch. Repeat till all the chicken is covered in bread crumbs. Bake approximately 30 minutes.
I served these with sweet potato fries, which baked at the same time.
Sweet Potato Fries
Cut sweet potatoes into small cubes, approximately 1″
Toss with olive oil.
Spread out on baking sheet, making sure no pieces touch. Bake along with chicken tenders, turning twice during cooking so all sides get slightly crispy.
Let me know what you think of this meal! I’d also love to hear how you made it differently. Did you skip the hot sauce? Add anything to the bread crumbs?
You could listen to all the experts about why dinner time as a family is important. They quote statistics about lower drug use, higher grades…all kinds of feel-good stuff. But I am here to tell you the truth.
Family dinner time is important because it builds survival skills.
Some kids grow up in tough neighborhoods, learning their survival skills on the streets. Some kids grow up on farms where hard work is encouraged for the family good.
Some kids grow up in suburbia where the only real survival skills are learned at the kitchen table during the family dinner.
Kids learn that they are a captive audience at the family dinner table. While they are shoveling in Mom’s latest culinary masterpiece they are lectured and nagged. “Did you clean your room?” “Why are you failing PE–you’re an athlete, for god’s sake?!” “Could you just get a higher F?”*
This is also how they learn to tune out. How else is it possible that they can eat so much food while being lectured and nagged?
They have first hand experience with survival of the fittest. These kids aren’t fighting wild animals–they are fighting each other. Don’t eat vegetables and miss out on the last piece of meat. Eat slow and miss out on the last piece of bread.
They learn bargaining skills, training to be future lawyers and politicians. “I’ll eat my peas if you have dessert.” “I’ll eat corn but I won’t eat broccoli.”
They learn the fine art of talking under their breath. You can barely hear them at the other end of the table, but you catch the occasional “shut up, you moron” or “god, you’re so retarded.”**
They hone their selective memory skills. “I swept the floor last night!” and “I don’t like this and I don’t remember devouring it last week.”
I’m convinced that the family dinner prepares mom and dad for the sheer joy that comes with an empty nest. It’s easy to forget how cute and adorable everyone is when you spend 9 out of ten meals fighting the overwhelming urge to pound your head on the table.
I want the experts to do a study about the effects on parents and the family meal. Because it sure is freakin’ hard to be Buddha mom when the kids are working my last nerve!
*These are actual comments that have come out of my mouth at the dinner table.
**We aren’t a 100% PC family, apparently.
Seriously, the WORST MOVIE EVER!
What? You’re thinking, “it can’t be that bad.”
Oh, but it is. And I am here to spare you. Save you money. You can thank me later.
Do not, under any circumstance, go see Piranha 3-D. Yes, I went. Simply so you won’t have to.
I have never been to a 3D movie. What could be better than a campy, fish-filled frolic? I’m always up for a good bad movie. Jim & I spend many a Saturday nights watching SyFy movies. I spent this Saturday night watching Lake Placid 3–how bad could Piranha 3-D be compared to that?!
Let me tell you, Lake Placid 3 is an Oscar worthy movie compared to the dreck of Piranha 3D.
We had to take Aaron with us because the twins were busy. I had no idea that the entire movie was blood and boobs. Naked women frolicking in an underwater synchronized swimming routine. Boobs. Boobs. Blood. Blood. And more boobs and more blood.
Don’t be fooled by the opening scenes with Richard Dreyfus. It’s just a joke. He’s only there to lull you before the shit hits the screen.
Jerry O’Connell is fun as the director of the Wild Wild girls he’s brought to frolic at spring break. But even he can’t pull off a Speedo. Seriously.
Elizabeth Shue is the highlight of the movie. As the sheriff she performs mean feats to save the day.
The 3D part was cool. I jumped out of my seat more than once as things flew at me. I liked the multi-dimensional effect. Honestly, though, the best 3D part was the advertisement right before the previews meant to showcase the 3D. That was cool!
I could have done without the hour-long massacre scene as college students are attacked by the mutant prehistoric piranha. It might not have been an hour, but it seemed like it. It would have been so much better if the dead people had turned into zombies. Remember, directors of film–zombies can always save the picture! It was at that point that I suggested we leave. But we stayed.
I can’t even say save this one for DVD. It’s that bad. Save your money and do something else.
I’m starting a new weekly post listing the meals I am serving each day. There are many articles that discuss the importance of the family dinner. Here, here, and here are just some of the available articles.
Since becoming a family, it has been the routine to eat dinner together most nights of the week. We didn’t do it to strengthen our family, it just happened to be the way it worked out. We’ve had interesting discussions and arguments. We’ve laughed. Sometimes Aaron even makes me cry because he’s so picky! Just kidding! Takes more than an 11 year old kid to make me cry!
Each Saturday I make a list of the week’s meals. This is the hard part. I seem to get into ruts and we end up having the same things over and over, week after week. Once the meal list is made, the grocery list is created from that. The meal list isn’t etched in stone. Some weeks things get jumbled up. Some weeks we’ll end up getting pizza one night. We’re nothing if not flexible!
This week’s meals:
- Sunday, meatloaf: ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, ketchup, mustard, worcestershire sauce
- Monday, Italian sausage and peppers
- Tuesday, enchilada casserole: black beans, salsa, frozen corn, diced chilies cooked and then layered between tortillas and topped with shredded cheese
- Wednesday, spaghetti primavera: sauteed zucchini, onion, mushrooms with jarred spaghetti sauce and canned crushed tomatoes.
- Thursday, chicken tenders
- Friday, breakfast
I’m really trying to cook with whole foods, but some things are just really easier store bought: spaghetti sauce, salsa, breaded chicken tenders. I use mostly frozen or fresh fruits and vegetables.
Will you share your menus? Maybe we can get some ideas from one another!