Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Good Taste: Food Revolution

Last night, I watched the first hour of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution online. I think the full episode airs on Friday night, but I couldn't wait! I could feel myself nodding my head 'yes' during the entire show. His whole notion of not putting up with mediocre, numbing food anymore is exactly what motivated me to start writing this blog. I love many things, but I feel most passionate about food. So much of who we are and how healthy and full our lives can be is determined on the day-to-day meals that we choose. I am so pleased that Jamie Oliver is getting the momentum going!

Jamie stressed the use of whole, raw ingredients, which seems basic. It is basic. But, when he showed a group of first-graders a variety of vegetables and none of them identified them correctly! I've tried to use whole foods in my cooking and I'd say dinnertime is pretty solid this way. I still struggle with breakfast and lunch--especially when Peter has to take his lunch to preschool. I've been perusing a few cookbooks today and wrote down some ideas for great, healthful breakfasts and lunches. (Honestly, I wrote this mainly as a reference to plan meals in the future.)

Breakfast Ideas:
Oatmeal with mix-ins:
*a little vanilla and cinnamon
*Bananas, Peaches, Strawberries, Blueberries
*Brown sugar or real maple syrup

Boiled Egg, Toast, and Orange Juice

Muesli, Dried Apricots and cherries, Yogurt

Bagel Sandwich with Scrambled Eggs, Ham, and Cheddar Cheese

Crepes or Pancakes with berries and whipped cream or lemon curd

French Toast Kebabs

Banana-Walnut Muffins and Smoothies

Lunch Box Lunches:

Part of the problem with our lunches at school comes with our current lunch bag situation--cloth lunch bag and ziplock baggies. I'm planning on upgrading to this system soon.

Food that comes in a pocket:
*Individual Pot Pies in a pastry
*Potstickers or spring rolls

*Chicken Noodle
*Tomato Soup
*Lentil Vegetable Soup

*Spaghetti and Meatballs
*Sesame Noodles
*Pad Thai

Finger Food:
*Sticky Barbecue Drumsticks
*Whole Grain Crakers, Celery, Apples and natural Peanut Butter for dipping
*Pinwheel Sandwiches: Peanut Butter and Jelly, Turkey and Cheese
*Homemade Breaded Shrimp (baked!)

Farfalle Pasta Salad
Waldorf Salad
Tuna or Chicken Salad
Tabbouleh Salad
White Bean or Chickpea Salad

Meal Finishers:
*Fresh Fruit slices
*String Cheese

Lunches at Home:
Sweet and Sour Vegetable Stir-Fry
Chicken Caterpillar Kebabs
Bagels Faces
English Muffin Pizzas
Beef Tacos
Hamburgers and Oven-Baked Fries
Penne with Zucchini, Peppers, and Sausages

So, there may be those who say that my child won't eat any of this, but I've found Pete to be open-minded if it's presented in a fun way. I think kids will eat it (especially if they know that it is the only food available!). One tip I got from my very favorite, favorite new cookbook Mad Hungry, is to cut up a plate of fruits and veggies and put it on the table while preparing the rest of the meal. I've done this, and Pete really chows down on the good stuff, since he's usually hungry.

I guess it really comes down to planning and doing, doesn't it? If I haven't thought through my life, we end up eating stuff that has no heart and does nothing for us but fill our bellies (and clog our arteries). When I do spend that hour on Sunday evening getting the meals planned, an hour or two cooking and filling our freezer, and 20 minutes the night before to do some meal prep, we eat great food all week.

So, friends, what do you think? Do you have some breakfast/lunch faves that you can share? What does your meal-planning look like?


Jill said...

This is inspiring! Unfortunately we eat a lot of grilled cheese sandwhiches around here for lunch. A few healthy favorites of Kate's are edamame (i think it's the fun factor with popping the seeds out), most fruits, and I try hummus--although she's moody about it. One of my favorites that Kate won't go for is a tofu smoothie for breakfast. I use banana, frozen berries, a square of tofu (usually 1/4 or smaller of the package) and vanilla soymilk. I'll also add chard or spinach sometimes and once you get over the green factor, it's delicious! We just started getting a CSA box and it's caused me to be a bit more adventurous with our vegetables. Oh, and avacado! Both kids love it. Be sure to share any recipes that Peter loves!

Cortney said...

Yes! And another Yes! I totally agree. I too am passionate about eating REAL food. I love that Jamie Oliver is starting this "food revolution". I was put on a good diet when I was a little girl because of some health problems, and since then it has just become a habit to try and eat wholesome foods. I'm definitely not perfect, but have just found that eating good is a way of life for me. When I eat crappy, I feel crappy. I'm sure our kids feel the same way when we give them kool-aid, cheetos, and candy all day long. I think the key is to start young with our children. You are doing such great things with Pete! I also think there is a balance though. I have to be careful not to deprive William of ALL junk food and sugary treats or else he will probably become a closet candy eater! I don't keep much junk food at home, so this way I feel better about feeding him desserts I make and all the treats he gets outside of the home. Food is so wonderful. Thanks for your inspiring post!

*Leslie* said...

I need to do better in this dept. I'm better than most I think but, much much worse than I should be. I do always serve veggies or cut fruit first and alone before anything else, and that always ensures at least a good start. I totally think you have to start young though; I've been tending a 7-yr old nephew this week and he won't eat ANYTHING that isn't junkish b/c his parents just never worked at it, and now he's old enough that he'll just go hungry if he doesn't like the options b/c he can always find a fruit snack or juice or something at school/a friends. Thanks for the reminder :)

Eva said...

I want you to be my mother and pack me lunch. I would be super grateful.

I, too, often serve the veggies first as "the appetizer" and Orion, hungry, eats it all up!

Lori said...

What do you do when your kids go on one food only kicks? Holly lately throws a fit if breakfast isn't Cheerios and blueberries. Reasonably healthy I think, but I looked at your list and felt even more desperate for some variety. She's better at other meals though. She especially likes the veggies if they are frozen. Frozen peas and green beans are the best.

Becca said...

Hey Lori,
Peter was this way for a long time. He finally caved when I'd make pancakes, but he is still sometimes reluctant to give up his beloved Frosted Mini Wheats for something else. I don't understand the appeal of Frosted Mini Wheats to begin with, so it can be frustrating. I try not to push too much, and just enjoy all the breakfast left for me! No need to cause a battle of wills, I think. Good luck! I'll be interested in hearing if things change for you and your advice!