Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mommy's drinking the kool aid . . .

. . . and definitely NOT the red-dye #5 kind.

Tis the season of Tricks and Treats, and we all know how much mommy likes to trick the children – why did I put them on this earth, after all??? 

So, as we enter this season of filling our kids and ourselves with crap of one kind and another, I figured it was time to reveal how to torture your kids all year long so that when they do get treats, you can actually throw in a few tricks!  And of course, it wouldn’t be Runamuk if a few of these tricks weren’t on mommy.  So here's what I've learned about playing with food:

      1)   When you host a Camp Runamuk party and want to color your cake red, white and blue, DO NOT  “Google” the ingredients for food coloring.  For if you do, you will find yourself on a several hour journey through the internet abyss and will discover everything you DID NOT want to know is in that sh*t!  And, of course if you’re me, you may end up convincing yourself that you can make your OWN red and blue food coloring.

Lets just file this little activity under the “DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME, DUMB@$$” category. 

Who knew blueberries didn't actually come out blue when boiled down?!  Oh, that's right, the f*&#ing internet that I should have turned on before wasting an entire box of blueberries!  I blame HfH for not saving me from myself!!
       2)   When you decide to trick your children into eating a cherry and kale smoothie, two lessons:

a.     DO NOT let the baby take it in the car with her.  

     What kind of dumb@$$ allows a 7 year-old to have anything in the car to say nothing of something that is a deep shade of brown?????!!

b.     ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS offer chocolate as an incentive for the children to drink the smoothie.  Not gonna bullish*t you, I felt a little guilty about giving them so much healthy stuff in one place and I actually thought their little bodies might break out in hives, so I had to counteract that!

By the way, the Id DID NOT get her chocolate that day.  

      3)   When you give your child a Lara bar for the first time, prepare yourself for the following conversation (must be read with your snarkiest pre-teen voice in your head):

Pre-teen child who mommy wants to slap on a daily basis: “What is that disgusting thing?”

Mommy: “It is a peanut butter cookie bar”

Pre-teen child who wants to gross out her sisters: “Well it looks like poo!”

Mommy who is about to leave pre-teen child on the side of the road (P.S. mommy still hasn’t learned the “DO NOT let children eat in the car” lesson): “You have a choice, eat the poo or starve!”

Where is the chapter in the parenting book about good come-backs to sassy children?  You’d think as a former sassy child, I’d have better comebacks.  Clearly I need a little more practice!!!

So as most of you know by now, I torture the children by only allowing them to have processed foods that have five ingredients or less, or only items that we can pronounce and know what they are.  And, our food adventures are often painful.  BUT, I have to share, here are two unexpected rewards that can result:

                1)   You are in the grocery store with your child who says to you, “mom, we can’t have those crackers because they are not healthy and we need to get these ones.”

      AND my favorite of all . . .

                2)   You will send your child into the AM/PM with a $20 bill and tell her to go get lunch (with no additional guidance).  And much to your amazement, your child comes back with a lemonade and a turkey sandwich.

Girlfriend did not want a hot dog, nachos, chips, Icee, any of that.  She picked the healthy alternative!

YES, mommy victory at last!!!!

Score to date: 
Mommy = 1  
Children who vastly outnumber mommy = 1,662,528 (or somewhere thereabouts)

I've been asked a lot about what foods I give the kids.  Following are “real food” items (i.e. 5 ingredients or less) I give the girls for lunch and after school snacks.  These are the items that we buy from Costco or the grocery store on a regular basis – and no, not all of them are “healthy”; they’re just better than the alternative and don't contain all the preservatives and dyes.  I also included the cherry/kale smoothie recipe as well as a resource for natural food coloring.  And, just to prove that I actually use these items, my first Halloween 2013 anti-pinterest post where I used that natural food coloring! 

But first, good reading to get you in the mindset:

This is a fantastic resource with everything from what to buy organic (and what you don't need to worry about buying) to how to manage hormones to everything in between.  It is a great magazine!

Fantastic book that I learned about from What Doctors Don't Tell You.  It has opened my eyes A LOT to how to manage chronic issues I have!
Treats that aren't all healthy, but don't have all the preservatives and will TRICK your kids into thinking they are full of bad stuff:

As opposed to regular pretzels
As opposed to Cheetos.

As opposed to granola bars.
This popcorn is made with coconut oil rather than canola.  So much better for you, and it is very tasty!!

My kids love, love, love oatmeal.  And yes, this is not perfect, but better than most.

Peanuts and salt!  That's ALL that is in this Peanut butter!! No hydrogenated oils or extra sugar, and, it's from Costco so we have enough to feed a small army for 2 years-or 3 little girls and a daddy for 2 weeks!!
We get these from Target.

Just freeze dried fruit!

My kids love Go Go Squeez' too and they come in lots of flavors.
How to TRICK your kids with Cherry Kale “Shake Nastiness” (as the Trifecta calls it)

(Put in quantities that you think are reasonable)

Frozen cherries
Pure Cherry juice (I love the Simple Truth brand)
Almond Milk
Keifer (a probiotic)
Chia Seeds
Chocolate Fiber/Protein vitamin Powder (only do 1/3 dose for kids' shakes-protein powder made just for them has sweetener)
3 leaves of Kale
Honey (for additional sweetness)

Put it all in a blender and go to town.  Just be sure to have bribing chocolate at the ready!

I swear they do eat this, and it kills many birds with one stone!

Food coloring
If you embark on the insanity that I did, you will discover that one of the ingredients – propylene glycol - is a liquid alcohol that we use in, among other things, solvents and antifreeze. I’m sorry, did I read that right. . . we have a solvent in our foods which in Europe they only allow for “non-food uses”???!!!  You can see one article I found here -

After spending hours researching natural food dyes that could make red and blue, I discovered the red – no problem, lots of options that you can even make yourself.  Blue, on the other hand, is the biggest pain in the @$$ color and doesn’t actually occur in nature and in order to make it you have to boil a sh*tload of cabbage and add baking soda (but not too much or it will turn a different color) to get an ounce of coloring.  Well who has time for that sh*t?!  And then I found it . . . a company that makes the coloring and is reasonably priced, and, by the way, has extraordinary customer service!!

The colors are a little duller (and no, the red doesn't turn blue, I just forgot to take a pic of the unbaked blue), but this worked just fine.
And, so that you can see how it can turn out (not that this is a great advertisement because I’ve also learned my lesson that if you want to have something turn out right, use the correct size frosting tip – mine was way too thick), here is a Halloween eyeball cake pop project that I did with the girls.

Organic Cakepops were made from scratch, and I did use my Babycakes cakepop maker (as much as I curse that thing, it does make them very quickly and the girls love it)!

Not my finest work, but kids eating them don’t care. 

And, if you want to see what the non-high maintenance version looks like, check out my Halloween post circa 2011.  Essentially you just:

1) Take some powdered donut holes
2) Stick in a chocolate chip
3) Buy the red gel and paint on the bloodshot lines
4) Stick a fork in it and you're done!

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