One of my biggest goals as a mom is to teach my kids to prepare healthful foods and to make good choices in what they eat. I love to cook with them. Well, in theory, I love to cook with them, but sometimes is frustrating. We make cookies together and they take so many tastes that I'm afraid half the creamed ingredients will be gone before we mix in the dry ingredients. I shouldn't worry though, because if Abby's measuring the flour, a good portion of it will land outside of the mixer bowl and probably correct the ratio of wet-to-dry ingredients. And then there's the chaos of arguing over who gets to measure what, who gets to lick the bowl, and the sudden disappearance when it's time to clean up (or the tsunami of Abby demanding to wash every dish she can find.) Sure, sometimes I'm in the Mom-zone and I can embrace the chaos, but sometimes it's just chaos.
I got pregnant at the beginning of the school year, so I do less cooking during the week and Grace is expected to pack her own lunch. This is difficult. Our selection of packable lunch items is constantly small, considering we don't eat much packaged food and our budget is tight. She always gets a piece of fruit and a vegetable, maybe a cookie, but that "main dish" is sometimes elusive (Hard boiled egg? Yogurt with fruit? A ham sandwich?) I can understand how it would be stressful for a kid.
This morning Grace and I made carrot sticks together. I washed and peeled the carrots and sliced them in half, then she sliced them into sticks and divided them into two bags, one for her, one for me. I didn't realize what a precious moment it was until I got to work and started snacking on my carrot sticks. Super sweet carrots from the farmers market, crisp and cool, are almost as good as candy. And the thought that we shared 5 minutes of quality time together this morning preparing a healthful snack--that is pretty sweet too.