Friday, October 7, 2011
Effect or Affect?
I took a fit assessment yesterday and it felt odd being tested on something like that. I remember doing that stuff as a kid. Jay gets tested too in middle school and he hates it. He's not out of shape, but I think the fact that he's tested on how fit he is freaks him out. Oddly, it's for a grade. He hates running like I do and he cracked me up when he told us that he knew how many laps he had to go to get a good grade for a boy and stuck with that. That's my enough to get through it. He does seem to like lifting weights now...just like his dad. I can't imagine what the kids that aren't close to being fit do with that test though. It seems kind of unfair since they don't completely make choices for themselves and the point of PE is to teach them about being fit, not judge them for not being fit. Anyway...

This always gets me to thinking about the choices I make as a parent and how they effect or affect my kids. I actually think both of those words work here. I don't force the kids to eat everything I eat. I can't say I do everything right either. I remember being forced into the "happy plate" club as a kid and well...those were some pretty ugly meals by the time I got done with them. I do ask what they like and try to give them choices too. I don't plan all the meals here because I don't think that's right either. They are people and deserve an opinion. I believe we don't argue about food with the kids because they are given the upper hand to choose meals and snacks sometimes. It's all about power!

I like making build your own meals for the family because, well, they're fun and they give us all options. This night, Tony made a meat sauce (he was craving it) so I popped open another jar of Barilla I got from BlogHer Food.

I can honestly say, I love these sauces! They are very velvety, thick, rich and full of flavor. They aren't greasy or watery at all like some store bought sauces can be. This one was the Montanara Sauce with huge chunks of mushrooms. Max doesn't like meat sauce and loves mushrooms, so he and I ate this.

As luck would have it, I happened to have a spaghetti squash hanging out in the fridge waiting for me!

This was a layered masterpiece of roasted portabello mushroom, roasted eggplant and oven roasted broccoli all over spaghetti squash with Montanara sauce and nutritional yeast!

As for the roasted eggplant, I got the idea from Kath and it is amazing. I'm not a huge fan of eggplant (it was on sale and I'm a produce whore when it's cheap), but I sprinkled a good amount of garlic powder and onion powder with some salt and pepper on it and then baked it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, flipped it and cooked it another 20-25 minutes...WOW!

I did the broccoli the same way and it was perfect. The bushy part gets all crispy (like kale chips) so the textures in this meal were amazing!

So, the question is, what did the kids eat from this? Well, Max ate the squash, sauce and broccoli. Jay ate none of it. As a kid, I would have probably eaten the broccoli, sauce and mushroom, but I don't know that I would have jumped at the eggplant. I've only recently started playing around with it and this (along with the BBQ eggplant) have been my favorites so far. While Jay didn't eat any of what I ate that time, he has started putting tomato on his sandwiches which I think is pretty huge...especially since most people seem to have issues with the texture of tomatoes. He has been a champ and tried more these days. He loves veggies in his fried rice and he eats a good amount of fruits. Like I said, pressure doesn't help, but I do think that setting an example does.

Do you like things now that you didn't like as a kid? Did you're parents set an example with foods? Were you part of the "happy plate" club? Like I said, I'm not an expert...I'm curious to know thoughts on getting kids to eat more well rounded meals. What worked for you and what didn't? Jay has a huge texture issue with things (he gets that from Tony too). Max and I LOVE texture to our food though. I guess we are all different.

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 5:30 AM  
  • At October 7, 2011 at 6:49 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

    i love how you said this. You effect and affect your kids. And they are so smart and feel loved because of that. Give them choices yet still supply them with healthy ones. I admire your parenting and you!

  • At October 7, 2011 at 7:00 AM, Anonymous Amy B @ Second City Randomness said…

    Oh man, I was SO picky as a kid. And yes, my parents had a lot to do with it. I never got adventurous with food until later in college- more because of friends than anything else...

  • At October 7, 2011 at 7:50 AM, Anonymous Lee said…

    I grew up with a single mother who worked, so I ate a lot of Cambell's Soup and Frozen Meals for dinner. I don't eat like that at all anymore though.

  • At October 7, 2011 at 8:28 AM, Blogger Tip Top Shape said…

    I love eggplant! It's definitely something that can turn you off if it isn't cooked properly, though. I overcooked it once and it was very mushy. Luckily I knew it was just my iffy cooking that night that made it like that!

  • At October 7, 2011 at 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anna @ On Anna's Plate said…

    Oh man...I HATED those fitness tests when I was a kid. I could never do about half of them-- damn flex arm hang!!

  • At October 7, 2011 at 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We push giving everything one or two tastes. I can't say the number of time the kid admits that he likes it "even though it looks yucky". Doesn't mean he'll eat it that night, but after 4-5 meals with bites taken, he will voluntarily eat the food eventually.
    But no to clean plate and we do try to make sure it's reasonable.
    C Story

  • At October 7, 2011 at 10:29 AM, Blogger Christina said…

    affect is a verb and effect is a noun. :)

  • At October 7, 2011 at 10:58 AM, Blogger Julie D said…

    I am a stickler and cringe everytime I see these words confused in writing (that includes blogs). To add to the confusion, "affect" is a noun in psychology. =/

  • At October 7, 2011 at 11:38 AM, Blogger Lisa said…

    I like a lot of things now that I hated as a kid---I appreciate that my parents didn't make me eat things like mashed potatoes and mushrooms. They repulsed me as a kid, and now I like them. If they had forced me...who knows?

  • At October 7, 2011 at 1:13 PM, Blogger Tasty Eats At Home said…

    I like how you have components to your meal so that the kids have the option to customize. And I love your eggplant idea. I have recently started to love eggplant - never used to, but mostly because i didn't understand how to cook it. This is a great idea, especially with the spaghetti squash.

  • At October 7, 2011 at 4:24 PM, Anonymous Kristina @ spabettie said…

    I love this, Sarena.

    first, I love that you consider your kids and give them choices. and treat them like people! I have always admired your parenting and even more now!

    second, that you know the difference between effect and affect! :D

  • At October 7, 2011 at 6:07 PM, Anonymous MelissaNibbles said…

    I hated those fit tests in school. I felt like all the kids were watching me so I never did as well as I could've.

  • At October 7, 2011 at 8:45 PM, Anonymous Pure2raw twins said…

    love your approach to parenting! my parents never really forced me to eat too much of something I did not like, they allowed me to make my own choices. and over time I learned more about food and now I know to make better choices then I did growing up ;)

  • At October 8, 2011 at 8:59 AM, Blogger Heather Iacobacci-Miller said…

    Great post! I think it's important to let them make some choices on their own rather than force them to eat something they hate. That just sucks. I had an aunt that did that to me. Really terrible thing to do I think. As long as throughout the day they are getting all the nutrients, protein and such, then I think you're doing a fantastic job. My sister has one kid who hates veggies and the other loves them. I was the kid that loved loved my veggies ;-)

  • At October 8, 2011 at 3:59 PM, Anonymous Kate@Diethood said…

    I eat things now that I would not have touched two years ago :) ... my taste buds changed after having my daughter...weird. :)

  • At October 9, 2011 at 8:02 AM, Anonymous Madeline- Greens and Jeans said…

    I wasn't super picky as a child, but I definitely like more foods now than I did then! My parents always wanted us to try everything, but my brother and I have never been big fans of mushrooms and eggplant!

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Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen
Home: Atlanta, GA, United States
About Me: Lactose Challenged
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