Thursday, November 8, 2012

Serve It Up - Book Review

Being a mom is hard work.  My days are long and crazy.  Even if I wanted to go to bed the minute I walked in the door, I can't.  Homework needs to be done, children need fresh air, dogs need to be walked, dinner needs to be cooked, kids need to be bathed.  So somewhere around 10:30 I usually drag myself to bed.

My biggest issue is usually dinner.  What should I make?  Do I have the ingredients?  Will the kids eat it?  Will Clif like it?

On the nights when I don't have a good answer for any of these questions, I do something easy.  I open a box of mac and cheese or throw waffles in the toaster.  Anything that can get dinner in our bellies and move us on to the next task at hand.

But when I do that, I don't feel great about myself.  I know it's not a balanced meal.  But I have to admit, that Clif and the kids often prefer these nights over veggie pizza night.

Kids don't like to eat healthy.  From day one I've been stuffing apples and broccoli in these kids mouths and they would still rather have corn dogs or chicken nuggets.  Kids only care about gratification, not about their health.  I can't explain Clif's gravitation towards junk food...he does know better.

I've often wondered how I can make these easy meals, that my kids like, but still feel good about what they're putting in their mouths.

Then about a month ago I was asked to review Serve It Up: A Parent's Guide to Kid-Friendly Portions by Laura DeSimone.  It's a quick read and really, there's not even a whole lot of reading.  It's more of a reference guide. 

Laura DeSimone surveyed parents about their kids' favorite foods.  She then created a guide showing how much of those favorite foods kids should eat based on age, gender, and activity level.  Honestly I never even think about portion sizes with my kids.  I give them both the same amount and figure they'll eat until they're full. 

She also paired those food with more healthy options to give the child a balanced diet.  So instead of just popping one frozen waffle in the toaster for each kid, Ainsley should get two and Freddie just one.  I should add some fruit and milk to make sure they're getting the vitamins and protein they need.

I think this book is a great guide.  I mean, I really can't think of a kid food that's not in it.  The table of contents lists all the foods, so you can flip to whatever you're looking for easily.  Plus at the bottom of most pages is a little hint about getting extra vitamin C or protein or whatever with very few added calories.  For instance: "Add 1 plum to your lunch and gain 26% of your vitamin C and 2 grams dietary fiber for only 75 calories!!!"

I highly recommend this book to any busy mom looking for an easy meal once in awhile that she can still feel good about.  I've already used it a few times to plan meals and plan to keep it on hand.

Now if only she could give me a plan for my 36 year old that in the works, Laura?


Buy the book on Amazon here
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I was asked to review Serve It Up but all opinions and thoughts are my own.  I was given an advanced copy of the book to read and review but was not compensated in any other way.

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