Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hide the Lettuce

The nutrition class we attended before Daniel was allowed to use the insulin pens was informative, but other than learning even more about counting carbs than we knew before, there wasn't much new information in there for us. I've really made an effort over the years to get my kids to eat a healthy diet. Fast food is a rare event, mainly if we are traveling long distances and it is the only available rest stop, or if there simply isn't time to put together some sort of meal at home and we have to get somewhere because of an activity.

But really, how often is it really impossible to put together food at home? It's true that before Daniel's diagnoses, I fell back on the store-cooked rotisserie chickens for a quick meal or a couple of dishes from the local Chinese restaurant. But I can't do that anymore because of the threat of gluten. 99% of our meals are now made from scratch.

I've been lucky with Daniel, though. He's always been a great eater. Except for a short time when he was 2 and lived for a couple of months on either pancakes or cream cheese & jam on crackers, he's had an adventurous palate. But one thing he hasn't fallen in love with are salads. Okay, it took me a while to fall in love with salad as well when I was a kid. I kind of took it one vegetable at a time. Cucumbers. Tomatoes. The palest, crunchiest, iceberg lettuce. I don't know how many years it took for me to start craving the darkest green types of lettuce, but once I headed down that road I never looked back.

The thing is, for a diabetic, it's a really good idea to like salads. Salads can fill you up without carbing you into sugar spike land. The vitamin & fiber benefits are obvious. So how can I teach Daniel to eat salad? There is only one way. Cover it with meat. And, of course, add a sprinkle of cheese.

I made Daniel a "taco meat salad" tonight (minus the actual taco part). Under the meat & cheese is a nice pile of mixed greens, cukes, tomatoes, peppers, & carrots. He ate the whole thing, with only minor complaints about the lettuce. My master plan is to slowly, over time, alter the meat&fat to lettuce ratio until there are more greens than meat. By then his taste buds will have gotten used to -- even looked forward to -- the healthy crunch.

That's my plan. I'll let you know how it works.


Chris said...

I know one day emma will crave salads and its components just like you and i. But for now It may as well be a pile of live worms on her plate. That is exactly how she reacts to it. She says it makes her tummy sick. The little twerp has never even swallowed a leaf before.
After church this past sunday i wanted to go home and eat. But what do i know...its two (girls) against one so we went out to eat. What we ordered is something that would have been made equicker at home at 1/8th of the cost too.
As parents of children with diabetes we have a greater role to tend to thier diet more than ever. Actually it is a good task to have...we will all be eating better for it.

Naomi said...

Each kid is different. My youngest, who is 7, *loves* salad. He's not fond of tomatoes, but will eat them if he can pick them from the garden.

Shannon said...

Brendon likes salad luckily enough. He's my adventure eater and I gauge whether a meal is worthy of making again based on his opinion of how it tastes. Rarely do I make a bad meal in his eyes (I love that kid!!). If I based worthiness on my other two, we'd be eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every night.

Naomi said...

Yeah, doesn't it drive you crazy that some kids eat everything and some are so picky? Nora is my picky one. We'd be living on bagels & cream cheese in her world.

jules said...

haha great idea!! it took me a loon time to eat salads too i hated it!! but now i love them... minus tomatoes i hate those.... mm i'm hungry!

k2 said...

taco Salad sounds tasty!

Have u tried baby carrots? My mom always had carrots and celery peeled and ready to eat in the fridge, hence I grew up loving them.
As adult I gravitate towards the baby carrots.

Mom mom also introduced me to celery stalks with cream cheese - yummy, crunchy and fiber filled.
If u use the whipped cream cheese, you can use less of it on the stalk.
I have actually done cream cheese comparisons and know this to be a fact.
I make a dip from plain Greek yogurt (low or no fat) and salsa.
The Greek yogurt is so creamy that no realizes it's no or low fat.
I dip carrots, celery, and red, orange, or yellow peppers in it and I'm good to go in the snack area.

I also make hummus and dip the raw veggies in it.
Both are hits with my nieces and nephews and we can sit and munch & crunch during The Simpsons or Family Guy and I don't have to worry about a large carb intake.
Good Luck!