Moxie Mom On Life and Kids

MOXIE MOM on Life & Kids


Sometime in the last week, Leah suddenly and inexplicably returned to eating meat. I think it might have been the night we were having hot dogs for dinner.

“I’m not going to be a vegetarian anymore. Can I have a hot dog, too, please?”

But of course.

“Does this mean you’re going to be eating all kinds of meat or just hot dogs?” I asked.

“Mm, I don’t really know. Hot dogs, I guess. Is that okay? I mean, is it weird to just eat one or two kinds of meat and not all of them?”

“You can do whatever you want.”

But you know what I’ve noticed? Every time I ask her if she wants whatever meat we’re having, she says yes. And chows it. It makes me wonder if her growing body craves meat the way pregnant women crave it. I don’t know much about these things, other than what I experienced with my own pregnancies. I was a partial vegetarian—seafood only—back when I got pregnant with Leah (nearly thirteen long years ago), and I took to eating a can of tuna a day. Ack! This was back before there were any limits recommended, and I still wonder how much mercury might be floating around in our two bodies. Or is it settled in a heavy layer on the floor of our stomachs? By the time I was pregnant with Ty, the recs were out, so I ate chicken instead. Now I eat anything. Well, tuna freaks me out.

(Or maybe it was all that track that brought Leah back to meat. By the way, the second day of the city meet went swimmingly for her—she and her teammates won the 4 X 100 relay, and they were stoked. So was her mama.)

Anyway, we accommodated Leah’s vegetarian diet for over a year, which didn’t feel like a deal since I did the same for myself for fifteen years. We served up tofu in place of pork chops, bought all manner of veggie burgers (still do), and combined beans and rice, which I’ve since learned is an outmoded idea.

At one point, I wondered if she was getting the nutrients she needed, as a pubescent girl. Did she need more protein than an adult woman needed? More iron? More calcium?

I went through a phase of checking out veggie cookbooks from the library and figured out that no, a veggie diet is fine, and that it’s more important to eat healthily across the board than to substitute protein for protein. I also figured out that my kids’ diets, both of them, were sorely lacking in the greens department. (But really, what kids’ vegetarian cookbook recommends kale, for Pete’s sake? What planet are these people on?)

Still, I went through a phase of thinking about my kids’ diets, worrying they weren’t getting their daily sources of iron and calcium (sugary yogurt doesn’t count in my book). I even tried a peanut butter squash stew thing that one book proclaimed a kids’ favorite. The result? “You have got to stop reading these cookbooks, Mom,” Leah said. She and Ty refused to touch the stew.

So I quit reading. And I stopped thinking about what my kids ingest except only in the most general way—have they had any fruit today, or something vegetable-y? I figure as long as their diets aren’t too processed, we’re probably doing okay.

And the meat eating? Bring it on. It’s awfully nice cooking one menu for everyone. Of course, if we’re not eating burritos or pasta, there is the Ty conundrum.

“What am I going to eat, Mom?”


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Vitamin D

So I was sort of kidding about popping Vitamin D, but not really, because I do take it every day. And then yesterday I ran across an article in the Bellingham Herald  about kids not getting enough of it either (there have been lots of articles about adults’ low D levels), and it’s got me thinking about the effect of long, dark winters on our kids. Last year I got my D levels checked, and lo and behold they were low, as is suspected of most everyone who lives in northern climates. And that was with taking a D supplement already! Now I’m wondering about  my kids’ levels, although I have no plans to run them to the lab for a blood draw. 

According to the article, one of the benefits of Vitamin D is its role in warding off serious disease. I may be bringing on a curse by saying this, but I haven’t had a cold since I started taking D about two years ago. I don’t know if there’s a correlation or not, and, yeah, I know colds don’t qualify as serious disease, but I’ll take it. (Stay tuned—I may be reporting a cold next week.) 

But the article has got me pondering kiddie colds and flues and whether those can warded off. Hmmm. Wouldn’t it be heaven to make it through the winter without a bout or two of the flu?

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