I should have handed out multivitamins at Halloween.

by | Dec 2, 2008 | Food | 12 comments

As I’ve mentioned, I don’t make anything especially fancy-pants for lunches here, mostly since I make them 10 minutes before I go to bed, and I’m worrying much more about the allergy-free ingredients that I’m putting into the lunchboxes and less about what the actual foodstuffs are. But whatever I’m doing, it was enough to get accolades.

I’ll admit that I’m pretty out of it when it comes to what Everyone Else is doing in terms of parenting. I’m barely just treading water here with what we’re doing; I don’t really have time to figure out what Pop Parenting says I should be doing. I will say, though, that the food items the Neighborhood Posse brings into my backyard are so horrifying that I’m beginning to see why a handful of walnuts and a piece of provolone (Henry’s actual lunch today) are noteworthy. First, there’s the brother and sister who apparently eat nothing but candy. They have brought over candy necklaces and candy bracelets, and cups of marshmallows (seriously). Once the sister came over with chocolate all over her face, and when I asked her what she’d been eating, she said she’d had chocolate for breakfast. During the summer they came over with those Fla-Vor-Ice popsicles, and gave one to Eli (it was a turquoise blue one), who excitedly took a big bite, and then looked very frightened and stuck his tongue out of his mouth yelling, “Get it out, Mommy! Get it out!” I had to scrub his tongue with a towel before he’d calm down.

Some other kids brought over some of that yogurt-in-a-tube, and left the wrappers lying around (the Neighborhood Posse has a littering problem), and so I got to see that the yogurt was cotton candy flavored.

Once I announced that I was making peanut butter sandwiches (in a desperate attempt to get some kind of protein/fiber food into these kids) and many of them said they loved peanut butter sandwiches. So I made about a million, and Eli and Henry were the only ones who ate them. One boy looked all disappointed and said, “Um, I don’t like this peanut butter sandwich.” I’m such an idiot…if you’ve spent your life eating sugary Jif on white bread, my little Teddie All Natural Super Chunky Unsalted (ingredient: roasted peanuts) on whole wheat bread is going to seem like a big hunk of lentil loaf. During the peanut butter sandwich picnic, one girl had gone home to ask her mom if she could eat one of my sandwiches. The mom obviously felt bad about me feeding everyone, so she gave her daughter something to eat…the girl came back to our backyard munching on a Smuckers Uncrustable, which is the dumbest take on a peanut butter sandwich I’ve seen (how hard is it to make a sandwich? who needs to buy pre-made frozen sandwiches?).

By far the most disgusting thing, though, was when some of them were drinking Sunny D in our yard, and (of course) left their empties behind. I read the ingredients and was staggeringly disgusted to see that canola oil is an ingredient. I can’t for the life of me imagine why oil is an acceptable ingredient in a “juice” that barely has any juice in it anyway.

With this post, I have officially become my mother, the original Label-Reading Food Policewoman.


  1. Clog

    Comme Mere, comme fille!

  2. sutswana

    Wait’ll they get a little older and start leaving empty Ramen noodles packages everywhere. I’ve had some students who would not only eat the uncooked noodle cake, but also would down the spice package that comes with it.

  3. Paticus

    Next I bet you’ll judge me for the girls’ post Thanksgiving breakfast of Coors(light, of course) and Fun-Dip!

  4. Julie

    I can kind of seeing eating the uncooked Ramen cake (kind of, a little) but not the spice package. Blech.

    Paticus, as long as it was Coors Light, I think it’s ok.

    I haven’t thought about Fun-Dip in approximately 20 years. It makes my jaw hurt just to think about it. Kate and I used to mix it with water in tiny bowls and feed it to her Barbie dolls (hmm, Kate, were we all ahead of our time, trying to get your Barbies to get over their body issues and just eat, already?).

  5. Sarah

    Seriously, it’s bread, PB, & Jelly. Spread and cut. I’ve never been able to fathom the Uncrustables thing.

  6. Julie

    I know! What’s next? Frozen cereal and milk?

  7. Emily

    last night while folding laundry I watched the only cable channel we get –food network–so as to not watch Gossip girl (whose bad guy lead weirds me out – is that REALLY what the kids find attractive these days? the guy, besides being androgynous oily, which I don’t mind, dresses like a 75 year old pro golfer on a benefit cruise, which I do mind) anyway I watched this show Unwrapped which is sort of a spunky take on processed food (typical featurette last night: how DO they get the gum into Blowpops?) anyway, I was folding and folding and thinking about other things when the show dragged my by the ears back into the living room:the host perkily listed the main ingredients in the blowpop gum (which they make in house — a fact they feel mighty virtuous about) – one of them was RUBBER. Rubber? I suddenly am rethinking my habit of swallowing gum. and thinking about scrubbing my tongue with a towel.

  8. Anne

    The note about canola oil in Sunny D made me feel very queasy.

    Funny about Eli and the pop; Sam once tried a taste of [homemade, delicious] brownie, spit it out (horrified), and spent the next several minutes scrubbing his own tongue. With a diaper wipe. A clean one, but still … who prefers the taste of a diaper wipe to brownies? Sam.

  9. Julie

    Rubber?? Oh, that’s just wrong. At least canola oil is a foodstuff. Yuck.

    Anne, can you find some kind of support group for mothers of children who don’t heartily like good food like brownies and cake? Maybe you could introduce him to small amounts of dessert at a time until he becomes acclimated?

    Gossip Girl is one of those shows that I am so completely out of touch on. I don’t really have any clue about it, except for that it’s very hot and I should therefore have a clue.

  10. Emily

    No, truly, it’s not. I’ve endured segments of it as a professional research project (street cred. it helps to know a little about america’s next top model too). and while you might see through my tone and realize that I might be enjoying some of this mandatory tv watching, when it comes to GG, I am truly, truly not. Cannot get through an episode. Likewise for the new Beverly Hills show. And I have a HIGH threshhold for bad tv.

    Now, Twilight, I’m embarrassed to say, is another story. 4 other stories, actually, which I had a bad time with this summer when my mother…MOTHER of all people…put them on my bedside during a visit and said, “they say this is the most widely read mother-daughter series, so I thought I’d bring them to you!” Pusher. I’d avoided them all year, watching my 16 year olds lug them from class to class, reading while walking down stairs or, say, across Lexington Avenue, even though I knew I should read them so as to be able to talk to the students about them. Anyway after the fall I had to wean myself off of them, 12-step style, in order to get back out of teenlustville. I’m ok now. I found Dorothy Sayers, the 1930’s mystery author to whom I was previously addicted, a helpful substitute….sort of a twilight methodone.

    My, this has gotten gritty hasn’t it? I guess the post did start with things we know we shouldn’t put in our bodies for fear of poisoning and addiction!

  11. Kate

    Too funny about the Barbies! I also remember using mini Chiclets as Barbie food. I had a flashback recently about our experiments making our own beauty cream which was inspired by the Porcelanosa commercials at the time. Ah, Memories! I digress…

    I think my biggest head-scratcher is Oscar Meyer Lunchables. I find that I’m a fairly snooty shopper in that I always eyeball shopping carts to see what sorts of things other people are buying. I’m usually left with my jaw slack at the variety of processed foods people will actually pay money for. I noticed the vegetable oil listing on Sunny D ages ago and honestly couldn’t imagine what they’d need with that ingredient. Is it to make your mouth feel even more grody after sucking that garbage down???!?!? Maybe it greases the skids for your Hot Pocket??

  12. Julie

    And aren’t Lunchables crazy expensive too? I agree — a total head scratcher. Though I laugh every time I see them because I always remember the Simpsons episode where Marge says, “What’s the matter, kids? You’ve hardly touched your Dinnerables.”


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