Thursday, March 11, 2010

The evil convenience of fast food

Okay, I get it - I've read the newspaper, and my mom has described (in lurid detail) the more disgusting scenes in Food, Inc. Our eating habits are terrible and I want my family to be healthier. Unfortunately, I'm also coping with busy schedules, picky teens, and a bank account that doesn't allow me to indulge in Whole Food's organic produce at $2 per blueberry.

I try - I clip recipes from Cooking Lite, I watch the Food Network nutritionists turn tofu into a work of art, and I buy fresh, seasonal produce that I even sometimes use before it wilts in my crisper drawer. But sometimes I run out of time, and frequently the kids turn up their noses at my efforts. (And even I thought that whole-grain spinach/mushroom lasagne was pretty gross.) Or my good intentions don't go far enough, like the day I felt so efficient, I had all the ingredients for a fabulous split pea soup in the crockpot by 8 a.m. (including sauteed onion & garlic), and came home at 7 anticipating a wonderful dinner only to find I'd forgotten to plug in the crockpot.

And sometimes, the thought of a meal- any meal - someone else prepares and cooks is so tempting. When one kid's band practice lets out 15 minutes before the other kid's study session, I haven't been home all day, and there's a Burger King right there on the corner, calling to us, it's nearly impossible to resist. (And it's even harder to resist my kids' pleas for fast food when, I have to admit, I love a good french fry!)

So I'm trying to compromise, cooking when I can (or when I remember), and when I do need help, usually opting for healthier options like Subway or Fresh Choice - we save the deepfried grease for a special treat. But I have to ease up on myself. After all, my ideal of 'perfect motherhood' was formed by 1970's sitcoms, but Carol Brady didn't have a job, AND she had a full time maid (who didn't just do laundry and dispense advice, but she prechopped Carol's vegetables, competed with her over jam recipes, and served the Bradys coffee in an avocado-hued living room - now that's luxury!). Without "Ann B. Davis as Alice", I'll get by with an occasional "Welcome to Jack In The Box". (By the way, their rice bowls are almost good enough to keep me from eating a burger!)

No comments: