kraft mac n cheese - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 03-19-2012, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I love my family - they are great in so many ways, but food is ...interesting.


For the most part, my mother sticks with real food so I ignore it...  when she pulls out processed crap, I alwys say something.  My kids have had kraft macaroni and cheese 3 times in their life.  The first time - I told my mother never again, raised a big stink.  The second time was while she was babysitting the 3 boys while i was in hospital with #4 -- figured she was overwhelmed/desperate/it wasn't mcdonalds...didn't say a word.  Then...  we went over for lunch yesterday.  It was supposed to be home made pizza.  She made a mac n cheese starter.


I quite loudly told the boys it wasn't healthy (we're talking a lot about what foods are healthy these days)...  and she got offended.  They still ate it (UGH!)


I don't know how to get through to her that processed crap is not acceptable (esp since she pushed for us to come over for lunch...  i wasn't planning on it).  Alternatively...  can anyone come up with any type of experiments or taste tests i can do with the boys to show them how terrible that stuff actually is?  (my mother is a food snob -- cold cuts, kraft mac n cheese, and candy are really the only trigger issues we have - i can ignore the rest...  like, i dont think cheese is healthy, but id rather she give them a treat of cheese than a candy bar...)



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#2 of 7 Old 03-19-2012, 10:46 AM
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give her Annie's Mac&Cheese and call it a day- at least it's organic - TJ has organic too and cheaper---still crap but organic

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#3 of 7 Old 03-19-2012, 11:01 AM
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My kids fell in love with boxed macaroni and cheese when I was sick a number of years ago and a friend was taking care of them. I found a less offensive alternative for them and they were happy - and once the novelty wore off they quickly lost their taste for it.

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#4 of 7 Old 03-21-2012, 10:14 PM
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There was a thread awhile back titled something like "Why is giving kids unhealthy processed junk considered a loving gesture?".  this reminds me of that.  we have the same prob when eating anywhere but home.  some things i ignore, some i cant.  sometimes if i dont mind offending the person (he he) i will pack our own lunch:)

other times i will put something in the crock pot if i know something is coming and i'll say "Oh i just put a whole chicken in the crock pot last night, why dont i just bring that over?"


My dad says he loves the taste of organic hot dogs but hates non-organic....  but that might not make sense to a kid?  DH is a truck driver, he refuses to order anything that I regularly make at home at a restaraunt because he says mine is so much better that he cant even eat the stuff he orders lol.  Not that good of ideas i know:)  i'll think on it some more though!

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#5 of 7 Old 03-22-2012, 11:43 PM
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hmm my mom did this years ago


My kids would get in the car and say grandma gave us cookies again..she snuck them to us and said don't tell your mom..she is being mean to you.


Then I got to be the bad guy by not letting them eat them


But what we would do was shop at the coop and talk a lot about healthy foods and give them all kinds of fun healthy treats we ate at picnics or the ride home after the coop visit.


Back when my kids were little, health food was not popular.  I had my kids taking whole wheat sandwiches at the time with sprouts on it till one day they told me the kids thought they were weird saying what is wrong with that bread (they had never seen brown bread only white and why are you eating grass on your sandwich)


I finally concluded that it was more important for my kids to not be thought of as odd by their new peers and to maybe put one slice of wheat bread on the bottom and have them hold the sandwich the white bread side up and switched to lettuce.


But then I set out to transform the kids and the school.


I had worked with the kindergarten teacher with my oldest son and wrote a letter and approached her asking if she could send the letter to the parents.


It was all about wanting to feed the kids healthy snacks instead of cookies when the parents brought in food on their day. I made a long list of healthy foods that the parents could choice from and that whole year only 2 times did any parent bring in cookies.


The parents brought in so many wonderful snacks and I did a lot of fun interactive type snacks and things like carrot wheels on celery cars with raisin people and organic egg boats (was not a vegan then). The parents really seemed to enjoy coming up with these snacks and I made sure to include some very easy to buy snacks that were cheap like bananas or what not for those without time to do anything fancy.

The teacher liked it so much she continued it after that year and snack time was really something the kids looked forward to every day and that their kids could be excited about.


We had a very junk food oriented obese principle who on the school picnic filled the kids with hot dogs chips, ice cream and candy..not one even half way nutritious thing although I packed them something healthy I did not want my kids resenting not participating and took it to the PTA but was unsuccessful even getting her to add one single  healthy items which was my goal but you know we go through it..I think I sent food with them and discussed the one exception they could do that day so they got to participate on this one day a year ..and yet mostly eat healthy


they are both grown and healthy and they eat very healthy foods as I taught this to them so much.



I think you could try what I did when I taught 2nd grade and kindergarten myself later in life.


I did the food groups that were popular then and formed all the lesson plans around them in a whole language classroom where dozens of subject areas could be Incorporated.

IN kindergarten, we voted on fruit juice and fruits (apple orange or grape) on election/voting day by tasting juices and putting fruit stickers that matched the juice on the cups and doing line graphs to visually see which one won with the longest line, voting behind a curtain voting areas by casting the card with the fruit we liked and reading many kids books on these fruits like apple tree apple tree or the wolf and the grapes etc.


I got many neat children's books on various food associated topics various books on growing porridges and oatmeal overtaking the town streets, giant foods, fruit stories, veggie picture books, stories for grain lessons, on eggs and beans etc both fiction and nonfiction and did displays..we did food artwork and activity songs,. we made stone soup, passed around many raw nuts,.seeds and grains, did game shows and puppet shows teaching nutrition concepts or answering questions,  made up songs and sang about junk foods making you puny and a host of other things..we even tasted dulse and to the other teacher's surprise over 3/4th of the class loved it and asked for more. A garden would also be good or sprouting


Look for food activity books, write food lyrics and piggyback them to familiar tunes, food activities etc


res some ideas


the book  I liked on food a lot..see if oyur libray has it or interlibrary loan


she also had similar books on houses, transportation and clothes that are good for teachers or parents.


do activities like these to teach about the foods you want them to eat and not eat (ex-Bernstein bears and junk food book etc)


go on teaching field trips like to food coops,. health food stores, farms, farmer's markets, nut companies. pumpkin patches with activities, college agriculture places (like dairy farms or gardens etc) and grocery stores,.


Teach with produce etc and to how to read labels..for little kids do things like how many red fruits can you find, how many long veggies, how many oval produce things, how many colors of grapes, and things like that,


Find healthy substitutes for standard foods.


Either have your kids bring appropriate food with them to mom or buy things for her to feed them..for the kid things she thinks of she can freeze tofu dogs and whole wheat buns, buy some whole wheat macaroni to use with Annie's natural organic sauce, buy some brown rice spaghetti or some taco fillings,  health food candy bars, maybe some vegan lunch meats or cheese for grilled cheese and foods she is used to cooking..either buy them in advance and leave there for them, pack their lunches, bring the food with you, or ask her to buy those brands.


Ask her to do things like show them how to make a date nut crust raw apple pie or cookies that  meet your approval so she can do those grandma cooking things with her alsdo show her how to make treats you guys make that they like to have the fun of it with the reinforcement of the foods you think are good


Have the kids ask her to go to the health food store, farmer market or grocery and tell them to show her the stuff they eat or want...or go for a fruit picnic or a how many healthy things can we put in the yogurt party or stuff like that.


You want to teach them so they trust you even to tell you if she sneaks them food like my mom did and understand older people grew up differently and don't understand,..most people use food as treats and to share of themselves and even relive rearing their kids (you) with the same stuff to sort of relive . their own parenting days and memories. next time have some healthy produce to add with the crap food she fixes if they are gonna eat it. maybe you could have cut some fresh veggies intot he mac and cheese to at least enrich it some or some wheat bran to add to it. If she is getting angry try to talk to her in advance to see how you can better get this message across without having to tick her off so you are both happy,,.that time only she was and then she got mad too and the kids ate crap so it was a lose lose for all..ask her how you can all compromise to make it a win win win for everyone.


If they get mostly good foods, or she agrees to feed them good stuff you approve of then tell her a few times a year you will let her feed them some special treat she wants to share with them so she gets to do a few of the things she thinks are important for kids to experience.


As long as they are only eating this stuff rarely I think they will survive it.


Remember it is not good to undermine your parent in front of them as that makes for bad feelings ..say what foods do you think taste like that but you eat at home to reinforce good habits and then move on focusing on some wonderful things your mom does for your kids or asking her to share that favorite story you so loved as a kid or reinforced good memories for you so she feels appreciated and has something all hers and she might repay you by respecting you as the kids parent more.


e sure to appreciate her as life is short and one day she will be gone like my parent. I never was able to change the very poor nutritional habits she had but she told some great stories to me and my kids...parents rarely see their kids as parents and most moms want you to do it like they is not personal..that is just how parents are.


Talk nutrition a lot in a fun way..a child appropriate way, let them cook with you or for you and they will pick up your values.


Some kids who you feed perfect the first thing they do is eat a bunch of crap in college or as just don't know/..just do your best knowing all kids are gonna sometimes eat some things that aren't the best..aim for a good 95 =98% of the time and the rest if needed cut them and your mom some slack as rearing kids is a lot of fun and rewarding and your mom;s are gone now and she just gets to relive it a little so go ahead and let her.


Luckily she unlike my mom has some good food in the house.  05% of the food at my moms was crap and we only had a few veggies growing up and now I still eat an excellent vegan, whole food, 50-60% raw diet so we still can find our way even if it does not go perfect in childhood. I would say your kids are eating far better than many kids so be grateful they are learning good habits.


Most people mess up their programs once in a while so allow this for your kids if mom does not respond to your heart to heart or insist to them they only eat the food you pack..unless you ok your is to short to fight a losing battle,.,.I would every time she feeds them a healthy food compliment her..let the kids know how delighted you are with the food she feed them..thank her for helping you reinforce good eating habits and make her feel part of that is best to ignore negative behavior as that just reinforces is best to give positive rather than negative behavior..even reward her by giving her something you know she wants if she does good..give her attention, praise hugs and kisses that extra phone call to let her vent or talk to you, a trip to a favorite place, a little gift...something she will appreciate and work towards..also use positive reinforcement on your kids as it tends to work


Being consistent is what reinforces and stops bad behavior.


Remember this too will pass..once day you will wish for your mom to be there feeding your kids or your kids to be young and enjoying cooking with you as believe me as a mom who little kids grew up to now be in their 30s these years pass are resilient as long as we try to do our best, they turn out.despite some mistakes we make. Noone has to be perfect..just trying to improve.


Appreciate the things your mom brings to you and your kids childhoods..I did not learn to eat that great  buy my mom always helped me with projects and told gr4eat stories and sewed me and my doll cute matching clothes and taught me to knit and crochet and make little pumpkin pies with her big pones and these are the things memories are made you want your kids to remember you ranting about the mac and cheese when they think in the future of grandma...


Many people do not have mom here to babysit when they are in the hospital or who are together enough to babysit so count your ones moms are perfect.


I think if you can get your kids to be food snobs and not eat crap even if she makes it and make sure there is something there for them to eat, she might not be able to do this to you again..but time will tell.


Believe me I understand..I hated that the teachers and parents of my day feed their kids crap reinforcing that but I also hung 0out with LaLeche league moms that eat fun and healthy food and had backyard picnics so that also seemed normal


Personally I sometimes made exceptions.  Like I had fun as a kid on Halloween eating candy so when we went to the park games I let my kids take some candy.,.it was not everyday certainly..I saw another LaLeche league mom there stronger than me..they did the game and walked away without a word as the person at the game held out candy not taking it or discussing it. Si you can either let them do some of the standard things on occasion or be strict all the time..


Now my kids as adults do make once in a while exceptions but both hate candy and pop and one eats 40% raw and shops for fresh organic food often..the other who did not eat that healthy the first 6 years as I was not informed much then eats  very healthy bit not quite as  much as the younger whose wife is very into healthy food from birth


With boys down the road that is gonna have a lot of influence on how their eating habits will go..teach them to kindly teach their kids what they like to eat so if they have to stand up for their values later with a spouse they will know how to==pray their future girlfriends and especially wives will be into healthy foods and are being taught by their moms


good luck do your best


values are caught not taught and day by day your example is showing them how to do things


But be sure your mom does not feel embarrassed or mad but appreciated and as a ally try that positive reinforcement and bringing food over there or with them,,you see I taught my kids good foods and when their grandma gave them bad food they did not eat it they took it as not to hurt challenge her and then told me and were willing to throw it away..they understood what good and bad foods were so they did not mind throwing the cookies away and they felt comfortable enough to tell me when they felt uncomfortable that kids made fun of their food so I could find the best solution for my family.


communication is key.. and love.... .






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#6 of 7 Old 03-24-2012, 09:59 PM
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What great ideas for teaching kids about food/nutrtion!!  Thanks!

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#7 of 7 Old 03-28-2012, 12:32 PM
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So funny, because we have dealt with a lot of the same issues with both sides of the family.


I bluntly tell people that we try not to eat processed junky foods. They get offended, but they stop doing it because they don't want to deal with me harping at them.


We are a very healthy family, but we occasionally buy Annies Mac & Cheese when we are tired and want a treat. Show her the difference. Tell her that it is ok to treat the kids to Mac & Cheese, but that this particular brand is the one you approve of because of various reasons.


I have found we have to give in a little bit, and they give in a little bit. It is a compromise.

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