Last week, in the interest of saving my sanity and streaming my nightly routine, I decided to let the Roo eat some "school food" at daycare. The daycare's food schedule consists of five mini-meals throughout the day, and he is now eating three of the five. Thus, instead of sending him off with my old standard (three mini-meals plus crackers), I only include a container of his yogurt (plain organic whole milk yogurt to which I add blended fruit - this week blueberries, raspberries, mango and banana - and ground flaxseed, with occasionally a drizzle of agave), crackers and some chopped fruit (for him to eat when the school is serving something pesticide-y, like peaches).
It is INCREDIBLE how much time this saves me in the evening. I make a large container of his yogurt in advance, so each night all I have to do is put some in a container and add the flax, then toss some crackers in another container. My husband is in charge of chopping up some fruit for him, and - TA DA! - our evening food-prep is complete.
The decision to start Carter on school food was a tough one for us, since keeping his diet organic has always been such an obsession. Until recently, I suspected that the daycare director wrote it off as yet another of my strange hippie obsessions, like cloth diapers and wooden toys - another reason to peg me as that crazy crunchy mom. That is, UNTIL LAST WEEK, when I mentioned the Dirty Dozen list while talking about Carter's food, and she actually expressed interest in learning more. I went back to the office and printed out both the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists, the full ranking of all produce, and about a half-dozen articles linking pesticides to ADHD in children, and proving that organic produce reduces pesticide exposure by 80 percent. I even highlighted the key passages.
Suddenly, the school's menu has begun to include new items, like organic oatmeal and kiwi (a Clean Fifteen fruit!). She proudly announced to me that she has begun to buy hormone-free chicken instead of regular. And the other day I brought her a container of organic yogurt to serve in hopes that she might switch over (only $2.79 at Trader Joe's! What a deal!).
If you can't beat 'em, teach 'em.