Oh, normal people. Always giving my kiddos normal people food. Then mommy gets to be the wacko who “doesn’t let” them eat whatever said normal food may be. It’s cool though, I just try to get creative while also turning the situation into a learning experience for the kids.
Recently Bridger, who will be turning four in a month, was the delighted recipient of a sack lunch prepared especially for children. Before he opened the bag to see what goodies awaited him, I had to utter the dreaded words, “The food in this bag might not be very healthy, and if it’s not we’ll go home and chose foods that are healthier for our bodies.” Insert long discussion about why other people eat unhealthy foods, why we choose not to, and his favorite, the fact that when he is a grownup he can make the choice to eat these foods if he wants to. But for now, while mommy is in charge of helping him grow up big and strong, mommy gets to decide about these foods.
And then without further ado, he opened the sack lunch to find a Smucker’s “Uncrustables” pre-made PB&J sandwich, a bag of reduced fat Doritos, an apple (thank you, Jesus!), and a choice of regular or chocolate fat free milk.
For fun, here are the ingredients of the Smucker’s Uncrustables:
BREAD: ENRICHED UNBLEACHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, NIACIN, FERROUS SULFATE, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), WATER, UNBLEACHED WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, YEAST, SOYBEAN OIL, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, DOUGH CONDITIONERS (DISTILLED MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, DATEM, ENZYMES [WITH WHEAT STARCH, ASCORBIC ACID, CALCIUM PEROXIDE]).
PEANUT BUTTER: PEANUTS, DEXTROSE, SUGAR, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: FULLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OILS (SOYBEAN AND/OR COTTONSEED AND/OR RAPESEED), SALT, MOLASSES.
GRAPE JELLY: GRAPE JUICE, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: PECTIN, CITRIC ACID, POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVATIVE).
And for double the fun, here are the ingredients of the homemade one he ended up eating:
BREAD: ORGANIC MILLET FLOUR, ORGANIC BROWN RICE FLOUR, FILTERED WATER, SEA SALT, YEAST.
ALMOND BUTTER: ALMONDS.
JELLY: ORGANIC FRUIT (CHERRIES, BLUEBERRIES, POMEGRANATE), ORGANIC SUGAR, WATER, PECTIN, CITRIC ACID.
It doesn’t really take a health nut to see the benefit of a homemade sammy here, right? And technically nothing in the homemade sandwich was even homemade- store bought bread, almond butter, and jelly. Literally the fastest possible thing I could “make” for lunch. So props to the marketing team at Smucker’s for selling folks on the need for a pre-made PB&J…!
But anyhow. The real point of this post is the chocolate milk. The chocolate milk. How could I have forgotten about chocolately sweetness added to delicious milk? But somehow I had. We hadn’t had chocolate milk since we drank hot chocolate this past winter.
Bridger was really interested in the carton, as he’d never seen milk in a little carton before. But unfortunately for B-man, I’m not really down with grain-fed, fat-free milk mixed with things such as cornstarch, carrageenan, and the mysterious “natural flavor.” (In case you’re new to the blog, this is the type of food I’m in to. And this.)
So I told him I’d make him chocolate milk at home from our healthy milk. Insert long discussion on drinking milk from healthy cows eating only grass. Poor kid.
And now I present to you, the point of this entire post. You can make chocolate milk at home without adding a store-bought chocolate syrup or powder. You can make it with water, maple syrup, cocoa or cacao powder, and a little vanilla extract. And it’s yummy! And your kids will love it! And so will you! And you can use whatever milk you want! So much win.
I use Live Simply’s recipe, although I add a tiny bit more maple syrup. Here is my slightly modified version.
Chocolate Sauce Recipe
1 cup water
3/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
Bring water and maple syrup to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Whisk in the cocoa powder and simmer for a couple of minutes to slightly thicken. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Store in the refrigerator. Add your chocolate sauce to whatever you want!
Bridger wanted to drink his chocolate milk out of the carton, so we just filled it up with homemade goodness and he was happy as a lark.
Mommy wins, my friends. How do you talk to your kids about healthy food choices? Do you let them eat whatever is being offered? Share please!
~AshleyPAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: To support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for supporting our efforts at Whistle Pig Hollow!