Thoughts on food

I have been thinking about something. And if there's one thing I've learned from writing this blog, it's that if I'm thinking about it, so are a bunch of you. (It's weird, isn't it?? It makes me feel sometimes like I'm Sigourney Weaver in "Ghostbusters." Or at least Sigourney Weaver in "Galaxy Quest.")

Anyway, what I've been thinking about it critically examining what my kids and I eat and making a focused effort to improve it.

Now, for those of you who have kids who are, say, 14 months old, who are still eating organic baby food and have never had sugar, you are probably thinking I'm nuts. But for those of you with older kids, you know that by the time your kid is 3 or so, and is out more in the world, and certainly when they go to school, food starts to get away from you. Unless you're there every single second, you don't have control over everything your child eats. So even if you pack lunches that are nutritionally spotless, the other nannies could be slipping your kid stuff on the sly, or snacks at school could be not-so-healthy.

For me, I know that food slid a lot when I started the divorce process. It was a combination of feeling just physically and emotionally exhausted all the time and wanting my kids to feel loved, so we started having a bunch of snacks. And Newman Os may be better than Oreos, but they're still highly-processed, super-sugary pseudo-foods.

But now that I have more room to breathe all-around, I've started to be hyper-aware of what we're putting into our bodies. I joined the Food committee at my kids' school (the upshot of the first meeting was that we are going to make very slow progress on this as everything in NYC Public Schools has to go through everything in triplicate twice over) and I started following Mrs. Q's blog She's a public school teacher who decided to eat (and photograph) the lunch the kids at her school were served every day from the beginning of 2010 to the summer. Wow. Read it, and follow her on Twitter at @fedupwithlunch.

I am pretty sure that the crap we eat (we meaning my family but also our culture in general) is what's compounding our energy problems, poor sleep, lack of focus, and problems getting along with other people. I think if I could lay the basis for more healthy eating consistently, then occasional snacks wouldn't trigger binges like they do now.

So I'm looking for ways to start. Just to start moving things to a better direction. So this week I've been making oatmeal for breakfast instead of cinnamon toast. And the little one loves it. But the big one doesn't. We haven't figured out a whole-grain alternative for him yet, but are working on it. He hates hot cereal.

Next step: Go vegetarian for 2 of the 3-4 dinners I serve them a week. (We're already at 1.)

Here are my questions for you:

First, do you have any general thoughts on this?

Second, do you have any recipes for whole-grain cookies that do NOT contain raisins, because I cannot stand raisins and neither can my older son? They can be no-bakes.

Third, why is it harder to take small steps toward something than it is to go on some radical change plan? Is that all humans, or just me?