Lately I have been starting to feel like there is nothing to eat. Period! We have been trying to eliminate certain things from our diet and it is becoming such an exhausting challenge for ME! We started by going organic for dairy and produce, then we (mostly) eliminated red meat, then switched to only local chicken and only wild-caught fish. Next we reduced our total meat consumption to only 3 or 4 days a week. Then we eliminated artificial flavors, food colorings (with rare exceptions on birthdays) and most preservatives. I started baking our bread at home to escape the preservatives and additives in bread and then, like most of the world - we zeroed in on high fructose corn syrup (which is in everything!) Now most recently - hubby has decided to go off of processed sugar. This move pretty much eliminates everything else you can buy ready-made, partially processed/prepared or packaged. While I fully support the this move from a health-aspect....I am finding myself exhausted under the strain of being the full time cook around here! Suddenly meal planning is infinitely more challenging and the amount of time spent in the kitchen actively cooking has sky-rocketed. Hubby and myself could get along happily on salads, fruits, veggies, nuts and lean proteins like beans, lentils and fish - the kids are unfortunately a little more picky. If I fed them an entree salad for dinner each night - they would starve! This means I am stretching my brain to find ways to prepare a sweet potato that fits in our nutritional constraints, but also appeals to a pre-schooler. (I have found oven-baked sweet potato fries to be the best approach so far)
This evening I turned to the internet for meal inspiration. I googled "quick, healthy dinner ideas" and instantly had more results than I could ever hope to read through. I started at the top and began working my way through and each site just brought me more and more frustration. Every article has suggestions that included things like ramen noodles, lean pockets, dinners drenched in ketchup, store-bought sweet and sour sauce poured over frozen meatballs, etc etc. It really made me pause to see these ideas listed as "health food" for our children. With advice like this circulating, it's no wonder we are faced with an epidemic of childhood obesity. Who in their right mind would advise parents to feed their kids something so heavily processed as a healthy meal?
Since the internet has let me down so terribly, I am afraid I am going to have to dust off my tired brain for some old-fashioned creative thinking. Maybe once I put my dinner menu together I will right my OWN article on healthy dinner options to counter some of that mis-advise on the www!