As moms, we tend to get really caught up in what our kids are eating, or more often, what they are not eating. We stress over first foods, timing of meals, to snack or not snack, blending veggies into food and so on and so forth. How can something so delightful and delicious as FOOD be so stressful? My main goal as a mom, despite my writing about it so often on the blog, is to actually not focus on food when it comes to the girls. At 4 years old and almost 2, I don’t want to drone on about nutrients, balanced meals, healthy fats, etc because they just don’t care. Plus, I have a feeling the more I’d try and make them eat certain foods, the more they’d rebel because, well, Hailey is 4 going on 14 some days. Sass city. Instead, my focus has always been to make eating healthy fun. Starting with baby led weaning, we always treated eating like an exciting adventure, full of new textures, flavors and colors. It’s also no secret that I love getting them involved. Once they get to have an opinion and get their hands in it, they are so much more excited about the foods they are eating. So recently, on a slow afternoon, we switched things up with a trip to our local Food Lion to have a little fun!
The original plan was to let the girls loose in the produce section, allowing them to pick whatever they wanted without any input from me. However, when we first walked in, I spotted this:
There was no way I was passing up this deal so… in the cart they went before recommitting to the original plan. I explained to Hailey that she had total control in choosing anything she wanted to make and eat for dinner, then got a little nervous at her evil laughter reaction.
Kids are scary y’all. Can I also interject quickly to remind you that Hailey likes to dress herself? Hair accessories included. Translation: I did not choose the Snow White costume headband. Anyway, it took about two seconds for them to hop out and get to it.
They started basic with an apple before getting a little more adventurous.
While Hailey was up for snagging some new and unusual items thanks to the variety that Food Lion offers, Kaitlyn chose to go the more familiar “broc broc” route.
I loved watching them run around and examine the fresh produce options as much as I loved seeing the low prices. You guys know how much of a grocery nerd I am (I do grocery tours on snapchat for goodness sake) and I can’t tell you how much I’ve loved exploring the expanded organic and gluten-free lines that Food Lion offers. And yet, they still somehow keep their prices so affordable. It probably wouldn’t hurt to mention their double money back guarantee too. If you aren’t 100% satisfied with the freshness of your produce, meat, etc, then they will give you double your money back. Oh, and one more thing. I really appreciate their double carts, which the girls always insist on. This is how they’re meant to be used, right?
The girls were gung ho on “helping” with every aspect of this adventure, including unloading the goods onto the conveyor belt, yet somehow got gun shy when I asked if they brought their piggy banks to help pay. Funny how that happens...
Luckily I didn’t mind because for $20 we had a cart full of fresh foods, ready for action (and 120 napkins to clean up the inevitable mess). We got home and examined our haul.
Can you say random?! The girls were so excited and Hailey immediately wanted to figure out the coconut. Of course, we used the utmost caution and care when handling the exotic fruit. Handing a preschooler a hammer and a screwdriver can never go wrong, right?!
Lucky for us, we found the one eye that is softer right away and a few taps later, I told Hailey to tip it up.
Coconut water straight from the source?! She thought that was the coolest until I showed her that a few more taps would crack the whole thing open completely.
Ah, the joy of discovery. She wasted no time biting into the white flesh and declaring she would now like a coconut EVERY day.
From there, we took the fun into the kitchen where I explained to her that artichoke was one of my favorite foods when I was a kid, confessing that the Hollandaise was probably a strong contributing factor. This of course led her to wanting to make the sauce herself.
Butter, lemon and egg yolk… it smells like Pirate Booty, Mom!
She was right. It did. Her palate is so sophisticated. True to my word, I fixed all the chosen foods for dinner, leading to quite the interesting, but colorful, plate.
The girls were so proud of themselves and Hailey kept saying “thank you myself for dinner!” and giggling like a hyena while Kaitlyn was busy using the artichoke leaves to spoon Hollandaise sauce into her mouth like soup.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree… All in all, the girls had a blast and ate almost all of their dinner (the artichoke was a bit complicated for them and was mostly left behind, much to my “eat all the leftovers” delight).
I’m grateful that Food Lion and their new “How Refreshing” campaign make shopping for fresh food easy and at prices I can feel good about. Not only did our adventure fill up a full afternoon, it exposed the girls to new flavors and let them get involved in making their own food choices. After dinner they dove right into the Jordan Almonds too, of course, because what is freedom in making food choices without getting to pick something from the candy aisle too?! Do your kids enjoy getting involved in the food selection or cooking process? What is the most surprising thing your kid has eaten and liked? I think I was most surprised when both my girls asked for and enjoyed my dill pickle sauerkraut!