WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Junk Food Friday!!!

When Abby was little she was what I call a campbell's soup kid. She really never was a big eater but she never failed to gain weight. As a matter of fact in her toddler years the nurses always said she was going to be tall like me! I am always a bit surprised to see her tiny little delicate person, 5'3" is small to me!

So, when she was 5 or 6 she noticed quickly that she was not the tiny one in class, it upset her. I admit, I totally embraced baking as part of my sworn duties as a home mom and went out of my way to fill the house with the smells of fresh cookies when she and her sister would trudge home from school- it never failed to bring a big grin to their faces when the aroma hit them as they came in the door. When I realized that her being less then thin was interfering with her confidence I kicked myself and knew I had to do something about it.-If not for myself, then for her. I was the result of generations of food addiction, I did not want to pass it on.

I had to admit I was not feeding them right. I mean, I always served healthy foods, but I also was way too free with the junk. Abby has always had food allergies, but I simply took it as a personal challenge to figure out how to substitute her allergens and still give her the junk food we loved. I also have always struggled with my own obsessions with food. My Mom was what we call a "feeder." We always had some sort of sweet around..When we were sick she always had sugar ready for us.(being sick wasn't too bad!)she had her own food issues and though she served a healthy menu(wheat germ,YUCK!)she also had a sweet tooth. Her Mother, my Gram always always had cookies,and donuts for us when we came to visit. Then there was my Dad's side of the family who practiced the anti-fat life style way before it was the trend.. a 1/2 yogurt and 1/2 slice of toast was what that Grandmother thought was an appropriate breakfast for me!!!(at home it was a personal challenge to eat more pancakes then my brothers-I know I could eat at least 5 or more) Through them though I did learn to appreciate fresh cheese curd,fruits,berries,clams,crab.. and other healthy delicacies.. What happened though was I learned to appreciate ALL food, and without thinking passed my food obsessions on to my girls.. At some point in Abby's 6th year we declared war on junk food. We came up with the concept "Junk Food Friday".

I figured complete denial of those dangerous foods would just cause us to want them more, but if we could keep our bad eating to 1 day a week we could easily sleep off our guilt before next friday. The amount of junk food we could consume on friday was shocking.. At one point I started rotating grocery stores for our forbidden purchases so the same clerks quit giving me the lifted brow as the conveyor belt hauled my food to her cash register!

Over the years we had months where the junk food friday would bled into the weekend.. or where junk food friday still happened but we did not keep junk food friday to just friday..not exactly the cure I had hoped it would be, but to my surprise,we did get something other then food awareness from it.

Today, we still celebrate Junk Food friday. It, over the years has become way more then a measure of trying to pay attention to the fuel we put in our bodies. As the girls became interested in cooking they would pick what they want to learn to bake for friday. As our income increased and we could afford to eat out, we used junk food friday to go out and eat and explore Houston. Throughout the week we would share recipes or wants with each other.. Junk Food friday became a family holiday. After all these years it has become our day of the week as a family.

This past year Abby's stomach hasn't allowed her to participate in Junk Food friday with the passion of the past..at first I really resented her stomach taking this day away from our family. I did not blame her at all, but I did feel a bit of grief on Friday mornings.. Fast food is mostly out of the question for her.. though she can handle nibbles of different sweets(simple carbs digest easy!) but without the gusto and joy of previous years.. her list of allergens,sensitivities and foods that cause her stomach to shutdown or overwork her bowels has pretty much stopped her participation. Or has it? When Sara bakes thursday night, Abby sits and chatters with her. When we decide where to eat they seem to always have chicken.. and when Friday evening comes, no matter how tired or sick Abby always finds the energy to come and hang out with us while we munch and try to find something to watch together on TV. So even though Mito rules her tummy right now, we won't let Mito take our Junk Food Friday. I hate to say it, but somehow I think Mito might have actually shown me that Junk Food Friday wasn't about our twinkie cravings, but more about our cravings to enjoy spending time with one another.


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