A Food ‘To Do’ List For 2013

A Food ‘To Do’ List For 2013

Wed 13 Feb 2013

Story by Melinda Lund

When the monthly challenge came out to “turn in” Food Resolutions, I admit I felt a little panicky. I am a dietitian – there, I said it. And yes, when the New Year rolls around I am overwhelmed with the “New Year’s Resolution Rampage”.

As a dietitian, I expect that everyone I know will want to check in to see what kind of advice I can give them for every nutrition related resolution they have – and they do. And I usually try to steer them away from absolute resolutions (you know the ones that start with, “I am NEVER, going to eat…(insert food here) again.” But that’s not my dilemma. It’s the question I get back from those same people, “what kind of resolutions do you have?” A fair question, but I tend to stay away from New Year’s Resolutions of all kinds – even the SMART ones.

I have a nutritional philosophy that does not include diets and stresses healthy alternatives over restriction and encourages cooking from scratch. When I tell people that I don’t “do” resolutions for myself, I get some strange looks. BUT, when this Food Revolution challenge came across my inbox, I decided I needed to take a step back and plan my approach.

I definitely want to inspire change in food lifestyles for families and especially kids. I absolutely want to brag about the wonderful food advocates we have here in Southwest Missouri. I completely want to walk the talk along with all the other Food Revolution Ambassadors. With that in mind, I sat down and decided on several resolutions…and once I got started, I had a hard time stopping. Here are a few of the 8 resolutions I picked (I know, I know… only 2 or 3 goals at a time):

1. Cook a meal with my son at least once per week

I have a 5 ½ year old (the ½ is important when you’re that age) who loves to cook. He always asks to help in the kitchen and I always try to accommodate. This “once a week” piece was inspired by a group I found called “Kids Cook Monday.” They encourage that parents cook with their kids on Mondays at the very least. They have a whole set of cooking tasks broken down by age group and recipes to go along with them… I think I can handle that. Although, Monday is usually the hardest day of the week after work, so I pick any day – or even a weekend. My son’s favorite food to help cook is (made from scratch) pizza and kale chips. He recently learned how to crack eggs… and I have to say, we haven’t eaten any shell pieces yet!

2. Double my home garden space, decrease grocery expenses by growing more at home and learn to can

Okay, I have a problem… an addiction. I literally cannot stop with this garden thing. My husband is an enabler too. Last year we planted 30 tomato plants and 30 pepper plants along with hundred million (son’s count) other vegetables. Note to self: 30 tomato plants are way too many for our family of 3. Even so, I have recently received my seed order (from Baker Creek Seed Company) – only 86 different seed packs! I told you I had a problem. Once we received all these, we agreed that we needed to make the garden bigger and really utilize what we grow in full capacity (here’s where the “learn to can” comes in). My son loves to be out in the garden, so it should be an exciting family affair.

3. Increase exposure to all the wonderful food projects SW MO has in place

To name a few: a newly developed Farmers Market (loveyourfarmer.com) that sees an average of 8,000 visitors on a weekend with a new Farmers Park development being completed this fall that will house the market on a year round basis (indoors in the winter) complete with retail, residential. A schoolyard garden project that has grown tremendously called D.I.R.T. (springfielduac.org/dirt-project/) that has successfully incorporated gardening into the school curriculum and has 10 gardens in place and functional. And a plan of a future farm on our local Hospital grounds complete with a production garden that will help supply food to our cafeterias for public and patient consumption. We have an absolutely wonderful local food movement going on around here and I want to celebrate all that goes with it.

Instead of designing resolutions about things I’m not going to do anymore, I have a year filled with resolutions of goals “to do”. So maybe it’s more of a Food To Do list and I can get rid of the anxiety that goes along with New Year’s Resolutions. Yes, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

About the author: Melinda Lund, MS, RD is a dietitian at a local hospital in Southwest Missouri. Her and her family live in the country where they have a “small family farm” - complete with a small fruit orchard, expanding vegetable garden and a flock of egg layers (“the girls”). She is also a freelance nutrition writer and has a private nutrition practice (Natures Brown Bag Nutrition).


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