Nov 24 2014
So we’ve all been sitting on our couch watching TV, at one time or another, and have seen someone get ambushed at the grocery store. The slender, healthy TV personality (in full make-up) goes through the chips, soda, cookies, and white bread in the shopping cart and they tell the poor, unprepared mom who just popped in, sans make-up, with her yoga pants on, why her children should not be eating sugary snacks.
I never thought it would happen to me.
On a random Thursday I popped into my local Publix grocery store with my 1-year-old, sans make-up (with yoga pants and my worn and beloved orange and blue Coca-Cola t-shirt on) for my regular mid-week shopping trip. This trip usually consists of things I forgot to get over the weekend, or things like fruit and milk that we’ve run out of. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 13 2014
School lunches are my enemy.
Well, not the actual lunches, just the process of making them. You see, my kids go to a Jewish Day School, which means that their lunches must either be parve or dairy. I have no problem with that, as we keep kosher and therefore won’t make the mistake of accidentally sending in shellfish or a ham sandwich. Rather, the issue I have with lunches is that my kids constantly tell me how they no longer eat this or no longer like that. They change their minds as often as a new parent changes a diaper.
My kids eat perfectly well at dinner time, despite sometimes saying that they don’t like something my husband or I are serving. But lunch is a different story. Things that they would normally eat at home or even order in a restaurant are somehow off-limits when they come out of a lunchbox. I don’t get it. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 29 2014
Halloween can be a tough time for kids with allergies… and parents of kids with allergies. My son has a severe peanut allergy, an allergy to eggs, and one to sesame. The very idea of sending him out to collect candy that has peanut butter and peanuts is terrifying.
For years, we managed to put it off by having him give out non-allergen candy instead at my parents’ house. He still got to dress up, show off his costume to his grandparents, see a few friends who would come by, maybe go to a Halloween parade, and be none the wiser.
When he was 4, he figured it out. If his friends could go to all of these houses and get candy, he could probably do that, too. We made it clear to him that we would be going through his bag and his younger sister’s bag to take out any candy he couldn’t eat. He completely understood, and we just went around the block, which also tamped down the amount of candy we’d have to sort through. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 27 2014
Last year, my daughter Julian and I stopped in front of a vegetable stand at our local farmers’ market. Without even pausing to consider what it would taste like uncooked, my 5-year-old grabbed a piece of raw okra and popped it into her mouth. Moments later, she pronounced it “crunchy and wet” and started filling our bag with handfuls of the green vegetable.
The mom standing next to us gasped, pulled at my shirtsleeve, and desperately insisted I tell her my “secret” for getting my kids to “eat healthy.” To her great disappointment, I explained I didn’t have a secret. Julian recommended she start with the okra and we parted ways.
Each time I’m at the market I hope I run into that mom again because I have since come up with a better answer. Here are my eight not-so-secret rules to get your kids to eat everything:
Rule #1: Let Your Kids Taste Anything Someone Hands Them Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 17 2014
Apparently 2014 is a good year for bar mitzvah boys.
Earlier this year, 12-year-old Josh Orlian wowed and/or horrified audiences with his verrry dirty comedy routine on “America’s Got Talent.” Then viral bar mitzvah boy Sam Horowitz resurfaced with his very own fashion web series. And now, in time for the High Holidays, we meet Eitan Bernath, of Teaneck, NJ, the new star of the Food Network’s show “Chopped.” On September 30, the show is airing its first-ever teen episode, featuring contestants in fifth and sixth grade.
The young chef–a student at Yavneh Academy is Paramus–sports his kippah throughout the show and even had to consult his rabbi before cooking non-kosher dishes. Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 10 2014
My 4.5-year-old has been jumping the baby gate at the top of our stairs before we are awake to sneak into the kitchen and eat treats. He has his fill and creeps back upstairs. Last week he used a stool to get in the freezer and eat ice cream sandwiches; we later found a half-eaten 16 oz. bag of marshmallows in his bed and some baking chocolate under his pillow.
But one thing agile, sneaky 4-year-olds don’t do well is cover their tracks. One morning I came downstairs to find that my son had used a GRILLING SPATULA to serve himself a piece of his little brother’s birthday cake onto a plate. There was a dirty plate and fork on the counter (because if you are going to sneak cake you MUST serve it to yourself on a plate and use a fork like a sophisticated criminal), an open Tupperware with sugar cookie crumb-trails and a half-eaten nectarine. He looked at me innocently and asked, “What’s for breakfast?”
My blood was boiling. Lying and sneakiness makes me bananapants crazy. But lectures, warnings, and punishment have gotten me nowhere (don’t even get me started about the positive parenting sticker chart and the bazillion “good behavior prizes” rotting in our closet). All I could think to myself was, “I give up.” And then I thought, GIVE UP. Just GIVE UP. And I replied, “You’re in luck! I know how much you like to eat treats so today you are having cake for breakfast!” Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 5 2014
Foodies, this one is for you.
We are giving away this lovely assortment of cookies from gourmet, dairy-free, kosher cookie maker Nomoo Cookie Company.
Made from high-quality, natural ingredients, the flavors included are ALMOND OY!, CHOCO-LIFT, OAT RAGEOUS ONE, and SUGAH SUGAH. We sampled all four flavors here at Kveller and the consensus was that they’re all delicious and you definitely don’t miss the dairy. Each cookie is individually wrapped for freshness and they even arrive in a pretty box. Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 4 2014
“Is this, like, actually a dead fish?” My son wrinkled his nose at his half-eaten tuna salad sandwich.
“Um,” I stuttered. It was a rare moment that I found myself at a loss for words. My general parenting policy is to be honest–particularly when it comes to scientific facts like where food comes from. But if I told my son he was eating a dead fish, my increasingly picky 6-year-old might push his plate away and I would be forced to make him a new lunch. I mumbled something along the lines of, “Well, what do you think?” and made a mental note to discuss the matter later.
I really, really don’t want my son to become a vegetarian. I feel torn because, on the one hand, I’m a huge foodie. I was raised kosher, but abandoned the dietary laws in my teens (in high school, my friends and I expressed our adolescent angst by sneaking out to McDonald’s and ordering everything on the dollar menu. Gross, I know). I still resent the idea of having limited culinary options. Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 16 2014
Every time my daughter goes away to overnight camp, there is something different about her when she returns home.
The first year she went away, she came back practically self-sufficient. I was so impressed at how well she took care of herself. I didn’t have to remind her to brush her teeth. She didn’t need any help in picking out her clothes. She even made her bed without my asking for a short period of time—and then she went back to forgetting how to do it altogether.
Last summer, she got into the car and had something important to say. I could tell that there was a big announcement on the horizon. She had a look like she knew something that we didn’t know. I could tell she was taking a moment to enjoy that with a satisfied smile on her face. Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 25 2014
I am a southerner. My husband is an Isreali. On the outset, many people think it is a strange pairing, but in fact, our backgrounds share much in common. We are both from communities made up of tenacious people of faith whose circumstances inspire ingenuity and who are intensely tied to the land.
I was not raised Jewish, but my spiritual journey to Judaism began long before I met my husband. I converted on my own terms, yet my decision to go kosher was one that was venturing into a new and frightening territory. It was encroaching on the little piece of home that I had left, my kitchen.
Living in New York, most Jewish food is of the Ashkenazi fare. Either sweet or salty, it often tasted bland to my palate, and completely foreign to me. I never had a vegetable that wasn’t cooked in bacon grease until I moved here. Nor would I believe you, if you had told me I would never go to another crawfish boil again. Read the rest of this entry →