Double Hot Dog Day

I read an article the other day about how you can shop organic on a budget! And it made it sound so easy! Anyone can do it!

Except it held two premises: 1) Shopping around is a necessity 2) Making tons of things yourself solves snacking problems.

First of all – I have no desire right now to go all organic/whole/natural. It doesn’t fit in my life and it’s not something I’m really putting at a high priority anyway. BUT – it frustrates me when people don’t openly acknowledge that you really need either A) Time or B) Money to go all organic/whole/natural.

Now…I believe that if it were a priority we could cancel our cable package and spend more money on organic foods. But again – not THAT big of a concern for me. Not more than making sure I see the next episode of Vampire Diaries. But the time issue. I HAVE NO TIME.

But in the end? I’m happy with my life. My children get dinner I made at least 6 nights a week. That’s the huge priority I place in my busy life. Home-cooked dinner. At a table, in our house.

The rest? Cake.

Last Saturday the kids had soccer games while I did my pacing/mentor run with Fleet Feet. I met them at the game and then they changed out of their uniforms in the bathroom. We went straight to a local carnival. The kids had a BALL!

But did I have time to hand-make snacks or cook them an organic lunch? No. Did I have money to buy them an organic meal someplace other than the carnival? No. Did I plan ahead? Nope. We just walked into the cafeteria with our lunch tickets after playing and jumping and ate hot dogs and potato chips.

And then we jumped in the car and headed to the pumpkin patch!

It’s a 30-minute drive and the we played for a couple of hours, finalizing our trip with a hayride to the pumpkin patch. After all of that? The kids were hungry again! One pumpkin-patch snack bar later and they hat hot dogs and orange soda in pumpkin cups. NUTRITIONAL WIN!

Of course I feel a little bad, wished that maybe the kids didn’t eat two hot dog meals in one day. But…BUT…it’s easily justifiable. For me, anyway. Because I grew up in a house with a Dad who very openly believed that any time spent stressing about food was wasted. We ate frozen egg rolls and cans of beef stew most nights. So, it’s easy for me to look past things like hot dog meals twice in one day, especially if that day involved the MOST FUN THINGS EVER.

So, I vow to still cook as many dinners as possible for my kids, so that double-hot dog days carry less nutritional weight in the long run. Hopefully my kids will grow up for an appreciation for home-cooked meals, but also an appreciation for hot dogs at the carnival. Or at least an appreciation for orange soda out of pumpkin cups…because come ON. That’s pretty cool.

9 Comments

  • Laural

    I loved this post! I totally count pumpkin cups as healthy. And, a 2 hot dog day is something we would do – and certainly have done – in our family.
    I totally value experience over the perfect eating experience. And you know … my son is the first person to grab an apple before candy. (how I produced a child who does that is beyond me)
    As for the organic thing … have you seen the list that is the top organic foods? It lists the important ones.
    The cheat sheet from our natuorpath who has 3 little boys is this.
    Root vegetables (potatoes/carrots etc) get the most toxins so whenever possible eat organic root vegetables.
    Choose organic fruit that will last a little longer (apples vs. bananas) because then you are more likely to eat it instead of letting it go to waste.
    And, if your grocery store has an organic section, always price compare while you are there because sometimes you’ll see organic food on sale without going very far.
    That’s as far as I go. And then with all the other food that I buy (boxes and cans) if I see a sale I buy it, but that’s it.

    • Procrastamom

      We had a nutritionist as a guest at our running group the other night (I think the Running Room is the Canadian version of Fleet Feet) and she said the most important fruits and veggies to buy organic was anything with a thin skin that you actually eat (ie: an apple skin which you eat vs. a watermelon skin that you don’t eat). Apparently, the chemicals don’t penetrate the thicker skinned fruits and veggies as easily as the thinner ones. I already buy organic lettuce and spinach from my grocery store and I’m planning now to buy apples and grapes and pears in organic . I like your naturopath’s suggestion for root vegetables and I’ll take that advice also. I agree with your suggestion about buying organic at your regular grocery store….we Mom’s don’t really have time to be price checking 50 different stores every week 🙂

      • Laural

        LOL. I’m Canadian also – and I’m also doing a running room clinic. That makes total sense about the lettuce. I may switch that up. I eat a LOT of lettuce. We have found Costco has some great prices on organics – carrots, spinach, etc. We get a lot of organic stuff there – they also have quinoa, agave nectar, etc. And that we buy in bulk.

  • Mandy

    Ditto a million times over! There are just days like that sometimes and I have FINALLY stopped beating myself up for it. There are days when I ask myself, “Did I give them those Mac and Cheese cups already this week?” Because sometimes a woman’s got to do what a woman’s got to do. I do put frozen peas or steamed broccoli in those cups, so it’s not THAT bad. 🙂

  • Fabs

    Thank you so much for saying this! I’ve been thinking it for awhile now, and as much as I really want to buy all organic and whole foods it is so expensive and time consuming. I do buy what I can, but its tough to justify the money you have to spend.

  • Vicki

    A two hot dog day every once in a while is perfectly fine! We all have to live life and I think you are doing much better than most of the people out there! I know many people who never eat a home cooked meal. We also place priority on eating at home at the dinner table but I don’t think it is 6 days a week. Kudos to you!!! You are a great mom!!!

  • Han

    It was one day – it’s not like they are eating hot dogs for every meal every day for the whole of their lives so far. It’s like these Mums who point blankly refuse to give their kids junk food – I know it’s not healthy but once in a while (like once a fortnight or so) isn’t that bad is it?

  • Courtney

    As far as organic goes, we definitely eat organic meat and dairy BUT that’s mainly because I get it all at Costco. We can get chicken (breasts, thighs, or whole chickens), ground beef, milk, butter, and eggs all from Costco on a weekly run. It’s still expensive but it’s cheaper than the prices at Publix. Plus, we really love the taste of organic chicken. I believe you can taste a difference in it so we buy it organically. As far as produce and all that – sigh. Publix has a crappy selection and what they do have is SO expensive that I don’t justify it usually.