Go Green and Be a Healthy Dad


Pic is courtesy of google images.

Pic is courtesy of google images.

Thanks to Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, who sponsored the campaign, for including dads in this important discussion about family health care.  My views are based solely on my experience as a parent, and not as a medical professional.

When I turned 10, I turned green. I didn’t plant a tree. I didn’t stop using electricity.  I didn’t participate in a protest over pollution. I mean green in terms of food. Yes, the summer I turned 10, I discovered healthy eating.

My parents shipped my brother, NG, and I off to overnight camp. It was our second year at Camp Council, so we knew the drill. We would be separated by age into bunks with each bunk having around 12 kids. The daily activities would include swimming, arts and crafts, and SPORTS.

Now, when you’re a 10-year old sports fanatic and have no school, other kids around, and ample sports equipment, life is good. I was content to be left on whatever field of play we were on all day.

But, all that running around makes a boy hungry. I needed to eat.

And that’s where the problem began

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I Have to Admit I Like the Passover Holiday

Boys celebrating Passover Holiday

Boys – Pre-Passover 2012. The jackets were off before the Passover Seder began.

The Passover festival begins Monday evening an hour after sundown.

However for those of us who celebrate the holiday, the thought and preparation for Passover began weeks ago.

I’m not kidding.

Passover is an all-encompassing holiday.

Of course, like most religious holidays, there is the food aspect. And food is a major factor in Passover!!! We literally get rid of all our food from the year. We either eat it, throw it away, donate it, sell it (ceremoniously) or lock it away. I’ll spare you the rules and the specifics.

I’ve been managing my food shopping the last couple of weeks so that we will have a minimal amount of food left. This takes all of my food shopping skills.

I must admit this part is fun for me.

QUICK ASIDE: I ended up bringing up some food to work this week. Why is it that people will eat anything at the work place?

This zest to rid ourselves of our food forces us to do a Spring cleaning. Now, my family and I keep a neat house. However, we have a 7-year-old and a 10-year-old. Therefore, food travels to the weirdest places. “Hey, how did that pretzel end up in the sofa cushion?”

So, add cleaning to the Passover checklist. We pay someone to clean for us every other week. On top of that, I was down on my knees on the kitchen floor. By the way, I found a pretzel there too. Mrs. MMK cleaned the cabinets and put in new contact paper. These were among other tasks.

I have to admit I do like a clean house.

Anyway, we get rid of our food. The holiday lasts eight days. Therefore, it is not a fasting holiday. So, there is food shopping to do to replace the food you are ridding your home of. This special kosher for Passover food – and it’s not just Matzah – is pricey. We have already made multiple trips to the grocery store, and I foresee another one on Monday.

Then there are clothes. There is no law that one must buy new clothes.

However, I have adopted a custom. I wear at least one new item of clothing on the first and last days of the holiday. It adds to the special nature of the Passover holiday. I can’t be the only one who is wearing new clothes in the family. So, there is clothes shopping to do for the whole family. Well, my wife takes care of herself and the boys. I simply pay for it. On that note – does anyone know of any freelance writing gigs? The bank account has taken a hit.

I have to admit I like having new clothes.

A quick note on the background of the Passover holiday.  It commemorates the Exodus of the Jewish people from their bondage in Egypt. It is a holiday that celebrates our freedom and praises G-d for what he did for us.

Ultimately, the Passover holiday is about spending time with family and friends and recalling a special time in history.

I have to admit I like spending time with family and friends.

I have to admit I like this holiday.

P.S. As part of the holiday, I am going to take a blogging break. I don’t expect to post and will not get to read the blogs of others on a regular basis over the next week and a half.

Daddy, What’s For Dinner?

Child eating and enjoying his food - not dinner

SJ eating and enjoying his food. No, it’s not dinner.

SJ is a big boy.

He has been a big boy since birth. He came into this world at 9 pounds 4 ounces.  He remains in the 90 plus percentile when it comes to weight.

And the boy likes to eat.

However, like most 7-year-olds, he is finicky. Recently, SJ informed Ms. MMK and I that he was no longer eating hot dogs. No, it’s not because he has made the moral choice of going vegan. SJ just felt that he wanted something different.

My wife was not taking this decision lying down.

She told him, “Well then, you need to find something else to add to your list of foods.”

SJ was confused, “Huh?”

“You only eat 7 foods [slight exaggeration – 27 is more like it. You do count bagel and cheese and bread and cheese as two different foods – right? ] and if you are removing one from the list you need to add another one.”

SJ sighed. He continues to eat hot dogs. Uggh, the sacrifices he must make.

Let’s recap what I have shared so far: SJ is a big eater and a particular eater.

Okay, nothing earth shattering. That’s probably the description 88.2% of kids. I just made that number up – sounds like a radio station, perhaps Finicky 88.2 – but I am confident the number is similarly high.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I do the food shopping for my family. Not only that, I do the meal planning.

Actually, my wife handles Wednesdays which is take out day. She also handles Fridays – our Sabbath meal.  It’s the best one of the week – BY FAR! I’ll tell you about that another time.

Anyway, the family looks to me to know what’s for dinner. Now between my repertoire, limited time for preparation, and the boys’ inch wide list of things they are willing to eat, there is little variety.

Now, you would think the excitement of what’s for dinner would not be there.

No, no, no. Daddy, what’s for dinner is the first thing SJ asks me when I see him in the afternoon.

I was on the phone with my wife the other day, and I heard SJ in the background. It was a Wednesday when my wife works from home.

He asked Ms. MMK, “Is that daddy on the phone?”

“Yes, do you want to talk to daddy?”

“I want to know what’s for dinner.”

“I told you what I got for dinner.”


“Hello,” I called out to my wife.


“He doesn’t want to talk to me anymore does he?”

“What can I tell you?”

Asking me what’s for dinner is not a once in a while sort of thing. Before, I have my coat off, SJ asks me, “Daddy, what’s for dinner?”

As we walk out of after care, SJ asks me, “Daddy, what’s for dinner?”

On Sundays after lunch, SJ asks me, “Daddy, What’s for dinner?”

Really? Is that all I’m good for?  I mean if I was Emeril Lagasse maybe I could appreciate this. But what the heck do I make – frozen hot dogs, eggs, mac n cheese, etc.

I do have feelings you know.

I’ve talked to SJ about this. I can get him to offer a “How was your day dad?”  And a “good” to my question of how his day was.

And then SJ is back to, “Daddy, what’s for dinner?”

Oh well, at least he wants to talk.

Guest Post – Get Rid of the Cereal

Today, I have guest post from Betsy of Parenting is Funny (parentingisfunny).  I’ve been following Betsy’s blog for a while now. The posts always make me smile as they focus on short funny scenes that any parent can relate to.

Betsy has three beautiful and inadvertently entertaining daughters, now aged eight, five, and three. Unable to keep their antics, and those of her friends’ children, to herself, she began the parentingisfunny blog almost two years ago. In addition to poorly keeping up with her blog, Betsy homeschools her two oldest children and works part-time from home writing weekly e-newsletters and managing a blog for a non-profit organization. Having always wanted to be a book editor when she grew up, Betsy is currently contented starting novels and children’s stories that may or may not ever get finished. She also has a book titled “101 Tips for a Happier Marriage” due out at the end of October.

Image is courtesy of Google.com

Image is courtesy of Google.com

“No, you cannot open a new box of cereal until you finish some of the plethora of nearly finished cereal boxes we already have,” I told my six and four-year-old girls.  They agreed and began eating some of the old cereal without complaint. So, I walked away to get some work done.

After a while I noticed that it had gotten rather quiet in the kitchen. Too quiet.

When I went in to investigate, the girls were still eating their cereal, as quickly as they could, but the oldest had also made additions to her baby sister’s food. The 19-month-old’s high chair tray was littered with three different types of cereal, as was her lap, her hair, and the floor all around her.

Apparently trying to enlist the baby’s help, my oldest daughter had poured a small mound of different cereals in front of her. The plan was effective only in that I had to sweep most of it off the floor, and when I lifted the baby from her high chair, a deluge of Rice Krispies rained down once more.

I made the oldest help clean up. And no, the new box of cereal was not opened.

P.S. Go to Betsy’s web site to check out a guest post I did for her. I promise you will laugh. http://parentingisfunny.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/teaching-the-basics/