It’s only 10:15 in the morning, and already my daughter has managed to eat a gingerbread cookie ornament left over from Christmas and paint the dog with her breakfast yogurt. I can already tell I’m going to have an exciting day.
Last night, my husband remarked on my daughter’s dinner time behavior. “Do you see this change?” he asked. She was squeezing the hamburger out of the bun and spreading rice and broccoli over the table. “Do you think it’s the ketchup?”
“It could be the ketchup,” I said. “It’s BHA, BHT, and TBHQ, the artificial flavors and colors, and the natural salycilates in the tomatoes. It’s probably the ketchup and mustard.”
He looked thoughtful. I felt the great looming task of preparing a menu, shopping list, and cooking plan. The helpful Feingold Program booklet says it isn’t that difficult to work the program, but they don’t know me. I have a child who can’t have milk, a husband who doesn’t eat meat except for fish, and a mental block against menu planning and cooking the size of Mount Rushmore.
You don’t have to change the way you cook in order to do the Feingold Program—as long as you’re used to cooking from scratch—but you do need to change the way you shop. It doesn’t suit me at all, but I’m used to flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to food shopping and feeding my family. Chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and black beans and rice are regulars on my dinner table, along with any number of “experiments” that don’t always turn out right since I’m forever cutting corners to avoid dairy products and chopping vegetables.
Working the Feingold Program will force me to get my act together with the cooking and shopping, something I’ve been studiously avoiding out of fear of being chained to the kitchen. I want my little girl to be successful in school and not wreak havoc at home, so I’m willing to give it a shot. The worst that can happen is that we eat really well and get organized with the cooking. Besides, Ghirardelli’s chocolate is on the Feingold food list.