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July 8, 2011

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Dinner time is chaotic around here. Well, let me clarify. When the three of us actually sit down to eat, it’s really quite nice. We have always valued the sanctity of the family meal…the kids know that I feel very strongly about taking a few moments to relax and share the best parts of our day. It took some time to establish the routines (taking turns setting the table, no handheld computers, no Blackberry for mom, using our manners all the time), but I think it’s one of my favorite parts of the day. However, in the last year or so, the prep time for these family meals has increased dramatically! When they were much younger, they were picky eaters, like all other kids. But then we moved past that point, and we were all able to enjoy whatever it was I could get on the table. But last year, everything changed. When my daughter entered middle school, she started experimenting. At first, she just didn’t want to eat red meat. Fair enough, I just swapped out the ground beef for ground turkey in our tacos. It made my daughter happy, and it was healthier for all of us. But then, my daughter did a little more research, and out went the meat of any kind. So, okay. Ground turkey tacos for me and my son, extra beans for my daughter. And then…she moved on to no-dairy. So I added some soy cheese to the taco options, and crossed my fingers that this would be the end of it. I was actually pretty impressed with how diligently my daughter stuck to this new vegan menu, even though it made my life more complicated. Over time, I started getting good at using fakin’ bacon and eggless eggs. But just this afternoon, my son decided he needed to “bulk up.” Now it’s time to incorporate protein powder into these family meals. I wonder if they make a vegan version of that?