Eat, Pray, Store

I’ve got food storage on the brain.

This could mean:
A) My brain is super sexy.
B) I’m a Mormon.

Other reasons I’m stocking up on food:
A) I’m married to Dutch, who is basically The Dude when it comes to readiness. He’s a little bit ancient Egyptian with the plentiful reserves of wheat for times of famine and a little bit MacGyver with the knack for fashioning impressive and useful things out of materials at hand. He once pulled a rare video cable from a hidden crevasse in our car on a family road trip, fixing a portable DVD player situation, and thus saving the vacation for everyone who was riding in the same car as my sister’s two wailing toddlers.
B) Our bishop has been posting memes like this on the ward Facebook page all week:

And this:

And also this:


It’s all part of a neighborhood-wide effort to take inventory of what we have on hand and determine how ready we are for a disaster.

I took inventory of our cold storage room and decided that in an emergency, Dutch and I would eat just fine, but our über finicky children would freak out over the lack of crappy kid food on which they subsist.

“They’ll eat the food storage when they get hungry enough,” you might say. Or, if you are my dad, you might say, “They’ll eat it before they eat their front feet,” which is a strange, nonsensical phrase for bipeds.

But with my kids, desperation does not lead to a sudden willingness to try the things they’ve always rejected due to sensory issues. Before consuming strange new foods, my boys would devolve into a downward behavioral death spiral spurred by hunger, anxiety, and sensory overload. Also, I’ve heard studies which reveal that in times of stress, people will not eat rather than eat disliked foods.

So I went grocery shopping with the hubs on our date night (sexy!) and we made these crucial purchases:


Our shopping cart filled us with:
A) Shame
B) The urge to laugh, and
C) A weighty sense of the ridiculousness of trying to nutritiously feed children with autism.

Whenever I feel bad about my special-needs boys’ decidedly not paleo diet, I always think of our behaviorist, Lacey, who told me about a little boy she used to work with who only ever drank Coke Zero. Morning, noon, and night, it was his only beverage. She spent months trying to introduce water into his repertoire. While I don’t know that boy’s mom, I want to nod my head solemnly at her as a gesture of solidarity. “I get it, Coke Zero mom,” I would tell her if we met.

We spent three years of daily ABA therapy trying to expand Jack’s diet. We tried everything. You know what three years of daily sessions of attempting to spoon-feed a disgruntled nonverbal boy got us? GoGurt. That’s it. We increased Jack’s strange and limited diet with the addition of dyed, sugary yogurt in a tube. At one point, Lacey said to me, “We can keep beating our heads against a brick wall with the new foods program, or we can pick some other battles to focus on.”

She was right. So we accepted our behaviorist’s recommendation to practice acceptance with Jack’s diet and focus our energies on potty issues and not hitting people with flying objects.

Similarly, our pediatric gastroenterologist warned me against removing foods from Jack’s diet in the hope of limiting unhealthy items. “If you take those foods away, he will not suddenly start eating new, healthier foods,” she said. “He will instead become even more limited in his diet. Look at how big and healthy Jack is. He’s a strapping boy! Embrace the fact that he is big, rosy, happy, and nice.”

So basically when I buy Cheetos and Dino nuggets, I’m following doctor’s orders.

The cashier at Ridley’s quietly scanned our cart load of crap. When she got to the end and bagged the lone head of broccoli and three tomatoes, she kindly said, “See, you got a couple of healthy things there. Don’t feel bad.”

There are Hostess cupcakes and Doritos in the house. The special-needs boys will survive another day.


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  7 comments for “Eat, Pray, Store

  1. Lacey
    October 14, 2014 at 7:41 am

    We had a similar conversation with Emme’s therapist yesterday. We were also told to worry about more pressing issues. It’s hard not to feel like a failure as a mom when your child won’t even eat mac and cheese let alone spaghetti squash.

  2. laura
    October 14, 2014 at 7:45 am

    Oh I loved this. I’ve been feeling sey too with food storage on the brain and that is even without the memes. My peace of mind equals a year’s supply of chocolate chips and butter.

  3. Kerri
    October 14, 2014 at 9:23 am

    You are so fantastically awesome. This made me laugh a lot.

  4. Julie
    October 14, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Lots of laughter here! Thank you so much. I also noticed that all those foods have a super-long shelf life. Awesome! I’m gonna go get me some!

  5. Heather
    October 15, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Megan! Please know that this is probably one of my top 3 posts of yours, EVER! I love it, love it, love it. It hit close to home. I laughed. I felt better about what Sam DOES eat, and not about what he doesn’t eat. So, here’s to you, fellow Doritos mom…..I love you!

  6. October 16, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    All of the comments on this and on FB make me happy. See? Excellent post and people relate so well in some way.

  7. Lynne
    October 23, 2014 at 10:51 am

    You know what they say about effective food storage … That you should “eat what you store AND store what you eat.” So I’d say this is a great example of following that rule perfectly!!! Hooray for a year supply of Doritos and Ding Dongs! 😉

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