Foster Care Grocery List

Foster kids bring lots of changes into their foster family’s home.  When I buy groceries, the cashier always gives me funny looks and sometimes ask me about my eclectic tastes.  Just for fun, here’s my grocery list for today.

Rice, seaweed, ramen, dark sesame oil, soba noodles, bok choy, sushi,

Adobo con naranja agria (seasoning with bitter orange), tortillas, cotija (type of cheese), mangos,

Hamburgers, hot dogs, milk, fettuccine

How does one make sense of three different ethnic palates at one dinner table?  Check out my post on How to feed your foster kids and yourself to see why my grocery list hops and skips across different parts of the globe.

How to Feed Your Foster Kids and Yourself

Before becoming a foster mom, I never gave any thought to how I would feed any children placed in our home. I thought, “Hey, I will feed them.” But it’s not that simple.

The food preferences of the six of us currently in the house are: Asian, Latino, Midwest, and what I like to call “random today I eat it, tomorrow I don’t unless it’s bland and then maybe but maybe not.”

Some don’t eat any bread. One pretty much only eats bread. Three out of four kids eat mac and cheese, but one absolutely will not. Three will eat beans, but not the fourth. Two will eat rice. Unless it’s French fries, only one will eat potatoes.

A wise nutritionist once advised me to always put one item on the table that anyone who didn’t want to eat the main meal, could eat. That used to be bread. But now I have non-bread eaters (I know, I know. Bread is so awesome it’s hard to believe not loving it, especially a freshly baked baguette with French butter!)

So every night is now an international smorgasbord. It features one new main and the leftover main(s) from the last night or two. I purposely make more than we can eat in one sitting in order to have those leftovers. So what’s for dinner tonight? One Asian dish, one Texmex, and one Midwest entree with a couple sides of fruit and veggies.

Fusion? It’s not just for upscale restaurants. My budding culinary artists have invented rice topped with potato salad and tacos stuffed with shredded pork, lettuce and ramen noodles. Of course, for the purists, we still have plain ol’ white bread.

Some ask me why I go out of my way to accommodate everybody. Well, feeding your kids – both foster and otherwise – is a requirement. All joking aside, though, there are lots of reasons.

One kiddo’s ADD meds suppresses her appetite and so she tends to be underweight. Another child frequently refuses to eat and has been losing weight. Also, food is one of those links to the kiddo’s cultural heritage. Lastly, if you’ve had a sucky day, because (insert any regular or foster care hardship here), don’t you just want some comfort food to make you feel better?