Angel's food vs. Devil's food

The ongoing battle between good and evil, food that is. U.S. Air Force photo by Linda Welz

The ongoing battle between good and evil, food that is. U.S. Air Force photo by Linda Welz

MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, CALIF. -- I like oatmeal. I think broccoli, carrots and bell peppers or cherries, apples and oranges are good. But, ice cream, donuts, chocolate and pie are really good! But, there are always choices to be made, even with dessert.

I've seen it written that God created a light, fluffy, white cake with no fat, named it Angel's Food Cake and said, "It is good." Then Satan created chocolate cake, named it Devil's Food Cake and man said, "It is really good" and gained 10 pounds. Given the choice, my teen would choose the fluffy, white cake for no other reason than she knows I would choose the chocolate one. We are polar opposites and will remain so until she reaches the other side of her teen years. I've been through this before.

The war of good vs. evil choices rages on in my house, especially when deciding what meals to cook for my child.

It's an agonizing, daily battle to create a healthy meal that my teen will actually eat and like. She usually scowls at my suggestions and I often hear how much better a friend's mom cooks. "Why can't you make things like Sarah's mom?" I refuse to make tacos seven days a week! Besides, she is disgusted by meat, doesn't like cheese and won't use many of the vegetables. So basically she's eating tortillas and salsa...Yum!

I am actually a pretty good cook. When she was younger, she tried most everything I prepared, and usually liked it. Since the invention of those hot and spicy, lime-flavored cheese puffs (you know the ones that permanently dye your fingers red), her taste buds seemed to have died. That and the fact that her brain cells are lacking nutrition has me searching for healthy ideas that can be made quickly and inexpensively.

My daughter is an athlete and therefore needs nutrition to fuel her body. As much as I try to prepare healthy meals on a daily basis, working full time and one weekend a month, in addition to driving her to practices, games and tournaments, leaves little time for the Iron Chef in me.

I'm all about convenience. Not the pre-packaged kind, but those toss all the healthy ingredients into one pot kind. My daughter wishes I would throw away my crock pot and never make another casserole, but I love my crock pot and casseroles are delish! So the battle goes on.

When I found the following posted on The Exchange's Facebook page January 17, 2012, I realized I wasn't the only one in the arena. So for those who need ideas on how to get your kids to eat healthier, read on.

"Having trouble getting your kiddos to eat their fruit and vegetables? Have you tried negotiating with them or telling them that they need them to grow up healthy, only to realize they are just a little more stubborn about it then you realized? Have you tried making it fun? Making it fun for them may just be the trick you have been searching for all along. Here are a few of suggestions to include your kiddos in that may make it fun and easier to ensure they receive the nutritional value that fruits and vegetable provide.

Smoothies -- Who doesn't love creating their own smoothies? This one is simple as long as you have a blender, fruit, yogurt or milk and ice. Get your kiddo involved by letting them pick his or her favorite fruits, add the ingredients into the blender and press the blend button (once the lid is secure).

Caterpillar kabobs -- This can be fun for all ages. Simply take a skewer and add either fruits or vegetables. In the mood for a fruit kabob? Start with melon, pineapple and apples or if you are in the mood for a veggie kabob, try adding raw zucchini, cucumber and tomatoes.

Homemade trail mix -- Why spend money on pre-packaged trail mix, when you can make your own? By making your own you can be sure to include all of your favorite nuts, dried fruit and as an added bonus any whole-grain cereal.

Personalized pizza -- Yes, we said pizza! Create your own pizzeria in your home and let your little bakers' imaginations run wild. Use whole-wheat English muffins, bagels, or pita bread as your crust. Add tomato-sauce, low-fat cheese and sliced veggies for the perfect veggie pizza."

We make a lot of smoothies in my house. It's a great way to get protein and fruit into my athlete. The kabobs or fresh veggies with dip work well for us too and since we've planted a garden and several fruit trees, it has been quite a savings. I've tried for years to get her to eat a healthy breakfast to no avail.

Imagine my shock last Sunday morning when she asked for oatmeal because "the coach said it was good for us." I bet the coach's kids won't eat it!