a peek inside the fishbowl

19 Jul, 2010

Know More Do More Mondays: cold turkey (I mean, chicken)

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Know More Do More

The KMDM activity for this past week was:

Cook extra chicken, turkey or roast beef for dinner and use leftovers as sandwich fillings for lunch. Deli meats are highly processed and usually high in sodium.

I’ve been on High Sodium Alert lately, and I have to say, it is shocking to see how much sodium is packed into so many processed foods. It is beginning to turn my stomach, not to mention my tastebuds. We’re a low-sodium family, and when we eat high-sodium foods I can really taste it.

Sadly (for me) deli meats are a food we rely on pretty heavily around here. As I mentioned in my previous post, deli meats (specifically: salami, ham and bacon) are among our favourite things to eat, especially during the school year. It’s a crutch, and I’d like to reduce the amount of deli meats we buy … but it’s hard when it’s one of few proteins the girls will eat in their lunch. 

This week we BBQd chicken breasts for chicken caesar salads (one of my favourite summertime meals). I bought a larger package of chicken and we made two extra portions and popped them into the fridge for lunches the next day.

This is not unusual in itself. Mark and I often eat the leftovers. The challenge here was, will the kids accept cold chicken on a sandwich? I know this must sound crazy, but the only cold meat they’ve been known to eat is ham and salami. I feel like a bit of a parenting failure when I see that typed out. Why don’t my kids eat casseroles and cold pasta salads? Gah.

Experts insist that parents need to offer new foods 20 times before a kid will eat it. I used to balk at this, but in my experience it’s actually true. If I could share one piece of parenting advice, I would say KEEP TRYING. No matter how annoying it is. I have a great ginger chicken recipe the girls never ate, but I kept making it because Mark and I liked it. Then lo and behold, they started eating it. It happened with scrambled eggs yesterday. Sarah was suddenly eating them.

“When did THIS happen,” I said, agog with shock.
“At camp,” she said, with a nonchalance that just about made me fall over.

So you see, I had hope for cold BBQ’d chicken. And I was really hoping it could be something I send along for future school lunches.

I sliced up the chicken nice and thin, and put it on some fresh seedy bread with a good smear of mayo and some lettuce. They ate it, grudgingly. Emma ate more than her sister.

“IT’S JUST CHICKEN,” I argued. “You like bread, and mayo, and lettuce, AND chicken, why don’t you like it all together in sandwich format?”
“MOM,” said the elder, in full rationalizing mode as 11-year olds are wont to do. “It tastes different when it’s cold. I don’t like cold pizza, and you said it’s OKAY that I don’t like cold pizza …”


Places like Saslove’s and Piggy Market must have better-for-you non-processed lunch meat, right?

FYI – Busidoka has posted a 3-part video on making your own luncheon meat.


Anyway, I’m not giving up. I’m going to keep trying.

The KMDM activity for this coming week is a good one, with more chance of success:

Pick out a new recipe to try this week together. 20% of families eat frozen dinners and another 20% eat pre-cooked meals.

I’m looking forward to this one!

This post is part of the Know More Do More initiative which was spearheaded by the Champlain Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Network. KMDM is about empowering parents and inspiring them to take charge of their children’s health by taking easy steps to increase activity levels and improve eating habits. I’m one of two champion families who has been asked to take this challenge. You can join too. Check out the official website for more information. If you’re blogging about your participation, please let me know so we can cheer each other on! You can read all of my past weekly challenges here.

6 Responses to "Know More Do More Mondays: cold turkey (I mean, chicken)"

1 | bushidoka

July 19th, 2010 at 11:51 am


Thanks for the shout out on my videos :-) You can control the amount of sodium by how long you leave it in the fridge before cooking. A little bit of course adds a lot of flavour, and we do all need some sodium in our diets. It is just that most people get too much (because they eat too many pre-packaged foods). I’m surprised to hear you are worried about sodium because you do not seem to me to be someone who eats a lot of packaged foods, so where would it all be coming from?

Speaking of bacon, we had our first Bacon Makin’ Party yesterday, and I’m currently editing the video for it. In the meantime, here are some pics of bacon with 3 hours of applewood smoke. This is definitely not low sodium!!! But, everything in moderation. My wife is actually under doctor’s orders to get more sodium in her diet, believe it or not. Speaking of deli meats and such, after trying my luncheon meat ham she ordered me to make pastrami – so that is coming up sometime soon :-P

Oh, and back on topic – I agree with the “keep on trying” comment. It has worked with our boys with quite a few different things. It also helps to use “gateway cooking methods”. i.e. if they do not like food X when cooked with method A, then pick a different cooking method B even if it is not as healthy. As long as they like other stuff cooked by method B, you might be able to use it as a “gateway” to the new food. Then once they like the new food, you might be able to switch to a healthier way to cook it. This has worked with us with a few foods/methods.

2 | victoria weiss

July 19th, 2010 at 5:59 pm


I dont buy meat for our house. So we rely on Yves Veggie EVERYTHING…veggie hot dogs, veggie salami, veggie chicken, veggie burgers. You name it. I use to by 10 packets a week.
Then I became aware of sodium and the stuff thats in it.
Now Im down to 2 packets a week.
For some reason, I too have become aware of sodium levels.
As they saying goes…try to shop on the end aisles of your grocery store. Fresh Fruit, Fresh Veggies, Frozen, Dairy.
Cheers for your attempt to feed your family healthier food options.

3 | Finola

July 19th, 2010 at 7:06 pm


During the winter we were cooking a roast pork or beef on Sundays and then using the meat from that over the week. It’s super quick and easy to prepare, slice and store. Maybe if you cut it thin enough they will think it’s from the deli??

4 | bushidoka

July 19th, 2010 at 7:16 pm


Further to the “keep trying” tip – I was just now reminded by my wife of a nifty example. Today she was a friend’s with 2 of our kids, and our 6 year old asked for juice. He then proceeded to explain that he only wanted it filled up “to here” (about 1/3) with juice, and he wanted to add water the rest of the way up. And when it was given to him it was still too juicy for him.

When we first started watering down the boys’ juice, they would go BALLISTIC if they caught us doing it. Now it is their drink of choice!

5 | Miss Vicky

July 19th, 2010 at 8:43 pm


we get deli meat from Sasloves – smoked turkey, nitrate and hormone-free ham, salami, bison salami. It’s pretty tasty. I don’t know about the sodium content, but it’s got to be better than the packaged stuff, and I like that a lot of it is nitrate free.

6 | bushidoka

July 20th, 2010 at 6:26 am


I was wondering if Sasloves had better cold cuts. I don’t get in there nearly often enough since we buy our meat a few hundred pounds at a time.

I see that Maple Leaf also has the new “Natural Selections” with no nitrites/nitrates. But honestly, they were having a hard enough time keeping it clean with the nitrites (which is what they are used for). Not sure I’d trust them without.

comment form:


Have a great summer at Saunders Farm!

Mrs Tiggywinkle's - the best toy store in Ottawa

Click me!


Stay in touch

Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (18) and Sarah (16). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


E-book alert!

Shopping Embargo e-book promo

My right hand is actually a camera

Connect with me at these places too!

Piper is on Instagram

On the nightstand

All hail the mighty Twitter