About the project:
We are doing a learning experiment for one month where I (Asante) will buy and prepare my own food. My weekly budget is $40. I may only use some of the rest of the family’s food if I ask first or trade.

My Thoughts:
This week was the first week going into this project so I didn’t really know what to get. Since I didn’t know what to get I feel like I got too many veggies and fruits so I didn’t have enough quick-snack  foods. I had to cook a lot of the stuff I got. I almost survived on bagels and cream cheese. I had one every day for breakfast and some even for dinner. I also ate a lot of pasta. I had pasta with butter for 2 nights. I didn’t really cook many veggies because I was so tired at night. For lunch I just got a school lunch except for Sunday and Saturday. On Sunday I munched on bread all day. One of my dinners I had a roasted kale salad recipe I came up with a while back (posted below) which was pretty good. One of my other dinners my mom didn’t have ingredients for a salmon croquettes so I let her use some of my ingredients in exchange for me getting to eat some. On Thursday I went out to eat with my grandma and ate a bunch of things with meat, and now my stomach is kind of hurting. I learned that I need to balance out my veggies with the carbs like pasta and bread, but it is not always easy to prepare good food when I am tired after school. Next week I think I will get more snack foods and less veggies and fruits.

That’s it see you next week.

Mom’s thoughts:
I heard about doing something like this from a friend of mine who was doing it with her family, and enjoying it. When we first decided to do this, I had no idea how it would work out, but thought it would be a great way for my son to learn about the cost of food, nutrition, and  food preparation, as well as expand on his passion of cooking and give him some new skills. The budget of $40 is the actual weekly amount per person of our food budget for a family of four, so I thought it would give him some perspective on some aspects around food that he hasn’t had to think much about, like how to plan good food for every meal with that amount of money. It will also be a good lesson on what it is like to have to cook and prepare the food all the time. I am pretty confident in his cooking skills, and so have been looking forward to seeing what he comes up with for his meals. He has free rein on his food choices and what he decides to cook or eat. I will, however, be talking to him about nutrition, and maybe giving him some pointers or suggestions for good nutritional balance, etc.

For his first shopping trip, he rode his scooter to the store, and I picked him up. I had to smile when I saw him carrying bags full of fruits and vegetables:) He was very thoughtful and careful with his shopping and came home with absolutely no junk food (unless you count bagels and cream cheese, but not when your that age.) He got apples, bananas, avocado, kale, broccoli, carrots, green beans, onion, cheese, bread, pasta, bagels and cream cheese, and a few baking supplies like flour, salt and sugar. I was quite interested to see how he did with all these foods that needed to be prepared, considering he loves to snack on chips, crackers, and cookies, but I didn’t say anything. He did well with not asking me for food (I didn’t really have anything in the house much he likes anyway), and started off well, making his delicious kale salad and biscuits, but I noticed as the week went on he got tired or lazy and didn’t cook as much. I understand this, as the same thing happens to me. I get tired of having to cook every single night, even after a long day. He started eating the quick things like bread and pasta. He did eat more fruits for snacks, which I thought was good, but he said he felt like it wasn’t enough. I think he was happy when I offered to cook in exchange for using some of his food. It is nice to have a break from having it all on you, and to have some community around food. I think overall, the week went well. We will see how he does next week…I have a feeling he will be opting for a bit more junk food, but we will see. I will continue to encourage him to cook balanced, healthy meals, and to think outside the box and put his creativity and joy to work. I am having fun doing this project with him, and am learning a lot about my own thoughts on food along the way 🙂


Roasted kale salad



1-10 you need 1 clove 10-20 2 cloves so on and so on garlic




bell peppers

a pinch of cumin

ground ginger


ume plum vinegar



garlic powder

olive oil

First you put in Olive oil than put in carrots celery cilantro bell peppers garlic onion than put in kale than you put in spices than before you heat toss in olive oil. heat two minutes then add ume and toss. heat until kale gets heavy enjoy!

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