Honey, I Poisoned the Kids

He died, nevertheless.

 Last week in Vacation Bible School (or "Vacation Bible Adventure" as my church called it), I got to play King Artaxerxes, a powerful Babylonian ruler for whom job perks included a Royal Taster--someone who had to taste all his food and wine for poison before it passed ye olde royal lips. I imagine, as old-time-y jobs went, Royal Taster was a great one, until the day it wasn't.

Nowadays we all are on our own, foodwise. We barrel into our meals and snacks and take our chances. But the recent, horrible story of food poisoning at a school in India makes me wish we still had Royal Tasters for our children. Bad substances in our food supply affect adults as well, but children's smaller bodies suffer greater effects. In our country we've been spared mass poisonings like this for at least a century, but every year brings reports of both children and adults getting sick from bad burgers, bad spinach, bad tomatoes, bad you-name-it. As our food becomes more remote in its origins and more processed in its journey to our mouths, the chances for something to go awry increase.

I've been thinking about this as my kids are in the throes of swim team champs meets, and everyone I talk to has kids in soccer and basketball tournaments. In our zeal to keep their energy up, we ply them with snacks and drinks, some better than others. The Livestrong website suggests the following snack groups around swimmers' sporting events, and I suspect they'd apply for other athletes, too. In every case, you can find these things at the Market, and be assured of getting all the good out of them, without the additives, preservatives, artifical colors, or artificial anything. Just as importantly, you can talk to our farmers and vendors about how they grew or sourced their ingredients. Knowledge is power.

Anyhow, on to our Perfect Market Snacks for Athletes!


Oh, baby, has the Market got fruit. Don't miss these next couple weeks, when we have cherries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, apricots, apriums, and the first fresh blueberries of the season! Quick hits of energy, Nature's style. Not to mention, we just ate our last frozen pie from 2012, and my husband told me to get tons of blueberries for the 2013 batch. Woo hoo!


Dang it. I was going to take a picture of my Skagit River Ranch beef jerky and Loki salmon jerky before we ate them, but then we ate them. In any case, here's a thumbnail. Samish Bay also has pepperoni sticks. If you prefer to get your protein from nuts, we have fresh roasted peanuts at Alvarez and all flavors of hazelnuts at Holmquist.


Almost worth taking up a sport, so you can eat all you want

 I hardly need to tell you, the Market has the best carbs on the planet. Artisan breads, soft pretzels, pastries, cookies...

Hydration, hydration, hydration. Skip the nasty Gatorade, with its fake-y colors and year's worth of sweeteners. Skip the sodas because caffeine and carbonation dehydrate. Water is best, of course, but sometimes it's not super tempting. How about some cider?

Put it in a thermos with ice, and you're good to go.
For the more industrious of you, you could always fill the thermos with a homemade smoothie. (Try this one from my earlier post.)

That's it! So load up this Thursday and Saturday, and go for the gold.