Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Christmas Food Traditions (Or Why We Eat Carnitas at Christmas)

My husband read that title and said, "Because they're good." True, but not quite where I was going with this post. 

Traditional holiday food is turkey and ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, deviled eggs, and desserts. Along with other items that vary by family and region. These dishes are all high in protein. (Seriously, count the protein in your food one day. It's a little shocking.) That means Micah can't eat them and there aren't many low-protein substitutes for turkey. 

So we have carnitas. Of course, the pork is high in protein as well. But the whole meal involves rice, refried beans, tortillas, pico de gallo, avocado, lettuce, cheese, etc.  Micah has a veggie mix in place of the pork and quite happily eats quite a few of the sides. 

Photo: Merry Christmas to me!  Homemade carnitas with all the fixings. Lisa is the best cook ever.

Traditions are great- until they don't work for your family. We don't like having meals that aren't adaptable for Micah, especially the ones that contain so many memories. I don't know how Micah will react to his metabolic disorder at any of the stages of his life besides this one. But I don't want to unnecessarily draw attention to the fact that he can't eat all the same things we do. I want our meals and traditions to be happy memories for him as well as everyone else. 

That's what you do for your children, for your family. You change. You grow to serve them. Having children changes your life. You don't have them to be happy or fulfill your own emotional needs. If God blesses you with children, you are to assist in raising God's children. Is there any greater honor? Is that not worth any sacrifice? (Not that carnitas are a sacrifice.)

Yea, that's the kid I'm talking about :) 

So we changed our tradition. We changed it to something we felt would better serve our family. And we are quite happy with it. We love carnitas and I hope it's a fun tradition we can continue for many years to come. Perhaps even when grandchildren are gathered around our table. 

What about you? Have you changed any traditions for your family? 


  1. They look delicious! So glad they are something sweet Micah can eat!