Not so long ago, my sons and I were going through the grocery store check out, when the lady stopped bagging my groceries and said, “Your kids eat this?” Her surprise registered on her face. That day, I purchased many fruits and vegetables, including one spaghetti squash, which she held in her hands. I laughed,because yes, of course, they do, and I told her this. My oldest shrugged as if it was not big deal, and really, given where we came from in our diet, they were good. I taught them to eat healthier.
Has it always been this way? Well, no. Have there been times when my oldest, in particular, went out of the house and found out what he was “missing”? Yes! But, if you are a mom to teens, you know, we can’t control that. But, in our house, we do eat this way, and yes, they do learn to accept it! This incident struck me at the time, because I had not realized that our diet had changed so much from the American norm.
Before our healing food journey started, we ate some fast food, but I did not shrink back from milk products with hormones, white flour products, and yes, even foods that contained high fructose corn syrup.
But, We. Had. To change. Our diet.
We were spending an astronomical amount of money on health care, and no one was really getting well. Add my special needs son’s issues, and well, you either break the bank paying for his medical care, or you find healthy ways to eat. It did make a miraculous difference in his health, despite the initial protests.
That may be your family today…I know it was not easy for us to change, particularly my oldest son, who had grown up on all of this “wholesome” processed food. This time of year is the world’s worst to change your diet, particularly if you get off the gluten. But, I guarantee this. If you jump hoops to change your family’s diet, despite the protests you will find the following benefits:
Everyone will feel better.
The kids will be less cranky and cantankerous
Your family will be and eat healthier.
You will make fewer trips to the doctor.
Your family will have much more productive energy.
You will think better, and need less coffee;-)
With all of the junk foods out there today, getting kids to eat healthy can be a trick for all of us. In fact, many kids associate the term “healthy food” with something yucky. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t change your kids’ minds about healthy foods and get them to enjoy eating healthy. I know that I did mine. My youngest thinks unhealthy food is bad, but my oldest thinks my healthy ideas are a trick to get him to eat healthier;-) He’s right! But, that doesn’t mean, I am going to stop serving healthy.
So, how did I do it? Well, below are some tips to getting you started.
Hide the vegetables
*Add organic pumpkin puree or shredded squash to soups and crock pot meals.
*Throw in a few veggies with the meatloaf, the spaghetti sauce, or cheese sauce.
*Finely chop or process in the food processor, vegetables, to add to soups, stews or even pizza.
Make food fun!
Use your Mama creativity and arrange vegetables into cute faces. Add dips and sauces the kids like. Make animal whole grain pancakes. Anything that will get them eating good food and thinking it is fun.
Take it one step at a time.
Ease into the transition, one food at a time. Sneak in the good stuff and gradually change your family’s lifestyle. Gradually work the changes in one step at a time, and they will hardly notice! For example:
*First, switch out the white flour with organic whole wheat flour, or any organic gluten free flour of your choice.
*Add stevia, honey or maple syrup in place of sugar
*Make up a colorful stir fry with baby corn and other vegetables that catch their attention.
*Make homemade goodies for snacks and let them help you.
Talk about how to be healthy
Take steps to live a healthy lifestyle and talk about it with your kids. Set a good role model for them, and maybe even add how much better you feel when you eat right, exercise and drink water.
*Take outdoor walks and take water bottles for everyone.
*Grow a garden and get the kids involved.
*Let your kids help you pick out produce in the grocery store or locate healthy items on the shelves.
*Raise some chickens for eggs.
*Get your kids helping you in the kitchen.
When mom leads the rest will follow.
When I stepped out into a healthier lifestyle, they complained. They wanted chips and other sugary snack foods, but I insisted. Everyone was too sick or agitated. I knew that something had to change.
Your older kids may be more resistant, because, well, we have taught them differently. But, that doesn’t mean that we can’t change them. The younger kids may charge right in and want to help out. In the end, Mom wins if you are persistent like I was. Don’t let them stop you. Eventually, if all you have in your home is healthy food, then they will eat it.