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.
1) 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.
2) Take it slow.
Ease into the transition, one food at a time. Sneak in the good stuff. 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.
*Then, replace foods like pre-made chicken nuggets or fish sticks with homemade ones. Dip the chicken pieces in milk, egg, and roll in your new flour choice. Fry them in olive or coconut oil with a dash of sea salt.
*Next, substitute your regular rice and pasta choices, with an organic, healthier variety using brown rice, gluten free, and even quinoa.
3) Talk about healthy foods.
Let it become part of life in your home. *Include such aspects as exercising and drinking water.
*Find some books at the library about how to eat healthier, and set up a play grocery store at home (click on each picture in this post for some grocery store games). Get them involved in growing a garden.
*Take your kids to the produce section of the store, and let them choose one fruit or vegetable for their very own. Let them choose a snack from the bulk bins.
*Raise some chickens or goats.
*Get them in the kitchen with you to make snacks, or help with meal preparation. Make your own crockpot yogurt or even yogurt cheese.
I guess what it really comes down to is a lifestyle choice.
The older kids are more resistant, because, well, we have taught them differently. But, that doesn’t mean that we can’t change them. The younger kids tend to charge right in and want to help out. In the end, Mom wins if you are persistent like I was.
My own teenage son? Well, at first, he dragged his feet, but it was all we had to eat, so he grumbled. But, then, as his body began to heal from food allergies, he stopped complaining so much. He still goes to his youth groups and activities, eating the “other people” food, but inevitably, he comes back sick…Eventually, he is going to come back around to eating healthy!
Blessings to you and your family~Kim
Blessings to Far Above Rubies, A Bowl Full of Lemons, The Prairie Homestead, Homestead Revival, and New Life on a Homestead for the link-ups!