Wednesday, October 14

Food for Thought

There is nothing like being entrusted with a little blessing to make you stop. and think. about a lot of things! Would I watch this if my child was here? Would I say this if he could understand me? And, today's big question, would I allow my child to eat this?!!

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I began giving our diet a little make-over a couple of years ago. (I had to do it subtly so Andrew wouldn't find out) :) :) I don't think we ate terrible before that, but I found making a few small changes could make a big difference!
I think it seriously began the year before we were thinking of
starting a family. I first got this book, Eating Well When You're Expecting, from the library, and then bought it for myself. (I also had to remember to hide it when anyone came over) :) :) And while it is geared towards pregnancy, it is absolutely applicable to everyone and I highly recommend it as a good nutrition guide. It's loaded with recipes as well.
The first small changes I tried to make was switching to whole-wheat pastas & brown rice, always using whole-grain bread, steering away as much as possible from processed foods & high-fructose corn syrup, and getting our 5+ servings of fruits & veggies each day (which my budget doesn't always allow to happen!) I love to bake, but I try to incorporate a fruit or vegetable as well as oats or wheat flour as much as possible, making things like
pumpkin muffins, cherry cobbler or carrot cake. Now for those thinking, oh, she must be one of those nut jobs!! I wish I were worthy of the title. But alas...you will find ice cream in my freezer, an occasional soda in my fridge, and a stash of chocolate for EMERGENCY situations! We also are absolutely not picky when it comes to eating with others. We have no problem eating whatever is served! We LOVE pizza and probably could eat it 2 or 3 times a week! Now I know it's usually considered a "junk food", however, when I have a freshly-made whole wheat crust and pile it with tomatoes, green peppers, & onions, I do NOT consider it bad for us! In fact, I think it's quite healthy! Am I wrong??! I also try to keep the hubby happy and if he wants a double-chocolate peanut butter delight...well, sometimes it's good to indulge him! Sometimes.
Now I try to make as much as possible from scratch and read labels before I purchase. I admit it makes me stinkin' mad that whole-grain bread is more expensive than white, and you can purchase a box of Little Debbie's (bad snack) for $1 and a bag of granola (good snack) for $3! %^#@!$*&
One of the sneakiest culprits is juice. While the label screams 100% (vitamin C) and looks like the best stuff in the world for you, the 2nd ingredient is often high fructose corn syrup! Oh, those tricksters!
My little guy is just getting to the age where he is starting to eat some of our table foods. Oh, this is going to make making baby food so much easier!
I love it and he loves it! He loves food. This is his typical pose when waiting for food - arms out, legs out, mouth open!
Now I'm getting even more particular! I would love for him not to have soda or a potato chip until he's 5, though I doubt that will happen. :) In fact, I'll probably be the one who gives it to him!
But I am definitely feeling the responsibility of setting him on a path of good nutrition at an early age!
Any particular tips as he begins eating a more expanded diet?

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This book, The Baby Food Bible, is another goody from the library from which I've learned a lot.
She does tell you which particular fruits & vegetables should especially be organic for babies. And... it's MOST of them! While I would love to do that, I don't know if my budget can handle it! Does anyone else go by these "rules" and is it imperative that I do as well?

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Each family is different. What works for me might not work for you and vice-versa. As a SAHM I have the luxury of food prep being a part of my "job"! For a woman juggling a 40 hour work week, or going to school, or a newborn or multiple children, you have to do whatever works for you. I have been there and KNOW (at least for me!) it did not include made-from-scratch dinners every night! Does a can of biscuits popped in the oven count as fresh-baked?? Absolutely!!
I think it's all about moderation & making as many good choices as possible whenever you can!
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So tell me, are there little "tweaks" that you have found made a big difference in your family's eating habits?
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Now...where's that candy I stashed? :)

4 comments:

Seth & Bethany Heijermans said...

Kelly-I really appreciate your post and that you realize that everyone is different (I agree with you on the pizza and the biscuits! : ) One change I've made is throwing ground flax seed or wheat germ into random things (smoothies or sauces) and using part yogurt or applesauces instead of or for part of the oil for baking. Maybe you already know these...thanks for all the tips!!!

Anneke said...

Great post! And I'm right there with you! Right now I'm working on the rice switch...Izaak's not too thrilled. :)
Have you seen the cookbook Deceptively Delicious? It has tons of good ideas for adding good stuff in places you wouldn't expect and had lots of "healthified" stuff. I've also learned this year that it's not worth it for us to be as tight as we possibly can on our food budget, and a lot of coupons are for food I wouldn't buy anyway. My boys (hubby included) need good food, even if that means I have to spend a little more. However, I haven't moved into organics, yet. We have switched to using ground pork/chicken instead of beef - but Izaak does get his occasional steak or beef tacos sometimes, too. :) I'm interested to check out that baby diet book.
Thanks for the tips, and good luck! :)

Deborah said...

Great post! (I found out about you through Mama Bzz.)

As mentioned in the first comment, I try to include wheat germ and (whole ground) flaxseed (a tip I learned from "What to Expect When You're Expecting") especially in breads and (the occasionally made) cookies! (You can see my "secret" recipe for those on my blog:
http://b1g1bargainsblessingsbananas.blogspot.com/2009/10/recipe-for-chocolate-chip-oatmeal.html)

I agree that the biggest key is moderation, balancing the "best" (aka organic) with the budget. One of my hard and fast rules is NO hydrogenated oils! We use olive oil and real butter (stocking up when there are B1G1 sales and coupons!). We make it work by rarely eating deep fried foods and rarely buttering bread.

My little girl eats well! She eats "everything" we eat and even loves falafel, hummus, kalamata olives, and especially plain white (homemade) yogurt! (That recipe is also on my blog.) I think the real key to her eating so well is that she "never" eats candy! Her average (and ours now!) is probably once or twice per week as a treat... (We, too, have a stash hidden away! It's hard to pass up when it's free or almost free, eh?!)

Thanks again for a great post!

Sharon said...

This is such a great philosophy! Good for you (and pizza is definitely NOT junk food when you make it like that!)

BTW, i feed our son what we eat in pureed form. It works great.