I recently took a look at what my family is eating, and realized there is entirely too much processed food. My three boys’ regular snacks include such kid friendly staples as prepackaged little cracker sticks, goldfish crackers, fruit snacks and the occasional piece of fruit or carrots. Their meals (especially lunch) include a loose revolving schedule or macaroni and cheese, hotdogs, chicken nuggets, spaghetti o’s and lunch meat sandwiches. And a large part of why they eat this way (apart from the fact that they will actually eat these things) is the fact that these foods are EASY.
I am a stay at home mom, but I also do freelance graphic design from home. The three boys are 1, 3 and 5, so our house is full of chaos. I know how to cook (and even consider myself to be pretty decent at it), but a lot of times, it isn’t really feasible to take the time to cook something homemade – especially for breakfast or lunch. And even if I did, which I usually do for dinner, odds are that at least one of the three wouldn’t be willing to eat whatever it is.
There are all kinds of blogs and books and the like out there with “kid friendly” recipes that show things like these beautiful quesadillas filled with vegetables. Or really yummy looking pasta dinners with some sort of sauce and again, lots of very visible veggies. Anytime I look at these, I think to myself – do other people’s kids actually regularly eat all these vegetables and interesting foods? I know my kids are picky and have very bland tastes. One won’t really eat most sauces, another won’t do meat that isn’t in some sort of mushed up capacity, and the third will only eat vegetables if they are carrots. This is most likely my fault for catering to these food preferences, but nonetheless, there it is.
There are also all kinds of blogs and books and the like that talk about how to get rid of processed food and the importance of eating real food. I love these. They’re very inspirational. But in some ways, they’re also a little unrealistic (at least for me and my family) as they pretty much completely eliminate ALL processed foods, and revolve around often very pricey organic foods. Also, there’s the time factor. (Have I mentioned the chaos at my house?)
So what is the point of all this? The point is I’m going to attempt to take at least some of the processed food out of my family’s diet. I’m not going to be militant about it. But I’m going to make changes where I think I can and hopefully make my family eat a little healthier along the way. And I’m going to write about that process in hopes that it will help keep me going on it. So there you have it.
Check out our next installment to see how my homemade chicken nuggets go over…