Growing Bodies & Growing Minds need Growing Food!
That’s what I’ve been teaching my little girls since their first bite of solid food.
Oh, how simple were the days when breast milk was the liquid gold by which my little babies thrived and blossomed. Having breastfed each of my baby girls, for as long as they would have me, I knew that the next phase of nutritious life, the solid food stage, would be progressively challenging.
Early on, I was gung ho to ensure that I was armed and ready for the onslaught of fast food, dye laden, sugar coated and preservative wrought offerings that were inevitably bombarding every supermarket and fast food restaurant.
I bought a food processor, steamer, mini glass jars, ice cube trays and organic produce and went into the business of home food manufacturing! Right from the start, my girls were introduced to pure, simple and unadulterated food. They loved it!
As they got older they wanted to be included in the preparation of the foods they had grown to love. It was the beginning of instilling healthy eating habits.
Since those early days, eating healthy, growing food has become a way of life. Here are some of the ways in which healthy eating has become a life style for our family:
Meals are pre-planned, prepared and eaten with care and thought. The girls help me make our weekly meal menu on Sundays and shop with me to choose ingredients. As I said in my previous blog “Not all calories are created equal” we try to stick with meals that include 5 ingredients or less.
We eat while seated at a table or on a blanket on the lawn. There’s no such thing as walking around the house with food in our mouths. To create lifelong healthy eating habits making a time and a place for eating is just as important as the food that is consumed.
The girls are given options from which they can make their food selection choices, so that each feels empowered in her quest to build a healthy body.
We make trips to the farmers’ market and try samples of fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables and other super food products! (There we have discovered my oldest daughter loves olives, and middle daughter loves peppers!)
We encourage our children to feel excited about feeding their bodies the growing food that provides amazing energy to do everything they love to do.
When we see sugar treats, that we’d like to eat, we brainstorm ways in which we can make them using healthy, bodybuilding ingredients.
We have a rainbow chart and with every color food eaten, we color in that part of the rainbow
Healthy snacks are always available to my girls, including apples with almond butter, nuts, raw vegetables with hummus and seaweed to name a few.
- We have recipe sessions where the girls come up with ingredients for a new smoothie recipe or a new protein bar treat. Then we try out the recipes.
We aren’t perfect, but we sure are striving, against mighty odds, to build powerful and life sustaining healthy habits in a world that serves up Mickey Mouse pancakes with whip cream and chocolate chips for breakfast, lollipops for every child’s whim and aisles of cereal that have more colors than exist in a rainbow.