…..if so, prepare for them to behave badly, get sick quicker, stay sick longer, sleep less and quite possibly be overweight, which is not normal for a child. (cover photo credit)
I confess, I used to fall into the trap of feeding my kids garbage convenience food from time to time. Thankfully, I wised up and chose to act on my instinct that processed crapola just wasn’t actually gonna nourish them. Sure, it would fill their bellies and take care of a practical aspect of life, which is feeding them a meal 3 times a day. However, is it really okay to think that just filling their bellies with any old thing is acceptable. Are we truly caring for our children when we go through that drive through window one, two or 3 times per week. Not to mention the school lunches and portable packaged snacks that we consider food, and for a growing body no less. What we have come to consider food in this day and age is rather alarming to me. Do we even know what real food looks like or is anymore? I’m am not trying to lay down a guilt trip on anyone, or judge anyone for that matter, cause I’ve been there done that, but I just want to raise awareness by asking these questions!
I work very hard to feed my kids a nourishing diet, and believe me when I say very hard! It’s like a fish trying to swim upstream to feed your kids healthy these days. Everywhere you turn there is an opportunity for kids to be offered something that is considered a treat, yet is detrimental to the well being of a child. For example, consider the recent holiday of Valentine’s Day. If your kids are in school, you can bet they are gonna get bombard with gobs of candy. Not just any candy mind you, but tons of RED candy. Do we not realize that this means RED FOOD DYE? I suspect most parents don’t even know, or have never researched the detriments of this horrific substance. If your child has ADD or ADHD you most likely have been informed of the hazards of it, but what about the rest of the parents out there? And if you were to try to keep your kids from being given candy at school, #1 your kid would think you were cruel and #2 the other parents and teachers would either be inconvenienced in some way or annoyed. This is the world we live in. For those of us who want to consciously steward our bodies and our kids bodies, we are considered freakish at best.
So how to handle this complicated battle of convenience food vs. nourishing foods? Is there a happy medium? I am finding that I have to fight this battle on my own anymore. I certainly do not want to alienate people in the process or be offensive, but I find it offensive that my kids teachers hand out candy without asking me first, or they go to a friend’s house whose parents then allow them to have Mountain Dew. I find it offensive that people don’t care enough in general to care for kids through nourishment and that often times convenience and costs trump genuine good health. I certainly can’t assume everyone will want to jump into the deep end of the pool and start taking cod liver oil and making sure their kids get liver once a week, but the junk food thing really pisses me off to be quite frank. And it’s not so much any one person I am mad at, it’s the world at large. How did we get to this point we were are inundated with complete garbage posing as food at every turn? Is convenience food even really convenient? Convenience/junk food only serves one purpose to quickly fill your belly, nothing more. Then once you have consumed said food you are putting your body in jeopardy for illness, because not only have you just consumed something that contains NO nourishment whatsoever, it does contain ingredients that are detrimental to your health. So we do this all in the name of cost and time, yet in the long run we are shooting ourselves in the foot. It is costly to be sick, not only financially but emotionally and time wise as well. My current solution is to not just go with the flow and give up hope that I can nourish my kids, nor is it to run away and bury my head in the sand, but to one day at a time educate my own kids about true nourishment. I can’t make choices for them all the time, but I can equip them with understanding and knowledge of how to care for their own bodies by what they eat. I also do not allow junk food in my home and discourage them from eating it when out. It doesn’t always work when they are not in my care, but they usually feel gross and act badly and are starting to realize it. I have also made concessions and came up with healthier alternatives to their beloved junk food favorites. We can still enjoy cake, candy, soda and ice cream that is simply homemade and made from REAL food ingredients. It’s not impossible to do folks and my hope is that they will lose their taste for the synthetic stuff posing as food and opt for the real deal.
How about you, what frustrates you about trying to consume real food in a junk food driven culture? How do you realistically tackle nourishing your kids these days? Are you stuck in a junk food mode and need help getting out, share your frustrations in the comments………….
Do you have any tried and true real food/kid friendly recipes you would like to share? Feel free to post them in the comments…
This post contributed to Real Food Wednesdays.