only main cook in our house, all the eating decisions come down this mama right here. Whatever I decide I’m putting on the stove, in the oven, or crockpot is what’s going on the table. That’s why more and more often these days I feel a growing tinge of guilt when I make food that I know isn’t good for us. You see, ignorance is bliss and it’s one thing when you’re whipping up meals that taste good and you don’t know (or can’t help, no food shaming over here) that they’re bad. But when you start to flip over those packages, realize you can’t read a thing, and have every ability to do something different…it’s time to make some changes.
To be real, these horrible eating habits didn’t randomly appear overnight. It’s not something I was oblivious to for years. The truth is that, we’ve eaten fast food, processed food, fatty and sugary foods for a really long time. And changing the way we eat has always seemed like this daunting task that I couldn’t wrap my head around. I would creep on all the healthy food blogs and wish that I could start to make some adjustments in our meals but would then think of my picky toddler who eats maybe 3 kinds of food. My 7 year old who might eat 4. Or my husband who just likes what he likes…and these new recipes didn’t seem like they could be it. So what’s a mom to do you know? On one hand I know that we’ve got to do something different in the kitchen. On the other it’s like, where do I even begin without causing madness in my home?
Well…I’ve got to start somewhere.
- Eat more whole foods. And no I’m not talking about that expensive grocery store, I mean just everyday whole foods I can get at my local market. That means less processed foods or ready made things. Just good old regular foods that have ingredients I can read or better yet no ingredients at all because, they’re whole foods. I’ve been lowkey debating doing a Whole30 in September but honestly not ready to take on that kinda change just yet. We shall see but for now, this is a great start.
Less bad snacks and more good ones. My kids love snacks. Especially the little one. And of course due to some serious spoiling by the Mr. who is just as addicted to snacks as his Jr., we’ve found ourselves in the pretty nasty habit of buying and eating way to many unhealthy snacks. Now, mama has to keep her sanity some kind of way and if we’re being honest, it’s not the snacks that are bad. It’s the kind of snacks that cause the problems. Instead of buying a bunch of sweets and treats it’ll be more fruits and healthy things. I need to figure out exactly what those are because they’ve done cookies and chips for so long, I don’t even know where to begin. Time to put that popcorn machine we got for Christmas to use!
3. Buy organic where I can. As of late I’ve been making a real effort to buy as many organic fruits, veggies, and meats where I can. The truth of the matter (welcoming all suggestions for a frugal organic blogger with a large family to point me to) is that organic foods aren’t cheap. And when you’re feeding three growing boys–one that eats like an adult–and an athletic husband who needs well rounded meals…let’s just say I’m barely keeping up with non-organic foods. I try not to be too nitpicky. I don’t need organic linguine. But if I can stick to the biggies, I feel okay.
- Meal prep! I’ve been using my new planner to add in our dinners every night and it has definitely helped with meal planning. But the plan is just half the battle. One of the most common reasons you might find us in a drive thru or eating chicken patties is because I didn’t prep the meal, got busy, or simply didn’t have the time. Meal prepping at the beginning of week is really helpful to ensure I’m not running into these moments. I started by prepping a few lunches for the hubs. Nothing major but making and freezing a few hamburger patties (made with organic beef and eggs) on Sunday cut down on him eating fast food throughout the week.
Make it a family affair. The kids eat when they help make food. I learned this one Taco Tuesday where the picky 7 year old who declared he would never like tacos changed his tune when it came to making tacos for himself. All I did was cook, the meat and set up a station of toppings, and that took him from “I don’t like tacos” to “my taco is great!”. If I’m going to be switching things around here I want the family to feel involved as well. Whether that’s letting them choose which healthy snacks they want to helping cook or prepare our meals.
My goal is to really just introduce my family to foods that are better for them overall. I’m not trying to be a vegetarian. I don’t want to cut out all the sugars, spice, and everything nice. I just want to make eating good a regular thing over here in my kitchen :).
And with that, I’m off to the blogs. Wish me luck. ~ xoxo