Food, God placed it here on earth for nourishment and joy. I feel fortunate in the fact that my parents and Grandmother raised myself and my siblings with whole foods. As a child I had a great diet as they did not believe in opening packages, cans, bottles and serving food to us via microwave. They believed in growing gardens, baking bread, raising chickens and bees. I am not saying there was not a time in my life where I did not eat junk food. I did, I even had a few cans of soda! But because clean eating was instilled in me as a child, it was easy to come back to it and understand the nourishment part of it. As I said in my book, Through The Eyes Of A Master, not everyone was raised in that type of environment. Relax, it does not have to be overwhelming which can lead to failure. There are steps to take with the entire family that can bring clean eating into your family with JOY and NOURISHMENT!
I have been reminded of this myself this week as I have been watching the free Thriving Child Summit. Even though my children are grown and out of the household, my husband and I have many Grandchildren that we spend time with occasionally. Just like my Grandmother did with me, I want to help instill in them to make healthy choices along with their own parents. Since I am living this lifestyle, it is easy for me to make it a family affair. I would like to share some of my own ideas as well as some of the new ideas I learnt through the Thriving Child Summit.
When shopping for your fresh food, take the kids along. It is never too early to start teaching them to shop for healthy foods. There are so many ways to teach them to shop. We have a organic farm close to the house that we can take our Grandchildren and their parents to when they are here visiting us. It is always fun watching their reactions when they see all the fresh vegetables and fruit displayed. The kids eyes get so big and they just want to help. I like going to the farm with the kids because there is not any junk food for the kids to be tempted with. When taking them to the grocery store, I think it's a good idea to have a list and plan to follow to avoid all the junk at the grocery store. If you have that plan, you can just hit the isles that you need to hit and skip the others. If you do stumble on food that is not on your list and your child is begging for a bag of Doritos which is loaded with chemicals and dyes, you can ask them if the food will nourish them? Teach them and yourself how to read that labels. If you have done your homework with them prior, they will understand what nourishment means and hopefully YOU will stand your ground and only buy nourishing items that will bring joy as well. Farmers markets can also be a great way to shop for healthy food choices. Kids love going to Farmers markets. I also prefer to go to health food type store markets. They can be abit pricey but they too will provide many healthy choices and often offer free snacks and samples which the kids love. You can even order some things off the internet and involve a child while placing your order. I order my organic turmeric and ginger from Amazon when I am not growing it myself. Kids love it when packages come to the door. Love opening my funny looking ginger and turmeric when the kids are here, WHOA, Nana is serious I can hear them now, lol! Seriously make shopping with your family a fun and learning adventure for them. Think of it as instilling health into their future and their future generations to come. Make a difference in your role modeling.
I love the idea of involving the family with making the meals. Everyone can have a job. It is a way to bring the family together to spend time cooking and eating. It is a way to teach young children how to prepare fresh food hopefully for the rest of their lives. I love it when I see athletes and their families meal prepping for the whole week on social media. They obviously made eating healthy a priority and they had the spare time to post it, amazing! It has to be a priority or it will not happen. When those kids are at school, it has to mean so much more to them, knowing they had a part of putting that together. It will be much easier for them to focus and sit in their seats when they are eating healthy. As you are cooking and preparing, it is also a great time to educate them on the nourishment part of the meal. Teach them why you are juicing all these fresh organic vegetables and not opening bags of unnourishing foods. I love the thought that they too can actually be explaining to a fellow student why they are eating carrot and cucumber sticks with fresh hummus rather than a bag of chips or a cookie.
You might be asking yourself how can I take my family from a standard American diet to clean whole food eating. I really feel it is not something you cannot do overnight but some people do better that way-cold turkey. The one complaint I hear all the time is cost! Before I touch on price point, I think it is important to discuss a good plan on the steps to take converting to a clean diet. I think starting with one meal per day is a great place to start. Breakfast is the meal I would pick to start eating clean. Trade that bowl of cereal and milk or pop tarts in for healthy choices. Balance it out with healthy fat, protein and some carbs. Start your day like that and you might be surprised at how full you feel and how long it lasts. Once you have breakfast down, you can pick another meal to change out to a healthier version. You can start adding in family walks after dinner rather than computers, games and social media. Just making these simple changes have drastic changes on your health in so many ways. Your kids will start looking bright and cheery and probably start sleeping longer. Just a few of the added benefits. But the cost I can hear you saying! One thing you will notice is you will eat less when eating clean, so that in itself is a savings. You can save money of these food items by buying in bulk, shopping sales, buying from co-eps, growing your own garden, going in on organic livestock with other families, ordering some items off the internet are just some ideas. You can even cut out some other expenses in your family budget that wont be a priority anymore such as eating out, etc. Once eating clean becomes a household priority in your home, there is a way to accomplish it.
I think it is a process that the entire family needs to be on board with. For example, you can not expect your children to make healthy choices if you are not doing the same as parents. The benefits from eating fresh whole foods is huge and worth the time, energy and money. Patience with your family will be required. When you start serving your family vibrant fresh food, small amounts will more than likely be the key. Just eating one bite is a step in the right direction and if they ask for more, BINGO! There may be times where they turn it away but by the time lunch or dinner rolls around, they are hungry enough to eat then. Maybe a weekend is a good time to start making changes in eating. The summit I am listening to this week pointed out that artificial ingredients and natural flavorings effect our brains especially with children. The children that are effected the worst are children that have behavioral disorders, ADD, ADHD, and sensitivity. Imagine all those problems going away or lessened all through diet. Labeling food with the emotions of good or bad is probably not a good idea with children, just stick with the nourishing the body philosophy. I feel like that is positive and productive. We will all mess up and have a donut or a cookie, but doing it once in awhile rather than several times a day as our nourishment is not going to work. That will continue to lead us down a path of disease and sickness.
We are responsible for our own nutrition. We must do our OWN research and make our own choices. We can not rely on the FDA or Doctors. The information is out there and so are the food choices. Read your food labels and look up those chemicals. Start out slow and you and your family will not be overwhelmed. Check out my recipe file for some ideas. I am building on that overtime, so it will continue to be updated. There are tons of books and research out there to help you get your family on track. God bless your efforts. Be sure and subscribe to my website for updates on health and fitness.
Love and peace,