A whole family transitioning to whole foods

Organics has been a big topic of discussion recently at our house. What?!? Not every couple sits around discussing the chemicals used to grow our produce or to process our packaged foods?!? Yeah, okay, so we’re strange like that.

As I shared in a prior post about setting New Year goals, we have been taking deliberate steps to improve our families diet. We had a bountiful beginning in our efforts when we began participating in Bountiful Baskets. As we began researching organic foods, a few weeks ago we decided to order an organic bountiful basket.

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Organic bountiful basket

Our organic basket did not appear to be that much different from a conventional basket. The price was $10 more, and the amount received appears to be a bit less. As it was organic, that was expected. As always the littles enjoyed the fruit. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with so many limes or the red chard….what’s red chard?!? A little internet searching and cookbook flipping and we enjoyed a dinner of lime chicken, red chard, and quinoa with carrots (followed package cooking directions only substituted homemade broth for water and added approximately 1 cup diced carrots).Picture 038

If your kids are like mine, they would turn up their noses to at a delicious dinner like this. Although we’ve never been a junk food family, our kids are still picky eaters. Little Bear especially would prefer to forgo food for days waiting for a hopeful serving of chicken nuggets or toast. The transition to a healthier diet has had some challenges. We’ve implemented a three no thank you bite dinner rule. I am a gracious mom and didn’t require three bites of the red chard. Magoo is our most adventurous eater and actually liked the red chard and had seconds!! Each of the littles are finding they like foods they didn’t think they would ever eat. (one and two for the red chard)

From our research of organics we’ve decided to remain with conventional bountiful baskets. There are differing levels of pesticides used when growing foods depending on the crop. Mercola.com offers a free report on ways to know real organic food, that includes a list of high and low pesticide grown crops. We do not know what will be in the next weeks basket from Bountiful Basket, so will make our organic purchases separately.

Although we are enjoying more whole foods in our diet, processed foods have not been completely eliminated from our shopping list. Package reading can feel overwhelming at times. Packaging can be so misleading as I discovered at 100 days of real food.

For our family, public enemy #1 can be found in artificial colors. Dr. Mercola featured a post of the top 10 food additives to avoid which cited : Artificial colorings may contribute to behavioral problems in children and lead to a significant reduction in IQ. Through homeschooling, I have witnessed first hand the effects of artificial colors. We can have it eliminated from the littles’ diets for weeks, but one unexpected snack with friends or at church and we experience immediate challenges with behavior, concentration and focus.

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Making healthy snacks

Educating our children, and training them to make healthy food choices is paramount. I was proud of Magoo recently when he passed on a “colorful” snack at Sunday school. Unsure if the snack of processed food was naturally or artificially colored, he made the choice to politely pass on the snack. The littles participate in making healthy snacks. In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, we keep a box in our cupboard filled with snack sized portions of dried fruit, nuts, and crackers. As the littles get involved it making health snacks, I pray they learn to make healthy choices.

7 Comments

  1. I appreciated this a lot – especially your honesty about the challenges with making these choices for your whole family . . . too many sites make it sound so easy and give the impression that their children only crave healthy nutritious vegetables and I often feel guilty that my children don’t like more vegetables and aren’t particularly adventurous eaters. Anyway, I am encouraged to keep trying to make healthy improvements to our diet. Thanks for sharing!

    1. So glad to hear from you Terri. Are you back from vacation? I hope you and your family had a wonderful time. Keep offering the kids veggies! Perseverance does pay off. Little Bear voluntarily at a raw carrot today. 🙂

  2. Wow, thank you for all the links and great info. In our schooling this semester is Health and Fitness. I’m thinking a great project for my High Schoolers is going to be researching some of those links, writing a paper, purchasing some of the foods they learn about and preparing a meal or at least a dish for the rest of he family! immediately thought of Key Lime Pie, or homemade lime ice cream with no preservatives, but like you, I’ve never heard of red chard? What did mom and dad think?

    1. That’s awesome. I look forward to hearing how their project comes out! I wish I would have thought of ice cream for the limes. How to make ice cream is in a couple of question books. 🙂 As for the red chard, I liked it and had seconds. Dad…well he said it wasn’t his favorite, but he did take his “three no thank you bites.” 😉

  3. Good stuff! We’re working on some of the same things at our house– glad to know I’m not the only mom struggling with picky eaters, even though we’ve never been junk food junkies either. Why is that?! As a farm wife I’d also say you’re making a good choice by purchasing the conventional basket. Farmers participating in this program are likely serious about the land and the food they raise. It doesn’t have to be organic to be good for you! I’m against the pressure we put on “good” moms to buy much more expensive food!

  4. Great post!Love that your family has the ‘three bite’ rule also. (though sometimes we also have a ‘get out of jail free card’)

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