I appear to have developed a bit of a reputation as a Food Nazi among my friends here in ReluctantSuburbia.
(see below for how that happened!!)
My boys, energy filled, clever, wonderful little chaps that they are, are deemed paragons of eating virtue by their friends’ mums… why? Because they eat vegetables, fruit, brown rice, beans, lettuce wraps, fish etc. Apparently, however, I am regarded with a certain amount of trepidation; as if my friends are conjuring up images of me standing over my crying, protesting children, force-feeding them raw veggies and cardboard-esque slabs of tofu! The truth is that we make dinners and lunches together, they love cooking – all that tearing, mushing and stirring – and they have quite developed opinions on which tomatoes go with which dips.. don’t even get them started on types of hummus!!
As you may have noticed, here in the RS household, there are a few things we do differently – like having babies, and our approach to food and feeding our family is right up there. The thing is, I have never been one to accept the status quo, and consequently even before our babies were eating real food, I was consciously choosing whole, fresh foods for nutrition. When I was pregnant, our midwife had a standard for us, a certain amount of each type of food each week, and explained why I needed to eat whole, natural, preservative-free foods. This got me thinking that if, when pregnant and growing a whole person, I should protect them from harmful preservatives, additives and chemicals, why would it be any different when they come out?
Now, I will admit to being an obsessive label reader, a passionate cook, and an unashamed hater of additives and chemicals in my food, so it will come as no surprise that we have always done our best to avoid obviously junky foods. But, recently, I have had to take another hard look at our regular shopping list and have discovered some really disturbing things: Cinnamon Life cereal has red food coloring in it, most kids yoghurts not only have blue5 & red40 but also HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup – Ugh don’t even get me started on that junk!), that almost everything marketed to kids has added sugar, refined bleached enriched white flour, added salt, and artificial sweeteners, not to mention the preservatives and other unintelligible-chemistry-babble ingredients. Why, Oh, Why do we need to add all this junk to our food and why is it being marketed to us as “healthy” when, as soon as you take your eyes off the happy smiling people on the packaging and actually read the ingredients, you can see plainly that it is the exact opposite?
This is my plea; People, take control of your family’s health by taking back your brain in the grocery store! Don’t be fooled by pretty, healthy-looking packaging and special offers, but rather choose things that actually resemble real food! Please stop cramming your children full of sugar, food coloring and additives and then berating them for their inability to concentrate at school – their brain is broken because of their diet… they don’t need drugs, they need real food; whole raw foods that support their immune systems not destroy them!
And, here is a truly radical thought – send them to school with a healthy home made packed lunch, with whole grains and fruit and veggies and water to drink, instead of the crap they provide at school.
I have always maintained that school lunches are junk, and have never participated in the mess that is the government-funded big-food-company sponsored poisoning of school children; however, even I was shocked at the “Healthy Eating” claims of USDA approved school lunches, apparently pizza with jello and chocolate milk (sweetened with HFCS and food colorings galore) is “balanced”, brain food! One courageous teacher in Illinois has set out to expose the ugly truth of her school’s food, by committing to eat it every day, follow her, read her, encourage her and most importantly, take control of your child’s health by opting out if you can, or lobbying for change if you can’t.
So, here in ReluctantSuburbia we will be having brown rice, chicken and veggie stir-fry for dinner – stop by, the boys may even let you cook!
Here’s to your good health and ours!
The Reluctant Suburbanite
Where mummy-hood is more about raising men than being a taxi-driver… but that is a topic for another day!
I love your blog and will be following. Thank you!
– another reluctant texas suburbanite
There are some moms in my babysitting co-op who still joke about my feeding the 1-year-olds hummus, cottage cheese and couscous. The beat part is that they discovered their kids loved the foods they otherwise wouldn’t dare to try. 🙂 We need to have a cooking party. C.J. loves helping me cook every night!
Not to worry Ally, you are not the only Mum feeding your children real food in Flower Mound Texas. Not only do my children not eat packaged foods but they don’t eat meat. Ask your group of suburban mothers to get their heads around that one. I was very proud one day walk throught Tom Thumb when my then 5 year old ask me, “Mommy, what is a Pop tart?” Take up the good fight. Our children and their children will be healthier for it.
Love this blog! Where did you get that lunchbox? I need one!
Those are great choices of packed lunch for children. However, we may run out of ideas after some time 😀
We have certainly had to get creative! We have branched out to including leftovers; rice & beans, pasta etc. I am currently inspired by the Japanese art of charaben bento which makes lunches into art and the boys’ reaction to them is unfailingly good even when including unfamiliar foods! Happy Packing! RS