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Never too young......

......to learn some Simple, Healthy, Tasty skills! ;-)

The baby of the family helping her big sister knead bread dough!

Just thought it was so cute I had to share. I really do feel that starting kids with healthy habits and not giving in just cause you have one that is picky makes a huge difference.
I have some picky eaters but when they have to choose between this healthy thing or that healthy thing they always make the "right" choice! ;-) It's what I like to call covert operations and mothers use them lots in things besides just food! You ought to see my kids get excited about workbooks! ;-)

But seriously kids need to have choices and feel like they have a say. They can reason and I try very hard to teach them about what's good for them and what's not. I try to only have good choices in the house so really worst case scenario they eat their salad so they can have a "treat" which at our house would be a 100% fruit leather, a smoothie, some of my homemade cookies or cakes (that by the way have more nutrition then any meal from a box and it's dessert for goodness sakes) or lately they beg for a yummy peach! So do you think my kids are deprived cause we don't have candy bars, or gummie bears?

Starting from the beginning makes it lots easier but really it's never to late. Kids may resist a bit but if you talk to them about it and teach them what you are learning you will be surprised, they will understand that they only get one body and that we should take good care of it! And before long they will loose a taste for the artificial sugar filled snacks. And they will feel a difference when they go to a friends house and eat junk food!

Give it a try for ONE month you will be amazed at the difference. Take all the convenience junk food out of the house (common just for a month you can do it;) and replace it with a healthy snack.

If you want it to still be very easy and convenient just buy some favorite fruits and I have not met many kids that didn't enjoy 100% fruit leathers. Check out your local health food store and buy a few things that I call "glorified junk food" they are still pretty processed but just make sure they have all good ingredients. Of course when you see the price of them it will hopefully motivate you to make your own treats! Which are so much better anyway! Give it a try, let me know how it goes!

Oh and one more thing please don't use your children as an excuse not to cook more healthy. I have heard lots of things like "oh my child would never eat that they would starve first!" Ask yourself some of these hard questions and answer them honestly!

Is it that you are not really ready to commit to a healthier lifestyle and your child makes a good scapegoat? Are you worried about being the "mean" mom that doesn't give her kids candy? Are you afraid that you will notice a difference and see that your kids are happier, calmer, nicer, (the list goes on) and it will mean no going back and you will have to be weird like me? ;-)

I had lots of these questions go through my head and many others. I was so addicted to a lot of unhealthy things and I really did NOT want to give them up. But I also knew I really did not want to be the cause of similar addictions in my kids and have them have to deal with some of the same things I had to! I knew I had to be the example for my children I knew they needed me to be. I really tried hard at first to just give them the good stuff and let me still have my things. But as they got older I knew I wasn't fooling anyone If I was going to talk the talk I had to walk the walk! So I cleaned out my kitchen, I committed and I have never looked back! You will never know how freeing it is until you try it yourself! Your family may grumble and complain a bit and you may be told you are crazy but trust me one day they will be singing your praises cause they don't have the addictions, health problems and issues that are hitting our society at younger and younger ages!

P.S. Fruit snacks are NOT healthy like the manufacturers would like you to believe! They are mostly sugar, artificial colors and flavors! Get them out of your house! Always look at labels carefully!


Courtney said...

We have been cooking "healthily" for two weeks now and we love it! We are NEVER going back. Love The China Study- everyone needs to read it.

fitncrafty said...

Tam.. Your kids are adorable.. thanks for a great post. I wish more people felt like they NEED to just put a healthy meal on the table. I hear that excuse a lot too. I domy best to put healthy meals on the table and keep the junk out.. especially high fructose corn syrup! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.. I so agree!

Emily said...

Amen Sister...AMEN! When you mentioned that your kids would be nicer...I had to laugh, because sometimes my Myles is anything but nice. But then I thought about it and I can't imagine what he would be like if he were constantly getting refined sugars, MSG, food colorings, non-food stuffs, etc. etc. etc.....ya know, the Standard American Diet! Yikes....He would be mighty scary!!

Love your words of wisdom! And your inspiration!! Keep it up!

Love, Em

The Lazy Organizer said...

I cringe when I see people make a healthy meal for the adults and then feed the kids Kraft mac and cheese or some other such crap!

When my kids were little they didn't want to eat healthy dinners because they always wanted cold cereal. I finally got all the cold cereal out of the house and guess what?? They started eating everything I cooked! Kids will eat what you feed them. My three year old was actually begging for her sister's onions the other night when we were eating stir fry. Weird kid!

I'm so excited that my new baby is going to grow up on green drinks instead of the junk my older kids ate. Yay!

Sorry this is getting so long but how and when do you start feeding your babies solids? Do you mash up cooked veggies or just give them raw like in a green smoothie? I'm excited to start experimenting with baby food. I think I will wait till she is about 6 months though.

Tammie said...

lazy organizer:

My last baby I didn't give many solids until she was about 9 or 10 months. Then yeah she pretty much some of the stuff I had made for the rest of the family. Of course really hard to chew things or things that she could easily choke on I avoid. But small bits of apple with the peels off, mashed up bananas work great. I was going to blend up cooked brown rice but found she did just fine with just the cooked brown rice. Although she was pretty messy with it at first. Rice all over the place ;) Smoothies are GREAT! They love them and they are so good for them. Mashed beans, cooked potatoes mashed up. I pretty much just always tried to make or have on hand a few things that I knew she could eat. It really made it simple and she pretty much fed herself. I loved that cause I have always hated trying to take the time to spoon feed them that baby food! This is better for them and less messy for them to feed themselves. Although still messy ;) But hey it's a win-win!

Jenn said...

You are fantastic! I love your blog and am looking forward to trying the pizza this weekend! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with other moms trying to feed their families in a healthful way.