At first, it took a while to get everyone on board. I thought a yogurt drink or yogurt with granola was healthy for them. It was dairy right? I was buying them healthy Quaker oat bars, this was a brand I grew up trusting. And oatmeal was healthy for you, too.
I stopped baking homemade cookies and cakes since my family appeared to inhale them.
We only had soda pop when friends were over. Now I proudly serve them alkaline water.
I started reading all the labels of our processed food that had become the main labels in our home. Most of them the first item listed was sugar. I really could not believe it. There has been a lot of research on sugar and how it can reduce your ability to fight a cold. Here a few facts that jumped off the page at me:
- Ketchup has 1 teaspoon of sugar for every tablespoon serving.
- Excess sugar consumption leads to weight gain, heart problems, perhaps even cancer
- Juice boxes contain the same amount of sugar as about a dozen cookies
- 200 years ago the average person ate 2 lbs of sugar a year. In the 1970’s each American average consumption was 123 lbs a year and the latest stat is up to 152 lbs of sugar per person. That is about 3 lbs of sugar a week.
It was not that I was baking too much nor did we realize that more and more processed foods contained sugar and chemicals and that was all we were eating. And less that 6 years ago healthier options were not readily available to us. The more I read and researched recipes and ingredients the idea still seemed out of our reach.
We were able to make small changes like stopped eating processed foods and premade meals. Mostly because the portion sizes were shrinking and prices were rising. Time that I spent away from the house due to a demanding career decreased the time for cooking and tapped my creative energy for menu making. I have said for years that exhaustion is a sign of failure.
Fortunately there was a wave of consumers and families demanding healthier options, fresher ingredients and cooking at home. Instead of having to search high and low to find organic, fresh, affordable ingredients in a far away land, this summer my daughter and I made a menu and were able to buy every ingredient from our local grocery store. Also I have learned if I start doing something the family does fall in line. Start somewhere and keep your goal in mind and you to can bring healthy meals and better choices to your family.