Sunday, October 14, 2007

Preserving the Children?

I saw the most frightening thing last weekend. I was at the grocery store, and the woman next to me had a cart full of boxes and bags, it was all frozen and processed foods. There were no fresh fruits or vegetables, no meats or fish, not even a box of pasta, instead she had frozen appetizers and pasta meals, canned soups and boxes of instant meals. Along with that very full shopping cart, she had a child who was around six years old, and I was amazed that this was the food he was eating. We all live busy and hectic lives, and unlike many of our parents and grandparents, often both parents must work to make ends meet. The convenience of these processed foods, the ability to get "dinner" on the table in 10 minutes or less speaks volumes about how we live our lives. I have worked full time outside the home, been a stay at home mom and now balance the work from home full time/one day out mom game. I know it is hard and busy no matter where you work, but this has got to end. Research has shown us that it is all the preservatives and added crap in these foods that are leading to health issues including early onset puberty, allergies, asthma and some forms of cancer.

I have always tried to cook most of our food, as much as possible from scratch. Do I use prepacked foods, sometimes, but I try to limit it as much as possible. Dinners here are home cooked, it really doesn't take that long to put a healthy and nutritious meal on the table, and I feel I owe it to myself and my family to feed them the best foods possible. In the last few months, I have begun readying myself for a major change; I want to reduce our processed food intake to be under 10%. This is not as easy as it may seem, as my children are cereal junkies and like the snacks I buy at the store. I have begun making homemade cupcakes and cookies, practicing making items from scratch and seeing how they freeze. I have filled my freezers (yes there are more than one) and refrigerators (yes, we have two of those as well) with lots of healthy raw foods that I can use to create our meals.

I have been introducing everyone to some new grains, and I am going to be ordering them in 5 lbs increments to store in the pantry room, items such as quinoa and wheat berries. I am looking for recipes for healthy, whole grain cereals that are nut free, so that the kids can enjoy homemade breakfast cereal.

This may seem odd to many, but this is how people used to eat before the frozen food section of the grocery store became the place to get dinner. Fresh, healthy foods will hopefully make healthy children.

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