Raise your hand if the food habits in your house are starting to alarm you. Yeah. Me too. As my kids grow up and become more independent, I know their food choices will eventually be all on them. I do not want them to go through life thinking that the food they should be eating comes off of a shelf at the local Target. The thought of that will keep me up for the next three nights. We are in the midst of a health crisis in this country and no one can convince me otherwise. The food industry has an immense amount to do with that. Our kids see boxes and shelves filled with non-food items being sold as food. THIS IS A CRIME and it’s killing people. But I have good news. We have the power to change that. We can talk to our kids. We can educate them. We can fill their sponge-like brains with infinite amounts of information about what real food actually is, and they should know. I am slightly obsessed with this issue. Some think I’m weird. My own dad has called me a zealot. I am sorry to say those folks are misinformed and to me, there is nothing more important than the food we put into our bodies. I think if you aren’t on the bandwagon yet, there is no time like the present. This change will only benefit you and your loved ones.
This is my list of 7 food habits I know for a fact would be better for everyone.
- Make what your family (mainly the kids) enjoy. There is no use fighting over this. If the family favorite is roasted broccoli that is practically burnt, make it. Over and over and over again. Find what they worship and make it until they are ready for something else. They will tell you. We have just moved on to asparagus. #winning
- Prepare for snack time in advance. I am sure, like myself, if you don’t have the good stuff already laid out, your chillins head straight for the cabinet. Be one step ahead of the little buggers. Make a fruit salad or cut up veggies. But make it look good. Like you give a damn. Aren’t you more willing to eat something if it looks appealing? I am. And sometimes the “have an apple” response to “I’m hungry” doesn’t cut it. Have fun with it. Take pride in what you plate. Know that you are giving your family a gift every time you choose fresh over barcodes.
- Hide the coveted garbage. If the junk is in your house and you aren’t willing to eradicate it from the cupboards altogether, at the very least make it hard to access. Save the M&M’s and sugar cereal for when you need it. There is a lot of negotiating going on if you have small children. If they have easy access to it, they will be all over it. However, if you use it as a bargaining chip when little Susie doesn’t want to eat her burnt broccoli, little Susie may in fact eat it if she knows there is some red dye 40 in her future. Shoot me now.
- Talk to your kids about real food. When your children are old enough to understand the difference between good and bad, teach them about food. Talk about whole food. Explain to them where real food comes from. Explain the idea that real food, healthy food, comes from the ground and that is the best fuel for our body.
- Grow some food in your backyard. Even if it is a tomato plant in a container on your stoop. Teach them how to care for it and enjoy them while they learn about the growing and caring process. This knowledge is invaluable. The best part is when your plant bears fruit. Let those farmers in training pluck whatever it is they have grown right off the plant and let them eat it with the dirt and all! Our favorites are cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas.
- Support your local farmer and head to the market. I swear on my late Grandmother’s one good eye, nothing tastes better than farmer’s market produce. And after all of that explaining you have just done about food and where it comes from, what better way to bring that idea full circle than to head to a farmer’s market and bask in all of what nature has to offer. Support local and know where your food comes from.
- Sit down and eat together. My second favorite time of the day. And whatever your family may be, a party of 2, 3 or 8, this practice is important. It may only last 11 seconds, but far better than the latter. And I get it, time is limited and lives are busy, but there is nothing more important than a good meal, might as well enjoy it…sitting down and surrounded by your family.
So that is my two cents. Food is so important and it scares me that our children’s generation is so over exposed to horrible options. It is our job as parents to educate the little varmints on this subject. Disease seems like it is becoming more prevalent every single day. I stole this from someone, but I believe it wholeheartedly. Food is the cause and food is the cure. Give your family a gift. Let’s all jump on the slow food movement bandwagon and start a revolution.
Wait! One more thing! Follow me on Snapchat (Miesch4) to see what is going on in my kitchen.
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