Friday, August 20, 2010

Views On Nutrition

Nutrition is something that has become more and more important to me as I have gotten older.  It's something I wish I had paid more attention to years ago!  But, it's never too late to start eating better.

In recent years, I have made a big effort to be more aware of what I eat and what I serve the toddlers, and more determined to make healthier choices for everyone.

I started by eliminating most of the junk food in the house, then made other simple changes like switching from white rice to brown rice and buying the wheat versions of saltines and Ritz crackers.  Water is now served, instead of juice all day.

Today, I work hard at making as much food from scratch as possible, even homemade bread.  I like having control over what goes in the bread and other things I make.  It's easy to make bread more healthy by substituting half of the flour for whole wheat flour and in almost any recipe you can cut the amount of sugar to half the amount.

I do have favorite recipes that I make all the time, but I'm also always looking for new ideas.  You can find my recipes at my food blog, Leftovers On Purpose, and you can even subscribe by email (a new feature I've added to all my blogs, look on the side column to enter your email address).

Something else that I make a conscious effort about is atmosphere at the table and making sure I include everyone at the table, when possible (even non-eaters).  There is a no-pressure, but encouraging words to get the children to eat.  Most days everyone eats almost everything on their plates.  The toddlers LOVE vegetables and ask for seconds and thirds.  Some days one or more toddlers don't eat much.  I really don't stress about a non-eater now and then.

I have noticed significant changes since I've taken a more healthy approach.  When I was serving white flour, sugared snacks and juice all day, the children would constantly ask me for more food and juice and there was a hyperness about the air.  

Now, the toddlers tend to fill up and are not hungry in between meals and snacks.  They use their water to hydrate and get enough, not tank up on juice and have constant wet and poopy diapers.  

I feel much better, also.  I can tell when we have a once in a while pizza or fast food for sure--I'm very anxious to go back to my made from scratch food.

I found a couple of great articles that got my mind going about this issue.

This article, Stop Forcing My Daughter To Eat!, is about an approach one parent is taking towards food and her daughter.  It has some very interesting points and lots to ponder.

This article, 6 Food Mistakes Parents Make, is referenced in the above article.  It makes some very good points.  

I think my parents made all six of the mistakes and that made me a very picky eater with food issues.  I slowly got over many of my issues as I've learned to cook over the years.  Having control over what goes in my food made me feel like I could try more and more things.


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