Help me feed my family better - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 07-09-2013, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In short, we eat crap most of the time. I am researching to transition us to a "whole foods, plant based" diet, but I am overwhelmed with information. I have been reading on various detox regimens (all short term); sugar is a huge culprit in our diet as well. I love sweets and my husband loves breads. 

 

Every other aspect of our life is pretty natural- I even make my own deodorant, haha. But food, that's been our biggest struggle. We drink fruit/veggie smoothies pretty regularly, but some days none of us eat a single vegetable. I'm trying, but not hard enough.

 

That said, I've been reading up on the 100 days of real food website, and trying to plan meals that decrease meat and dairy and increase vegetables. Still, I'm having trouble making sense of everything.

 

If you have any other websites or even recipes, feel free to share. I'm so tired of eating junk, but need a roadmap on how to get out of these bad habits! And...any tips on slowly converting our kids would be appreciated as well. Thanks!!


"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." ~Mark Twain

 


 
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#2 of 11 Old 07-09-2013, 04:17 PM
 
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Short answer for now:  don't feel like you have to change everything at once.  Any good change is good!

 

So my suggestion is to find some easy recipes that you think you would all like, that you can make quickly.  Meal planning is really the best way for me to make sure we're eating healthy and things need to be not so difficult to make.  Also, I let myself make super easy things if I'm tempted to eat out or something like that--peanut butter and jelly, breakfast for dinner, etc.  It's healthier than eating out or some other options.

 

What does your family like eating now?

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#3 of 11 Old 07-09-2013, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. That's so helpful- I know those things but then I feel overwhelmed and want to change everything over night. 

 

The kids like chicken nuggets, pasta, fruit, corn (non-gmo, haha), waffles, peanut butter, hummus, and anything "kid friendly" like mac and cheese. We like pretty much anything bad for you- burgers, fries, cheese, anything fried. :/


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#4 of 11 Old 07-09-2013, 05:10 PM
 
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The trouble I have is that there is so much contradictory information about what's healthy.  So I feel good if I feed them mostly "real" food--even if it's peanut butter and cheese.  The list for your kids doesn't sound bad except maybe the chicken nuggets (but that's just my opinion!).  I let my kids have mac and cheese once a week.  We usually have some kind of pasta once a week for dinner (not including the mac and cheese).  I often make pizza once a week, too, from scratch.  That might be too much for your situation if you're working, but it's actually a pretty easy dinner.  We do beans and rice a lot with toppings (yogurt, salsa, cheese, cilantro, etc.).  Burgers once a week aren't terrible.  You could make sweet potato fries in the oven to go with them.  Or even regular fries in the oven!  We roast a lot of veggies.  It makes them taste really good.  Cauliflower sliced thin is especially good roasted--it really tastes almost like fries if you leave it until it's almost burnt (400 degrees for 30-60 minutes...I'm not sure anymore.  I'm at 7200 ft, so it screws things up).  Lentils are good, too.  You just need to season everything well to give it flavor and make them want to eat it. ;)

 

I think it takes time for your "tastes" to change, so making the changes slower is probably better, you know?

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#5 of 11 Old 07-09-2013, 05:19 PM
 
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I've found it helpful to think of my meals sort of on the My Plate model. I was relying to heavily on carby foods - and that was taking the place of veggies. So now I shoot for half the plate to be veggies. You could keep your foods roughly the same for now, but try to shift your proportions. We also like to do a Big Salad once a week using leftover meat. It's quick, cool, and versatile.
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#6 of 11 Old 07-14-2013, 11:24 AM
 
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Little battles - easy changes.

 

I love sweets & baking.  I try to balance that out by making sure I have yogurt & fruit, too.  Sometimes I can have that instead, if I've really worked at it & have been too lazy to bake orngtongue.gif.

 

I keep frozen veggies the kids like best (corn, edamame, succotash with edamame, etc.) around so I can make sure to give them as sides.  I make it delicious with butter, salt & pepper.  I keep cucumber and sweet peppers around too cause they like those best and there's minimal preparation to cut them up for dipping or munching on.  I keep frozen fruit around for kid's snacking as well as those juice popsicles and similar things.  I'll make homemade whipped cream to put on fresh fruit instead of a more formal dessert.  

 

Adding just 1 'healthier' side to stuff you already like is easier to start than finding whole new recipes.  Then try to find 1-2 new things to mix in, hopefully.   Burgers can have twice as many veggies on them, if you try (extra lettuce, pickles, tomatoes).  Chicken nuggets are a great throw-in for a meal-ish salad (lots of cucumbers, cheese, lettuce, sesame seeds).  Add some cut up or grated zucchini to the spaghetti sauce for pasta and cook it an extra 5 minutes.  

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#7 of 11 Old 07-14-2013, 11:45 AM
 
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If you cut all sweets out, don't buy sugar or prepared sweets, and when you crave them, eat something fatty instead, then in a week or 2 sweets taste too sweet to eat and you'll like treats made with 1/3 the (unrefined) sugar if that. If you want to get really serious about it, stock up oils and spices and vinegars and nuts then shop nothing but the produce and meats from then on. Maybe small servings of dairy, hard cheese and unsweetened yogurt. Get way more fruit and veggies. Try to serve both a hot and a cold veggie side at dinner. Make omelettes for breakfast, creative salads for lunch or make extra dinner for leftovers. Don't let sandwich bread be an anchor for any meal, put it on some lettuce or in a bowl instead.

 

Burgers aren't bad in my experience. Buns are, so cut them out or use smaller wholegrain buns and use more veggies. Make baked sweet potato fries . Very thin crust homemade pizzas. Use good oils only but don't limit them. Olive, coconut, flax, butter.

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#8 of 11 Old 07-22-2013, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to update you guys- we have been doing SO  much better. We invested in a juicer (only used it twice so far, but even my H was looking for "healthy juice recipes" online), and we have used our vitamix every day blending fresh and frozen fruit, kale or spinach blend, flaxseeds, and various milk substitutes (coconut, almond, even hemp!); we now drink our breakfast. I found healthy recipes for homemade waffles and oatmeal for my kids, plus I bought the healthiest nuggets I could find at whole foods...and, my 4 year old and I just had ceasar salad with organic croutons for lunch! I've cooked 3-4 meals the last two Sundays in a row, and we eat on that. Our dinners are healthier and more "whole" food things than ever before, and the kids have rolled with the transition quite nicely.

 

The only setback was ice cream from cold stone last night, but I don't even care...it was one of those "period" cravings, and I don't regret it at all. Thanks for all your tips and suggestions. I think we are finally on the right track with our food choices. 


"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." ~Mark Twain

 


 
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#9 of 11 Old 07-24-2013, 09:37 AM
 
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Awesome!  Good job, Mama. 

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#10 of 11 Old 07-24-2013, 01:01 PM
 
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Yay!  So glad it's been going so well making some changes for the better.  Keep it up!

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#11 of 11 Old 07-28-2013, 10:52 PM
 
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Every little bit helps, don't feel bad that you can't change everything at once. The biggest, first thing we did was stop being and drinking soda period (besides special occasions, like a night at the movies). Once I stopped drinking soda my sugar cravings drop off a lot. Iced tea or even sweet tea is a better option. And so as much cooking ahead as you can - right after grocery shopping cut up fruits, carrots, and celery into snack-sized portions. Make a dozen homemade burritos and freeze them to microwave later, make a huge pot of soup to eat throughout the week. Even when I fall behind on mean planning I keep a bunch or frozen veggies around to microwave and eat with dinner. Not every meal has to be super complicated or 100 percent fresh,,frozen veggies are better than no veggies!
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