I want to be more organic... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 03-07-2002, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, my first post on this board.

My question runs along the lines of TexasSuz a couple posts down. I am by no means an organic girl. I grew up with McDonalds and Burger King in moderation, and I still love my burgers. I am a bit more picky about my kids diets than I am my own right now and I'm looking for a little information. I could never convert to a vegan lifestyle, nor do I want to, but I'm looking on information on what things I should really try to eliminate from my kids (and their parents ) diets that will make the biggest difference.

I have been hearing the evils of all the artificial food dyes and began to look at everything I was giving my kids as snacks. I was amazed at how they were everywhere. I'm annoyed that they feel the need to put dye in everything just to make it look better. I also compared some organic products to mainstream products and noticed that corn syrup is in EVERYTHING mainstream, and nothing organic. What do you recommend as far as changing my kids snack foods to a healthier variety. They love things like graham crackers, string cheese, basically things they can eat on the go. I find myself relying too much on the same things, especially cereal bars, all the time. They aren't big on uncooked veggies, and winter in Iowa is not the time to find easy fruit choices that travel well. We are on the go so much that things have to be easy to take along.

What evils do you recommend removing from our diets first. I will never be a fan of tofu and veggie burgers, but I'm looking for ways to get us healthier. I'm going to work on snacks first, then go to work on our meals.

Thanks in advance, all!!!
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#2 of 13 Old 03-08-2002, 12:15 AM
 
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I am not a vegan, either, but I do eat very healthy food and mostly organic. Here's what I would suggest:

*Don't eat fast food, whatsoever. Think of it as poison, because it is! If you need convincing, read the book Fast Food Nation. You probably won't ever want your children touching the stuff again!
If we are pressed for time (or I really don't feel like cooking), it's canned organic soup (Amy's brand has a really great tomato soup and cream of mushroom soup), grilled cheese sandwiches (with soy cheese slices & whole wheat bread), and some organic baby carrots.

*Cut out the stuff with hydrogenated oils. Cookies, crackers, chips all have these kinds of oils. If you have a health food store or a health food section in your store, you should be able to find good alternatives. We have a Wild Oats down the street. I find their store brand to be pretty good and reasonably priced. I buy their brand of chips and crackers. Lundburg Family Farms makes good rice cakes from brown rice (healthier than white rice) in a variety of flavors, a great alternative to chips and they are something easy to take along with you when you are grabbing snacks. My family likes to spread peanut butter or hummus on the plain ones.

*String cheese is a good, healthy snack. Buy the organic kind. Horizon is a good brand.

*Buy organic produce. It is not that much more expensive. I find that often my produce at Wild Oats is better priced than the produce at Hen House and I know I am not getting the pesticides or GMOs.

*We have always put dry, organic cereal in baggies and added almonds or other healthy nuts and raisins. Good on the go snacks.

*One of my family's favorite snacks: carrots dipped in organic peanut butter.

*Sun Soy chocolate soy milk is a favorite at my house.

*Amy's Organic pocket sandwiches are great and easy. I take them to work for my lunch.

I haven't found a good organic graham cracker yet. If anyone knows of a good brand, let me know! Most of them taste pretty bad.

Good luck to you!

Oh, I almost forgot! Check out Dr. Weil's website:
www.drweil.com
Great info on nutrition. Read about the 8 weeks to optimum health. Good advice.
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#3 of 13 Old 03-08-2002, 04:27 PM
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New Morning Organic Honey Grahams are pretty good.
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#4 of 13 Old 03-08-2002, 04:41 PM
 
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newman's own organics has a great new cinnamon graham cookie, but it really is more of a cookie than cracker. it also comes in arrowroot and chocolate.

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#5 of 13 Old 03-08-2002, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Another question, what's the deal with soy? There for a while soy was touted as a near miracle food. Great for everything including breast cancer. Then it seemed like everyone was attacking soy from every direction and even saying that it could possible contribute to breast cancer because of it's estrogen like qualities. What's the truth on soy?
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#6 of 13 Old 03-09-2002, 12:26 AM
 
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An easy read from an author many of us are familiar with, featuring details and information that finally makes nutrition easy and understandable: The Family Nutrition Book by Dr. William and Martha Sears. No, it's not just about how to make your own baby food or tempt a toddler to eat. Superb information!
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#7 of 13 Old 03-09-2002, 09:39 AM
 
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Even if you just grew a few tomatoes, they would be a nice change from the store and more nutritious b/c produce looses nutrients as it sits. I'm convinced that locally grown food is healthier, so 6 months of the year I buy in season, locally grown produce from the farmer's market.

I recently saw a new doctor for a physical and he strongly recommended organic eggs. I told him that during the winter, I buy non-organic, but cage-free, no antibiotics or hormones, all vegetable diet eggs, and he said that was OK. During the summer we buy organic local eggs for $1.50 a dozen.

I agree that there's a horrifying ammount of dyes, preservatives and chemicals in typical kid snacks. I try to avoid them as much as possible, but we do eat processed cold cereal. I'm trying to cut back on that by cooking oatmeal for breakfast a few days a week. You can make a homemade cereal bar. The bottom and top crusts are oatmeal, ww flour, butter and brown sugar. The filling is frozen berries mixed with jam. You bake and cut into squares. They're a little messier than store bought cereal bars because there's no side crust to keep the filling in. PM me if you want the exact recipe.

See if you can go berry picking this summer. You can store most berries right in the freezer in ziploc bags. My kids and I picked 17 pounds of strawberries, most of which was made into jam, and many pounds of blueberries which we froze and put into muffins and waffles, or just ate right out of the freezer. And we found a secret roadside supply of wild raspberries and blackberries. Nothing is more delicious than wild blackberries!
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#8 of 13 Old 03-09-2002, 11:05 AM
 
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I agree with Daylily about getting as fresh as possible produce. I don't have the time or the space for growing anything more than a few tomatoes and some herbs, but I do purchase as much of my fruits & veggies as possible at a local organic farmer's market as soon as it opens in the spring until it closes in the fall. Great stuff! There is a website (see address below) that lists locations and phone #s of organic as well as general farmer's markets across the country.
http://www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/map.htm
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#9 of 13 Old 03-10-2002, 12:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I may be more organic than I think I am. We do garden in the summer, but the season in Iowa is short so we only have a couple of months at the most of fresh veggies. We also have two strawberry patches. One bears fruit for a month or so in May and June, it is our established patch, and the berries are great. Last year we started another patch that will bear fruit all season. I'm hoping that one takes off this year. We had an herb garden with things such as sage, oregano, basil, and a couple others, but it got out of control and it was tough to tell what was what anymore so we tore it out last fall and are going to start over this year.

I don't do any canning, I just don't have the space to do it, or to store much, but I would like information on how to freeze some of our produce, esp the strawberries, peppers, cucumbers. Can I freeze all these things, and if so, what do I have to do to them to be sure they freeze well. I have no idea how to blanche anything, so I'm pretty much a garden virgin here when it comes to long term storage of our bounty.:

Any advice? I think I'll copy this and post it on the gardening board too.
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#10 of 13 Old 03-10-2002, 03:02 AM
 
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by daylily
I try to avoid them as much as possible, but we do eat processed cold cereal. I'm trying to cut back on that by cooking oatmeal for breakfast a few days a week.

We just found and AWESOME recipie in the Super Baby Food Book by Ruth Yaron for our morning breakfast. It's called Whole Grain Breakfast in the Crockpot (or something like that)

Before you go to bed at night, you put the following in your crockpot/slow cooker on the LOW setting:

2 cups of whole grains (we've just tried brown rice so far, she reccommends 1/2 brown rice and 1/2 barley)
6 cups water (she says five, but we think 6 works better.)
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit
1 or 2 chopped peeled tart apples
1 teaspoon cinnamon (and a dash of nutmeg if you like that)

In the morning, your kitchen smells great and you have easy hot breakfast that is a nutritional powerhouse! You can add a natural sweetner like brown rice syrup or honey or milk. But, if you give it a chance plain, you'll find the raisins/fruit really do their job to sweeten it naturally.

It makes enough to keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Good luck!
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#11 of 13 Old 03-10-2002, 03:07 AM
 
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by jbcjmom
but I would like information on how to freeze some of our produce, esp the strawberries, peppers, cucumbers. Can I freeze all these things, and if so, what do I have to do to them to be sure they freeze well.

We got a great book from the library called "Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month" by Deborah Taylor-Hough
Her website is http://hometown.aol.com/DSimple/

While this book was about cooking for a day, it had alot of tips on freezing. The Tightwad Gazzette by Amy Dacyzn also has alot of ideas.

As for gardening in a short season, I found the book, "Square Foot Gardening" to be intriguing! When I can finally get a piece of terra firma (we live in a townhouse) I'm gonna try it. Or perhaps borrow a foot or two from a neighbor this summer.

Cheers!
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#12 of 13 Old 03-10-2002, 10:17 AM
 
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Beth, I'm not sure exactly how to freeze strawberries, but I suspect you just wash them and put them into ziploc bags. When you buy frozen strawberries, they don't appear to have been cooked. That is what I did with my blueberries and mulberries. I'm going to experiment with freezing some strawberries this summer.

You can make freezer jam and not go to all the trouble of canning. If you buy a packet of "Sure-Jell" there's a recipe. I made both freezer jam and the cooked kind, and the freezer jam has a more "fresh strawberry" taste, but it also has more sugar.

"Blanche" means to cook very briefly (about 1 minute) in boiling water. I used to preserve garden tomatoes by blanching them for about 30-45 seconds, peeling and dicing them, dumping them into tupperware containers and freezing them. You could also just make spaghetti sauce from your tomatoes and then freeze it. The tightwad gazette has a great recipe for this. I would love to make my own frozen peas, but I never have good luck growing peas. I'll grow enough to eat some fresh, but there's never enough of a surplus to bother with freezing.
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#13 of 13 Old 03-10-2002, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have great luck with peas, but no matter what we do, the rabbits get to them. I don't like them so it's fine with me. We plant several things with the sole intention of feeding the neighborhood rabbits. Our neighbor was commenting the other day about how he has noticed that there were so few rabbits in our neighborhood last summer. I told him that they were all living in our fenced in back yard because we feed them from our garden. The boys love the rabbits and I love feeding them because it means that someone else isn't poisoning them.
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