This week let's get down to some action. GFC office leader Cheri is the guest blogger this week. This is her first blog post, and hopefully not last. The topic is something that comes up a lot in our practice and in the community... how and what do I feed your children when living By Design?
My husband and I have three beautiful girls. They love bacon. They also like cookies. I’m confident given the choice they would choose bacon over cookies.
So when we say that Eat by Design is good for everyone, good for a lifetime, why are we so hesitant to feed our children By Design?
It wasn’t always By Design for our family. Our pantry once included snacks like Goldfish and granola bars. While my husband and I were eating By Design, I’m not really sure why our kids weren’t. I guess I just thought that they didn’t NEED to eat this way and that the transition would be too hard.
Then I heard Dr. Joel say something on one of the podcasts: “Your child is better off with no meal than a toxic one.” If I knew that grains are toxic to my gut, then why on earth was I feeding them to my children? If this is a way of life that makes me extraordinary, wouldn’t I want my little rays of sunshine to shine just as brightly? I’m not a bad mom if my kids don’t get their daily “recommended” dosage of grains—I’m a bad mom if they DO!
The first thing to go was juice. On that note, just stop buying it. Your kids will drink water if they’re thirsty—trust me. Next were the lunch snacks—granola bars, gold fish etc. We met a little resistance but we always offered two By Design snacks. If neither was acceptable to them, THEY made the choice not to have a snack. Here’s where we shifted focus: teaching our kids to make wise food decisions, all the while remembering that they’re better with no meal than a toxic one. School lunches, which need to be nut-free, present a bit of challenge but we manage. They’re nothing fancy and it’s not rocket surgery. If kids are hungry, they’ll eat. If not, they’ll bring their lunch kit home and have a snack when they get there. They certainly won’t starve.
Spaghetti happened to be our family’s favorite dinner. It still is! We just serve it with spaghetti squash or roasted sweet potato—Mother Nature is amazing!
While spaghetti’s easy, visits with Grandmothers can be challenging. Here’s the solution: I send my kids with their own meals. While my mom does not eat By Design, she supports my choice to feed my kids this way.
The Western Fair Farmer’s market is a part of our family routine. Every other week, we all head into the market armed with a list and a menu plan to buy our meat for the coming weeks. The kids are involved with organizing the meal plan and selecting the meat.
Remember those cookies? We eat them too. Part of our family time at the market includes a GIANT cookie from Canadian Comfort Foods—our “Cookie Date”. It’s a special time that we share together over cookies, but I’m sure the time would be just as special if we were eating bacon. We want to teach the girls that it’s good to make choices and have an awareness of how cookies make your body feel.
Another line of resistance I hear is that “It costs a fortune to Eat By Design.” In short, it really doesn’t. I have a strict budget that we stick to. It just takes proper planning. We spend $120 every two weeks at the market and $90 per week at the grocery store on fresh produce. I buy organic when I can but I don’t get hung up over it. This is where the hierarchy principle comes in handy. Conventionally-grown veggies are by far better than something from a can or box. I buy real food first and stay away from food that has a bar code.
So here’s a little math: $300 bi-weekly/5 people in the house means I am feeding my family members BY DESIGN for $4.28 each per day! I don’t know about you, but I spent more than that during my last visit to Starbucks!
The reward for feeding your babies By Design is happier, healthier kids that process things a lot quicker (we’re talking 12-24 hours!), have longer attention spans, can eat just about anywhere we go, and say things like “No thank-you, I’d rather have an apple than a doughnut.” Seeing these things— that’s when you know you’re a good mom, doing right by your kids.