I think overall, my family eats fairly well. There is fruit or veggies served with each meal, whole grains used for most dishes (I substitute whole wheat flour for almost every recipe that calls for white flour, brown/whole grain rice instead of white, whole wheat bread etc. you get my point), low fat options when able to, absolutely no soda in the boys diets and very limited in my diet. I could probably give you another handful of examples but I think you get me point. We eat healthier than the "average" American, I believe. But over the last few months, I have become less picky on what the boys eat and have allowed some bad habits to creep up on us. With the nice weather of spring upon us, we (the boys and I) have spent A LOT of time outdoors, which means I throw snacks and drinks in the cooler, so that we have items on hand when the boys get hungry. The problem of that is, the snacks I have been choosing for many months now, are less than healthy snacks. I have stockpiled a nice assortment of easy, ready to eat snacks that I have purchased at a very low price. Which has made my frugal side happy, but has tormented my mom side. I know I haven't purchased the best snacks and at the time, the boys weren't eating these snacks on a daily basis, so it was very easy to justify my purchases, especially since I was saving a good amount of money! I truly believe in eating in moderation. I don't mind my boys having cake, cookies, fruit snacks, potato chips IN MODERATION. Because, let's face it, that 's life in America. I want my children to learn from early on how to make wise choices about food: that you can eat a piece of cake after dinner, occasionally, or enjoy a ice cream cone from the ice cream man, or completely gorge at the grandparents house. But those times should be occasionally. And over the past few months, "occasionally" has made a 360 into almost every day!
Not that we are eating cake and cookies with every meal, don't get me wrong, but the snack options especially, are less than ideal. Evan has now decided he wants fruit snacks with every meal and at snack time (don't worry, he isn't getting them that often :-)) and Carter really, really enjoys his fruit bars. And up to a few months ago, the boys had never known what Capri-Sun was! But now, Evan asks for a juice pouch when we head outdoors!
All of this mom guilt came to fruition a couple of weeks ago. Jeremy had mentioned an article that he read about childhood obesity and diabetes and links between food and some disorders such as ADD and ADHD. In no means, was he suggesting that I was not feeding the kids properly, but he was just amazed of the statistics. And we both know, we could always do better in the nutrition category.
Then a few days after that discussion, I was watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. DARN Jamie Oliver. I LOVE that show, but again, felt a horrible pang of guilt after watching it. Especially since he was critiquing all the brown bagged lunches full of snacks and sugary drinks.
OH THE GUILT!! So I made a decision that weekend and a goal to scour some local stores to find healthier alternatives, especially in the snack category!!
I will be discussing my findings in Thursday's post and in upcoming weeks. And I would love for you, the readers, to chime in and share some healthy snacks you have found in your journey. My goal is to find healthy alternatives that won't break the bank but can be thrown in the cooler for the day at the pool. Because let's face it, it was so much easier on the budget to buy the unhealthy options and pre-made items than to look for organic or whole food options. Especially options that are easily transportable and easy to eat (Carter).
So join in the journey with me!