I just started reading this book:
One of the authors has a great blog (thecleanerplateclub.com), and she is an advocate for raising children to eat whole, fresh foods...REAL food. In other words, she proposes that we not feed our kids "kids" foods like frozen, processed, and fried meat nuggets, corn dogs, white pasta topped with powdered cheese, french fries, and soda. Let's face it, these fake foods aren't chock full of nutrients and have little substance. So, her ideas are in line with my goal of trying to feed my family whole and real foods as much as possible. Since I started this blog 5 months ago, that has been my aim.
I realized as we sat down to lunch this Sunday afternoon, just how far we have come since January. Big Daddy had grilled up some tilapia and asparagus, and we made wild rice to round it out. We also cut up a fresh pineapple that I saw in the store that day on sale for under two bucks (SCORE!). Ordinarily, I would expect that the kids would not touch the fish, simply because they have both gagged on seafood many times in the past. But, this time they did not follow their "complain, push it around the plate, try a bite and gag" protocol. There is something to be said for the "offer it again and again, and again..and again 12 more times before they eat it" approach!
The kids actually ate every bite of the fish, and even though I put a glob of ketchup on their plate in case they felt the need to drown the fishy taste, they didn't even use it! I was so proud as I watched them munch on spears of asparagus and grilled (fresh caught, NOT farmed) fish. I realized that we have come a long way from our past eating habits. Not only are my kids eating healthfully, but they have sophisticated tastes! They savor freshly picked tomatoes and squash, blue cheese and vinagrette salads, fresh fish, chicken and turkey breasts, and gourmet spinach and feta chicken sausage.
Eating out is now a rare event for us because we have come to enjoy cooking and eating at home. Even the kids pitch in with the chopping of veggies and tossing of salads (using plastic utensils of course). We put on some fun music almost every time we sit down to dinner, and just enjoy the time together, discussing the events of the day or future plans. Many nights, we end the evening on the back patio, watching the kids play outside eating frozen fruit bars for dessert. On occasion, we splurge on locally made (and our very favorite) Bluebell ice cream. It's totally full of fat and sugar, but we can pronounce all the ingredients and ...well...all Texans know that there is absolutely no ice cream that tops BlueBell and that's a splurge worth experiencing!
We definitely make different food choices now. Not all are low fat or vegetarian, but they are better than what we used to choose to feed our family. Memories of chicken nuggets and fish sticks are in the almost forgotten past. In fact, if I offered my kids a fish stick, I'm not even sure they would take it, just as they snub artificial fruit juice pouches for bottles of water (most of the time). My family is now used to seeing lots of fresh fruits and veggies on their plates, and that's makes a Veggie Mama's heart go pitter patter. :)