Choosing Healthy Foods

I’ve been researching foods for the past two months or so now. Partly because I’ve found that I have food allergies, secondly because I want to ensure that what I feed my family and myself has better value, I mean nutritionally, not necessarily penny-wise, although that is helpful too.

As I’ve learned new tidbits about what truly goes into the ingredient list in foods, I realize that it isn’t as easy to choose healthy foods as I always thought it would be. This truly got me thinking that I’m obviously not alone in this.

I always thought that eating healthy was all about choice. Now, I see that it’s a lot more, it takes understanding what goes into food, and what absolutes as individuals we need to stand up for to ensure health in our homes.

I have two boys who are growing and thriving. I often cringe at some of the food choices that are available to them and that they obviously want based on advertising and seeing their friends eating. I also believe in being a good role-model for my children and not following the old adage of ‘˜do as I say and not as I do’. I’m trying to teach them that eating certain foods in moderation is okay, but should be a treat and we are only making small purchases of certain foods.

I’ve had them start reading food labels with me, in addition to looking at certain snack items and truly figuring how much a serving is and how many servings are in a container. They need to see that just because there is a whole bag of pretzels, doesn’t mean they can eat them all at once.

Eating at home is a pivotal place for children to learn how to make better food choices, so it’s up to us as parents to be examples.

I’ve always been interested in eating healthier, not that I always did mind you; I’ll admit it. I always tried to abide by the food pyramid established by the government to help get my recommended daily servings of items. Now I truly believe they’ve got many items backwards. I’m not all gung-ho about needing so many servings of breads, certainly not in the unnatural “sugar” products that are available to the masses.

I also am not so certain about the need for so much dairy in our diets. In my reading, and there are several sources that mention the United States is pretty much the only country that utilizes dairy products in such large quantities. Our bodies aren’t truly designed to take in so much milk and dairy. Consider that no baby animal continues to feed on its mother’s milk for their entire lives. Yes, we get some great nutrients and protein from dairy products, but I’m jaded as far as the quantity.

Snacks in my home are changing the most. I’m not purchasing items that have ingredients that I cannot read. My kids have a list of items that are deemed healthy for snacks that they can have almost an unlimited amount of (just not before dinner). There will be no more lone bagels for breakfast. Some protein needs to accompany, along with some fruit preferably. The kids aren’t big breakfast eaters, but we’re trying to make our bodies healthy and make better choices as a whole.

I see this as a lifetime goal for all of us. I feel the need to take a stand with my family and see based on obesity rates in children that many others should also. Choose healthy foods for your family too. Something will eventually change ‘” that’s a certainty.