Do your kids eat junk food when visiting family?
The following is an email from a Mom who wants to know how to handle situations when her children are eating unhealthy foods when away from home…
I am a stay at home Christian mom of two little girls. I have been slowly transitioning to a more organic/whole foods lifestyle. I have good weeks and bad, but for the most part am enjoying the process and learning so much about food. I have always been health conscious but am so shocked at all I am learning about what is in foods these days. My husband thinks I am a food nazi a lot of the time, but I am passionate about feeding my family wholesome food.
We eat hardly any sugar in our house. I've cut out HFCS completely, which wasn't that big of a deal because I've never liked the pre-packaged snack food and sugary cereals. I only use Rapadura and whole wheat flour now and am thinking about starting to make my own bread. I don't have a Bosch but might be able to convince my husband to purchase this! 🙂 Milk…there is so much information out there. I try to do organic as much as possible, especially since I am in the process of weaning my daughter and she will be starting whole milk soon. It can get pretty overwhelming.
I do have a question for you: In my circle of friends and family, I don't have anyone else who views food the way I do. When I send my daughter to a particular friend's house, I wonder what they are feeding her. They have always been a chef boyardie/fruit snack type of family, if you know what I mean. Also, we are going to spend the weekend at my parent's house and my mom tends to want to give them lots of sugary, processed, HFCS foods. Where is the balance and where do you draw the line without being disrespectful? I am a perfectionist and like to control these situations, but don't want to step on any toes either.
Any advice or suggestions would be so appreciated!
First of all, it's great that you're being so careful with your kids' diets. It sounds like you are doing GREAT on your journey–you're further than I am if you are able to only use unrefined sweeteners and whole wheat flour! 🙂
When it comes to this issue, there are a few things I try to remember, and it's not always easy, so I have to remind myself often:
- Live by the 80/20 rule – I learned this from my friend, Jeannie. She said that she tries to feed her family really well 80% of the time, and doesn't worry so much about the other 20%. For our family, the 80% is mostly when we're eating at home (although not always), and the 20% is the rest – whether we're eating out or eating at the homes of friends or family.
- When the kids do have some junk, I tell myself that they are still eating waaaaay better than most of America, so I need to just chill out. (I take a breath and say to myself, “It's not gonna kill 'em…”, and I hope that's true!)
- Although I fail often, if I try to live this lifestyle without bulldozing over people with my big mouth, eventually it really does make a difference with some of those around you. When we first started this journey, very few of those around us “got it”, but now MANY we know have begun their own journeys, and some have far surpassed where we are! Give it time, and pray too. You just might be surprised when you look back a few years from now. (I sometimes can't even believe WE are really on this path, it wasn't that long ago that we were still still eating fast food and sugar-bomb breakfast cereals!)
- If you're not too wigged out about it when visiting friends or family, there's a chance they'll hear you out someday, but if you offend people, you can bet that they'll never care about how or why you eat differently. (I'm not saying you do this, but just warning against it, because we all probably have these tendencies once we experience the benefits related to our improved diets.)
- Some really amazing people read my blog – please jump in and comment with your tips for handling these situations and tell us, do YOUR kids eat junk food when visiting family? I can't wait to hear from all of you!
- Counteracting the Effects of Junk Food (Read this after you get home from Grandma's!)
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