"Whole" Foods - A dialogue

One thing I love about MOPS is the opportunity we have for speakers to come in and discuss a wide variety of topics pertaining to our little ones and our families.  Issues range from child safety to finances to home organization to discipline and much more.  Today we had a speaker come in to share her thoughts on "Healthy Foods For Your Kids" - a great topic - but honestly, I was left feeling a bit....deflated.

Let me preface by saying that I know this was not her intention nor was it really one particular thing that made me feel this way.  The way she presented the information was unpretentious and light hearted for the most part, but in listening to her suggestions and her strong opinions (rightfully so, seeing as how nutrition/holistic medicine is her profession and passion) I was admittedly overwhelmed.

Perhaps like most of you, I feel as though I feed our family of three pretty well.  I am conscious of nutrition labels, sugar, highly processed and genetically modified foods, added hormones, etc. etc.  We rarely (if ever) hit the drive through and I seek out nutritious ingredients to cook meals most nights a week.  And in doing all of this, I feel as though I am doing my part to keep us healthy, even if we do slip up now and then with our choices.  In truth, I felt ahead of the game on this subject.

After processing today's information, however, I am not so sure that I am doing more than the bare minimum.  I listened and realized that the reduced sugar fruit snacks that I buy are still loaded with other crap.  Deflated.  "Simply Gogurt" (as opposed to the regular Gogurts) still have things like Modified Corn Starch and Phosphates - to which she pointed out have been linked directly to depression, diabetes and ADHD.  Deflated.  Our peanut butter has other ingredients besides peanuts and salt.  Deflated.  Cows milk should not be in our diets and all dairy is highly inflammatory (which causes fat storage, coughing and sinus problems).  Deflated.  'Easy Mac' is basically the Devil himself (okay I kind of already suspected this, but still...deflated).  Soy causes too much Estrogen and should be avoided altogether.  Deflated.  'Caged Free Eggs' means virtually nothing.  Deflated.  Nitrates (ie a hot dog - even the all beef kind) are found in Rocket Fuel.  Um, deflated.  Are you with me?

While listening to her speak I had to keep chanting: "Everything in moderation", "Take her info. with a grain of salt", "What about all of the foods I ate as a kid?", which I think are all valid statements by the way.  But when I heard others ask questions like, "Is the unprocessed Apple Juice that I steep at home from real apples okay for my child?" - Duh - or "Is Agave Nectar a good choice to use on whole wheat pancakes or should I be using Organic Honey instead?" - Seriously? - or my favorite, "What is your favorite way to make Kiefer?" - Don't worry, I Googled this one too - I began to wonder if I was the only one who patted myself on the back for Logan's willingness to eat steamed veggies once a while or baking cookies as opposed to buying the ones in packages.

Hence the blog post.  I am genuinely curious as to your thoughts on the subject.  Are there certain foods that you don't let in your house?  What foods will you only buy Organic?  What are your thoughts on high fructose corn syrup - do you look for it in every label?  Does your family drink cow's milk?  Do you take supplements like Vitamin D, Omega 3 and Probiotics?  What minor changes have made a big difference in your life?  Do you think some are too concerned with the topic?  Do you feel as though keeping everything in moderation is enough to keep your family healthy?  And most importantly what about Dum-Dum suckers after a fresh haircut ;) 


Jessica said...

Great post Tiffany! And it has great timing. Kalon is out of town for the weekend, and I planned on spending some time examining/overhauling our food choices. I'm now in my third trimester, and I want to make positive, lasting changes that will continue on once LO arrives. Just as with anything else, there are always people who go above and beyond anything you can imagine yourself doing (like making their own Keifer). I want to start with small changes, like always having healthy back-up alternatives when dinner plans get chucked out the window, or buying organic for the "dirty dozen" produce list. I plan on focusing one change a week, in order to really see the difference it can make on our family. I have a long way to go, but I can safely say now that we will always drink at least some cow's milk (I love the stuff, and really I can see worse things to put in your body), and we will never buy all-natural peanut butter (there's a reason you shouldn't eat it when you're pregnant - my biology professor scared me off the stuff in college by showing us what can live in there). P.S. - I'll be sending out your bag and giveaway on Monday!

Kasie said...

I dug into this a lot when we hit some roadblocks getting pregnant. Paleo diet/lifestyle is a great one to research if you're interested in doing "real foods." I read The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf which gives the how AND the why (I have to know the why) but in very layman's terms. I went strict for a couple months and I'm convinced it helped me get pregnant. That being said, I've totally blown it while pregnant (mostly because of not being up for the planning and prep), but plan on returning to those principles asap. Mark's Daily Apple website is a really great resource too. But, there's enough mom guilt to go around without thinking about every meal and every snack... all we can do is the best we can!