I received an email asking me: “I have two young boys and a husband who are all pretty picky eaters. Not crazy about eating healthy. I’m not a health fanatic, but would like to be responsible for the way I’m feeding my family. Any suggestions?”
What an excellent question.
There are lots of very good ways to help your family eat healthy food.
Cutting out fast food drive-thrus will help enormously. Fast food is full of fillers and the raw material that goes into the food is not raised or grown in a fashion that has your health in mind. For more information on this subject read “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser or watch this trailer of the Fast Food Nation movie version.
Unfortunately, you also don’t want to serve your family processed and canned foods. Most of the nutrients from those foods have been cooked out and then replaced with chemicals, artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup. Read the labels. A can of applesauce is usually not just apples.
If you take your family off fast food, frozen, canned and/or processed food, what’s left?
Fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and free range/grass fed meats, and a lot of cooking.
It’s actually much easier than you think. It is getting fashionable to eat healthy, so there are more and more farmer’s markets. Check out Localharvest.org for listings in your area. The site makes it is easy to locate farmer’s markets, grocery stores that carry organic produce, farms and community supported agriculture near you.
Now comes the real trick: how to get your family to eat those foods.
Recently I was reminded of the subterfuge my mother used on my family. She blended up raw vegetables and added them to EVERYTHING! It almost didn’t matter what she was making, it had hidden blended veggies in the recipe.
Another little trick my mother used to pull was that while we were waiting for dinner to be ready (we used to all sit down for dinner at 6pm) she would bring in a plate of “Tasty Treats.” These treats were cut up and salted raw veggies. We would dive into these treats and clear the plate. It wasn’t until decades later that I realized that she had somehow gotten us to LOVE “Tasty Treats” when we would have turned up our noses to a “Plate of Raw Vegetables.” Oh, my mother was a tricky woman.
If you don’t know how to prepare a particular vegetable, try SuperCook.com, which connects your ingredient inventory to recipes. I LOVE this site.
Investing in a very good blender (such as a Vitamix or Blendtec) seems like a very good idea. I am currently looking at getting a Blendtec (the Vitamix won’t fit under my cabinets) and I am excited about being able to easily get my family to eat more raw fruits and vegetables in the form of raw soups and fruit smoothies that are simple to make in these blenders.
I hope these ideas are helpful. What do you do to get your family to eat healthy?