Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Changing your family's way of eating

Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Let's Talk About Food

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about their struggles and successes with healthy eating. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

baby eats french fryIt's one thing when you have pathetic eating habits. It's another when you see your child copying you.

I have not been, by any stretch, a health guru when it comes to eating wholesome foods. Oh, sure, I have ideas. And I have expectations for how I ideally should eat. And I'm better now than I was in the past. But, much like changing my schedule to get up earlier in the morning, I can keep up a good-for-me switch for only so long before I tilt back toward normal. And dietarily, "normal" for me is kind of bleak.

But, as I say, it's one thing to find no ambition to change one own's way of eating. It's another when you see your three-year-old following in your footsteps. Eep.

So here are some of the ways we have tried to change our family's eating habits to improve our own and our toddler's health, both now and into the future. You might wish to try them as well. Some of these tactics have been colossal failures, some unalloyed successes, and many a mix somewhere between. So besides being a collection of possible techniques, they're also sort of mini-reviews for whether I can recommend them as likely to be effective. Your mileage may vary, depending on your level of self-discipline and self-motivating guilt. Good luck!

Feed your mind

I can heartily recommend doing some eye-opening research by watching, for instance, Food, Inc.; The Corporation; King Corn; Super Size Me — or, if you're more of a book person, reading through In Defense of Food; The Omnivore's Dilemma; Nutrition and Physical Degeneration; Nourishing Traditions; Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (recommended most recently by Kat of Loving {Almost} Every Moment); or Fast Food Nation. I watched all those movies and read one of those books (hint: the shortest one) and skimmed some of the others. (What?) You can also do scads of research online, looking into forums and sites dedicated to whole foods, traditional foods, slow foods, raw foods, vegan foods — there are a lot of things to be learned, is what I'm saying.

Now, as revolutionary as all this learning has been in my mind, I haven't completely altered my lifestyle to fit what I've learned. I still all too often fall into the Standard American Diet, which clever foodie types have given the telling acronym SAD. But these resources have encouraged me to take some first steps, understand more of the issues behind the food I eat, and try out things I would before have not known or cared about. So, while I didn't convert radically based on my research as I hear some do, I still see many positive and gradual changes that have come about through the accumulation of knowledge.

Try baby steps

Some of those changes that my research has inspired me to make have been in the form of finite, manageable changes. Instead of chucking it all and moving to a farm (though that's always a possibility), I've found ways I can incorporate my new beliefs into my shopping list.

One of the easiest changes you could make would be to switch all your dairy to whole dairy. (This assumes you eat dairy products, which of course is not essential. But I love me some cheese.) Our culture's recent misapprehension of fat as bad has led to some very odd resulting items that Michael Pollan would term "food-like products." Dairy with the fat removed is one of them. Try some whole milk; you'll be pleasantly surprised how milky it tastes. Go ahead and get the real cream cheese. If you want to take it a step further, try organic, and a step further from that, try raw.

Just remember, fat is not bad, and dairy is supposed to be fatty. Children especially need fat.
toddler feeding himself yogurt
Mikko uses YoBaby yogurt as a face mask as well.
Breastmilk is very fatty, even more so than cow's milk, because children need fat for their brain development. This is why I can't fathom why so many children's dairy products are the low-fat variety. We've found one brand of organic yogurt that's full fat (and full yum) — YoBaby from Stonyfield (and, no, I'm not being paid to endorse it) — and it's pleasantly available in pretty much every U.S. grocery store.

Other concrete changes to make are cooking with good oils, such as olive and coconut and butter (yes, butter!), and buying free-range eggs, organic thin-skinned produce, and grass-fed meat.

But I realize that buying such nice things can be a step up in price, which leads to my next point.

Be willing to pay more

I have been poor. I know that sometimes for some people, and all the time for other people, compromises must be made. It kind of stinks that that's how the system works — that, for instance, fresh veggies are pricier than white-flour crackers, in terms of caloric return, and that organic food is steeper in price still. There are ways to cut down the amount of spending you do on quality foods, and some of the other carnival entries deal with that specifically.

But I think, for me, the biggest roadblock I have had in spending more for organic, local, and whole foods was that my frugality was so deep-seated. If I could buy a conventional apple for half as much as an organic one, for instance, why on earth would I spring for the organic? It took a lot of soul-searching, and specifically, reading the reasoning and call to action in In Defense of Food to break free of that mindset and to recognize: Food is worth it. It is worth paying more for something that will nourish my body, honor the earth, and, more germane to this conversation, help sustain my child's health. I don't want to put things into him that will harm him, which is why I was so careful during pregnancy not to use harsh chemicals or be around people who smoke — it's still worth it now to protect him during this vulnerable growth stage.

Paying more for food is like voting with my money for the kinds of food I want more readily available. Since I can afford it now, I have a sort of ethical obligation to buy the food I support from the vendors I support. I can think of the extra almost as a charitable donation to the organizations and individuals who are trying to bring back real food.

Again, if you cannot afford an upgrade in your food budget, I understand. If you're on the fence, you might look for other places you could cut back, or see what you can find within your budget.

Get food delivered

organic food delivery meal of garlic scapes
Recent meal of Thundering Hooves organic bratwurst and garlic scapes
delivered by Spud (and prepared by Sam, our usual marvelous cook),
accompanied by a salad grown in our garden and harvested that day

If you can't convince yourself to go out and buy a wide range of vegetables and fruits — if you're never adventurous when browsing the bins at the grocery store — then a produce delivery might be perfect to convince you to try new treats. It was when Sam and I participated in an every-other-week CSA (community supported agriculture) box delivery that we first learned what kohlrabi was and were introduced to the delights of garlic scapes. We also ate many more salads than we otherwise would have.

Another option is something like Spud, an urban, West Coast, organic grocery delivery service. Seattle's also fortunate to have home milk delivery services still (as well as a cloth diaper service). I know these conveniences might not be available where you live, but it's worth looking to see. If there isn't a CSA yet, for instance, your area might be the perfect place to band together and start one.

The upside of having a regular delivery of wholesome food is that it encourages you to stay home and eat it, and it's easier shopping if you have young kids. The downside is that it costs more (Spud, for instance, charges more for almost everything we could get at our local PCC natural foods store, so you're paying an upcharge not just for organic but also for the convenience of home delivery); therefore, if you don't use it, you'll feel doubly guilty. I speak from experience here.

Grow your own

toddler helps harvest cherry tomatoes in garden
Mikko helps harvest the cherry tomatoes from our patio garden,
back when he had more chins than I could keep track of.

Growing and raising your own food is ideal in many respects:
    making raised garden beds — boy on wheelbarrow
  • You know exactly what went into the food and therefore can vouch for the quality.
  • It's something you can do as a family (or with multiple families) and with young children.
  • It's possible to be very frugal, although a warning: It's also possible to spend so much in your gardening giddiness you hope each tomato is worth its weight in gold [raises hand].
  • You can be as adventurous or tame as you wish. I recommend growing a lot of foods you know you like, and a few that you want to like. Then search out recipes to use them all!
  • You can put aside food for the non-growing season, by learning how to can, pickle, or freeze, giving you wholesome food year-round and once again saving you money.

You can also raise your own chickens for eggs, various animals for meat, and goats and cows for dairy, given enough land.

Which leads to the downside of raising your own food: You need somewhere to do it. If you don't have land, there are a few gardening options, however. I wrote before about my sorrow at losing our tiny concrete patio when we moved to this condo, and gave my readers and myself some ideas for making do. Suggestion #4 in that article worked for me, and Mamamilkers invited me over to garden with her family. There are also community garden plots and container gardens, some of which can be grown on a balcony or indoors. Even if you just grow a couple herbs in a windowbox, it's all a contribution to your table, and a rewarding activity in itself. You'll probably find your kids are pretty excited about choosing what seeds to plant and helping you water, too.

Quit cold turkey

Not in the far distant past, we used to eat fast food a lot. A lot. Sam's too embarrassed for me to tell you how often. I know this admission will send some of you running from my blog, screaming in horror.

But you know? If you've watched Super Size Me, you'll note that fast food doesn't taste as bad as it is. It's actually quite yummy. It's filling; it's cheap; it's plentiful; it's convenient; the restaurants welcome (heck, cater to!) children; you can hang out in one for hours to amuse a kiddo. It's all those things that make Americans like me like it.

But! We knew it was bad for our little guy. When he points at an Arby's logo and says, "Food!" you know it's time to change. So, a year or so later [snicker, shrug], we decided to quit cold turkey. We made a rule and a comparison; we heard some people on PhD in Parenting's "McDelimma" post comparing fast food to gas station food and saying, quite simply, they just don't consider it food. Sam and I took this in. It was true — even though gas stations are just as conveniently located, we never did consider stopping at one for a meal. It simply wasn't up to our standard for what is worth paying money for. So we decided: If it has a drive-thru, we're not eating there anymore.

And we haven't.

I have no idea why this worked, but feel free to try something similar around your own bad food habits and see.

Buy a (literally) cool water bottle

baby drinking Thai soda from can
Mikko just learning to beg for our sodas, in this case actually Thai coconut milk

I hate drinking water, but we're trying to kick a mean soda habit. This is one aspect where quitting cold turkey hasn't worked for us, so we're trying a more gradual approach. I prefer diet colas above all else, but that means — Mikko does, too. Yipes! The artificial sweeteners, the phosphoric acid — I don't want that in him. And I know all the other reasons soda's not so great, too, so I need to find ways to make drinking plain tap water more palatable to me, the better to model healthy hydration habits for Mikko.

I have found that buying the right water bottle is an incentive. Because if there's anything worse than drinking water, it's drinking water that's lukewarm or, worst of all, near-boiling from sitting in a car in the hot sun.

I knew I wanted to switch to stainless steel because of all the health scares related to plastics. I tried out a variety of different options, and I have come to prefer the insulated stainless steel version from CamelBak. The only downside is the insulation means the capacity isn't very large, but it sees me through shorter outings and my dance class.

If you have the money to splurge (or can find a good deal secondhand), for you it might be a different item that inspires you to eat better. It might be a juice maker or a sprouting set-up or fancy new cloth napkins to lure you over to a sit-down family dinner.

picking berries with baby in the ERGO carrier
Picking berries on Vashon Island in the ERGO

Shop the source

When the freshest food is in season, farmer's markets and fruit stands are a friendly and easy way to take advantage of the local harvests. Not all local farmers will be certified organic, but you can often talk with them and find out what their philosophy of farming is.

You can also go straight to the farms themselves and buy food there. In this way, you can take advantage of bulk deals, such as splitting a whole steer's worth of meat with another family if you both have a deep freeze, or participating in family-fun activities like pick-your-own berries.

Eat out locally

father and son eat poutine from skillet
Sam bemused that I'm taking his picture while he and Mikko are 
shoveling herbed poutine into their maws at Skillet's street food wagon

If you have the money and the inclination for it, there are so many great local options for restaurants, both fast and slow. You can get to know the proprietors and be treated like
pad thai at Siam Pura
The astonishing Thai yumminess that is Siam Pura on Alki
family, and you'll know you're giving back to the community by supporting them. You can purposely choose your restaurant based on how well it adheres to your whole-foods, real-foods ethic. I know once we stopped worrying so much about the wrong-headed rules of modern nutritionist culture and relearned an appreciation for fat, salt, spice, and taste, we were delighted with what we could find in our neighborhood.

The downsides of local restaurants is they're addictive (so many good ones!) and sometimes pricey. Some are more welcoming of children than others, though we've had good experiences overall. You'll want to figure out how eating out fits into your budget and lifestyle.

Avoid temptation

I cannot go to our conventional grocery store and be reasonable, so I am not allowed there anymore. I cannot coolly pass by all the delicious items that are so very bad for me but so very yummy going down. They scream to me: "I am so very tasty! And so very cheap! Look! Look! Buy me!"

So I now have Sam shop there, when necessary, and the rest of the time I do my shopping online, at PCC, or at farmer's markets. I still splurge, but then it's a splurge on something like vegan chocolate-esque brownies or artisan cheese curds, and it's not such a big deal.

I'm not saying you all have willing servants to do your shopping for you, but perhaps you, too, could rule some stores out of your routine. If you don't buy it, you can't eat it.

Make cooking an adventure

homemade mushroom cheese bread
One of Sam's many kitchen creations: mushroom and cheese bread. Oh, my — heaven!
If you don't cook, you might find it fun to learn. If you cook but are bored, you might find it fun to shake things up a bit. Many community colleges have adult-education courses in specific types of cooking (such as Thai cuisine or breadmaking). Sites like Cooking Traditional Foods and many, many blogs and cookbooks have recipes and tips that will take you step by step through preparing tasty and nutritious meals. Investing in a slow cooker will help you take advantage of wholesome foods like dry bulk beans and rice, which have the side advantage
toddler helping cook on the floor
The bread above was made with a little help from someone not wearing pants.
of being super cheap.

You can make cooking easier on yourself by cooking only one main meal a day (if that) and letting the rest of your meals be more like snacks or eating up leftovers. Sandra Dodd's Monkey Platter idea is a perfect way to set out a variety of healthful options in bite-size, finger-friendly portions that all of you can graze on throughout the day. For us, it's helped, too, not to assign foods to particular mealtimes. For instance, you're allowed to eat "breakfast" foods for dinner, and vice versa.

Interest your kids in cooking by inviting them into the kitchen and bringing the preparation down to their level.

Hate yourself

You could try beating yourself up for your failings as a parent and homemaker. You could cower in guilt and shame from the research that tells you you've been doing everything wrong and are ruining your children's health. You could let the conflicting recommendations overwhelm you into paralysis. You could blame yourself for all the ways in which you weigh more than you think you should, or eat more than you think you should, and despair of ever changing. You could shy away from admitting (in a blog post! in a carnival!) that you have eaten and liked fast food for fear of being torn to shreds. You could compare yourself to everyone else who has it all so much more together than you. But you know?

Hating yourself never works. Trust me.

Just make the changes you can, and give yourself some grace on the changes you can't make yet. Eating well doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing approach. Every baby step counts.

Disclosure: Only Amazon and ERGO links are affiliate.
All companies mentioned herein
have no idea I'm talking about them.
See my full disclosure policy here.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated July 13 with all the carnival links.)

  • Why I Love The Real Food Community — Much like many people who follow AP/NP values, Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! takes the parts of the "real food" philosophy that work for her family and leaves the rest. (@bfmom)
  • Feeding a Family of Six — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children gives helpful tips for feeding a family of six.
  • Starting Solids at 6 Months — Did your doctor recommend that you give your baby cereal? Sheryl at Little Snowflakes discusses how whole foods are so much healthier (and more delicious) than traditional cereal. (@sheryljesin)
  • Am I What I Eat? — Andrea!!! at Ella-Bean & Co. has figured out a way to avoid grocery stores nearly altogether.
  • Are We Setting Our Kids Up To Fail? — Megan at Purple Dancing Dahlias found that cutting out the junk also transformed her sons' behavior problems.
  • Changing your family's way of eating — Lauren at Hobo Mama has techniques you can try to move your family gradually toward a healthier diet. (@Hobo_Mama)
  • Real Food — What kinds of fake foods do you eat? And why?! Lisa C. at My World Edenwild talks about why she chooses real food.
  • A Snackaholic’s Food Battle — Julie at Simple Life wants to stop snacking and get into the old ways of cooking from scratch and raising her own food. (@homemakerjulie)
  • Food, Not Fight — Summer at Finding Summer doesn't want her kids to grow up like her husband: hating everything green. (@summerm)
  • How Do You Eat When You Are out of Town? — Cassie at There's a Pickle In My Life wants some tips on how to eat healthy when you are out of town.
  • Carnival of Natural Parenting: Food! — Sybil at Musings of a Milk Maker hopes that by serving her children healthy, balanced meals, they will become accustomed to making good food choices. (@sybilryan)
  • There's No Food Like Home's — NavelgazingBajan at Navelgazing revels in the Bajan food of her upbringing. (@BlkWmnDoBF)
  • This Mom's Food Journey — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment made a journey from not paying attention to food to growing her own.
  • Who Knew Eating Was So Hard? — The challenges involved in changing to healthier eating habits take on a whole new dimension when you have a child who has difficulties eating. kadiera at Our Little Acorn shares her own experiences. (@kadiera)
  • Loving Food — Starr at Earth Mama truly believes food is her family's medicine and is willing to spend days preparing it the traditional way.
  • Food Mindfulness — Danielle at born.in.japan details how her family spends money on each category of food. (@borninjp)
  • Food for Little People — Zoey at Good Goog wants to bless her daughter with happy traditions built around good food. (@zoeyspeak)
  • Eat Like a Baby — Have you been told that you should not equate food with love? Kate Wicker at Momopoly shows us why that's not necessarily true. (@Momopoly)
  • Food — Deb at Science@Home tries to teach her children three rules to help them eat a healthy diet. (@ScienceMum)
  • Healthy Living Lactose Free — MamanADroit gives us tips on how to eat healthy if you are lactose intolerant (or just don’t want cow milk). (@MamanADroit)


Jenn said...

Fantastic article! When you spoke of your deeply ingrained frugality as a roadblock to eating organically I could totally relate. When you have been budget-conscious your whole life, you really to have to make a focused effort to change your priority away from the cost to focus on the benefits.

In addition to the books and movies you suggested, I would add "The Future of Food," a Morgan Spurlock-produced film from 2004 which examines, among other things, the political driving forces behind what's in our grocery stores. Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution is another must-see, particularly for parents of school-age children who eat lunch at school. It is much more than an eye-opener: it offers real solutions.

I rarely bookmark individual blog posts, but this one is bookmarked thanks to the very useful links you've assembled here. Excellent Carnival post.

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

Don't beat yourself up, you are so not alone. I KNOW soda is a hard one - Tom is completely addicted, and I had kicked the habit years ago (and then Tom snuck it back into my life - damn it!). You want to try a substitute? Flavored Stevia drops. If you are at all cool with propel (another drink that's not high on the health food list), it's comparable to that. My fave drink ever (while pg!!) was grape flavored propel, much watered down. I discovered grape stevia drops and have died and gone to heaven - SO yummy and SO much healthier. I also drink iced coffee like it's going out of style - I almost feel ok about it b/c I use organic half & half and plain stevia to sweeten it. We all need our indulgences ;)

Mallory said...

Tophat just did a post about this that really got me thinking about what we eat. I am super interested in the CSAs that have been mentioned.

I must say, though, after reading your post, I do feel better about what my family eats. We do love our junk food and eating out, but we don't do those things very often. Now I just wish that I could grow a garden...

Megan said...

Great article! We started making changes to our diet towards the end of my pregnancy with my daughter a little over a year ago. We are already soooo much happier and healthier! What's hysterical to me is that I had to get a wellness exam for insurance and the nurse raved about how healthy I was. "You must be doing some incredible cardio!" Nope, eating 2-3 eggs a day, eating plenty of butter, drinking whole milk, making my own bread, eating lacto-fermented foods, eating plenty of local meat and veggies, and taking fermented cod liver oil/butter oil every day. Haha. I hope it continues to go well for you! It can be so overwhelming at times, but oh so worth it.

Cassie said...

This is really great because you are so honest.
Cooking with real butter, and drinking fat milk and having whole everything is something I'm a big fan of. I think 'low fat' tastes bad. My son's doctor told us to make sure he's eating lots of fat for his brain and she asked if we eat low fat (to make sure that we had some fat on hand for Luke) and I was like, no I eat whole fat lol.
Thanks, this is such a great carnival topic!

Melodie said...

You're far ahead of most people Lauren. I think all your baby steps are adding up to being quite a big one. Growing your own veggies is a big part of that because it forces a person to stay home for a meal and cook their veggies!

Taking Time said...

I am a huge believer in baby steps. The changes are too massive to make at once, however, one small step at a time leads to big change eventually. Great article, fab advice!!

Megan @ Purple Dancing Dahlias said...

Baby steps are the way to go sister! It all adds up over time. One thing that really helped me at the grocery store was to read the labels on things. When a brownie has five times as many ingredients as it should, it suddenly doesn't sound as good as before.

Deb Chitwood said...

Wow! So many great ideas! I love the idea of just staying away from things that are bad for you, at least in large quantities (like restaurants with drive-thrus or stores with unhealthy foods). I don’t keep ice cream at home for that reason.

Kat said...

Great post! I think you are doing better than you give yourself credit for :-) I just LOVE the pictures of your kiddo, he's too cute!!!

Kat said...

Great post! I think you are doing better than you give yourself credit for :-) I just LOVE the pictures of your kiddo, he's too cute!!!

MJK said...

I'm lucky that I was raised by a mom who was frugal but also encouraged healthy eating. I'm happy drinking water for every beverage during the day except breakfast. (Not sure why, I just need something with a bit of flavor to wake my mouth up in the morning!) My husband and his family all drink soda. Constantly. Can after can, glass after glass. It's a habit that's so ingrained in him that I don't know if he can break it. He doesn't like the taste of water. So I want to do everything in our power to give our kids the advantage of healthy habits from the start! Now that my son is getting old enough to demand a taste of everything I eat, I'm taking extra stock of everything I snack on.

Sheryl @ Little Snowflakes said...

Wow, what a great, detailed post! You have so many fantastic suggestions. I agree about the whole dairy products. When I start reading all the ingredients in the "lite" dairy products, I become dizzy. Plus, the no fat dairy products usually taste sooo bad. But the whole fat, organic, natural ones - delish! And a little goes a long way!

Seonaid said...

There is *so much awesome* in this post, I don't even know where to start. Wait, yes, I do. With the paragraph about how beating yourself up never works. You rock, Hobo Mama!

And its nice to have a place to admit that, even with everything I know, and all my priorities, I hear the siren call of the Coke aisle every time I go to the supermarket. Sigh. It's so much easier to do the right thing if you don't happen to want to do the wrong.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this - so much appreciated, I got some ideas I haven't tried (and failed at) yet. One thing I have to laugh at, though: "If you don't buy it, you can't eat it."

Only if no one ever gives you food. My coworkers bring donuts, cake, etc. into the office and oh it is so hard to walk away from it.

And I need to, because they're all store-bought bunches of...whatever.

Unknown said...

First of all, you pictured my water bottle (which I am in love with - I asked for it for Christmas!) Having water bottles I love has certainly helped me drink more water. I also like flavoring with lemon or cucumber, and in the summer, herbal or green tea iced tea is tasty and healthy!

Second, I had the same experience as you with trying to locate full fat yogurt for kiddos. I couldn't believe how hard it was!

Great post! :)

Michelle @ The Parent Vortex said...

Baby steps all the way, for sure. :) Every now and then I read or learn something that is a real "ah-ha!" moment and I feel like I take ten baby steps at once, but actually implementing changes is always slow.

Great post! I have my own fast food confession: while I was pregnant with Bea I had a major McD's breakdown - I saw the poster of a cheeseburger in the window and was suddenly overcome with the urge to go in and buy a cheap cheeseburger. And I did. And then I went right back to the counter and bought another one. (gasp! the horror!) I was probably needing the iron or something, but never before had a cheap, crappy cheeseburger tasted so good!

Lisa C said...

I saw Supersize Me a while back and I'm almost done reading In Defense of Food. I'd like to read/watch more, as long as it isn't redundant.

Yes! Dairy should have fat in it! I don't even bother with lowfat yogurt, I eat the YoBaby stuff myself.

Yay, butter!

There were two things that pushed me past the cost of organic: Having a baby whose body I wanted only the best for, and attending a weekly parenting group at our natural food store, which happens to be a short drive from our house--it was just so convenient! And I totally feel like I'm casting a vote when I buy organic. I find it interesting that Americans spend way less of their income on food than people in other industrialized countries. We are cheap-aholics. When I was in college, food was the easiest place to cut spending, so I did. I had no idea how bad it was for me, and every year ever since I have come a step closer to eating the way I should, and every year I can tell a difference in my health.

I shudder to think the kids of food I used to eat. *shudder*

The beauty of shopping our the natural food store is that all the ready-made stuff is so expensive. I don't buy chips and other junk food. I do buy chocolate there, but the cost of it helps me regulate how much of it I eat, and getting a piece of cake from the bakery is going to be a special treat. If I want inexpensive sweets, I have to make them myself.

It's all about the baby steps, though. I think "eat healthier" has been my goal every year for the past ten years of my life!

Kate Wicker said...

Another informative post from the astute Hobo Mama. :-) Seriously, this post is full of great info. Thank you.

And your photos are wonderful.

Armando Codina said...

Great Article! I discovered grape stevia drops and have died and gone to heaven - SO yummy and SO much healthier.

Christy said...

Wonderful article - lots of great ideas. I just feed all my kids vanilla sweetened whole organic yogurt. Then we add berries to it for taste. No need for special yogurt for babies! (they would eat plain, I am the one that likes a little more taste)

Anonymous said...

Yes, all those baby steps add up to some big changes over time. One of the small changes I made was to start reading ingredients lists on foods in the grocery store. Once I did that, I stopped as much "bad" stuff.

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