Posts Tagged 'real food'

Mixed Marriages

There are many mixed marriages out there.  Carnivores are married to vegans, vegetarians are married to omnivores, raw foodists are married to those who only eat locally grown food, fast food junkies are married to those with lactose intolerance.  So how can a person plan for family meals when each adult has specific food rules, and how to raise the children?

I am all for exposing children to the food traditions, likes and preferences of all adults involved in raising a child.   As the children get older they will ask why certain foods are eaten or not eaten by certain individuals.  This is a great time to discuss food choices, values, traditions and preferences.  Let your children know why you are an omnivore, vegetarian, etc.  Then let them experiment with the foods and ideas presented at your table.   If meat is serve for one family member it should be available for the kids.  If a child wants to follow the lead of the raw food parent, for a meal, a day or forever, let them.   Forcing a child to eat only the foods of one parent or caregiver, when the other parent is eating different foods at the meal can be confusing and sometimes upsetting to a child. Don’t have someone the odd person out.  Don’t extend more or less  value to the choices of one person over the other.

As I have advised against making special food for a child, you don’t want to make special food for a spouse or partner because they only eat raw food.  Make meals that are inclusive.  Have two hearty side dishes, each representing a different food path, or make a main dish representing one type food selection with a side dish, salad or soup representing another.  Perhaps a large raw foods salad, grilled fish and local corn on the cob.  Everyone can eat what meets their own needs.

Enjoy the variety we are fortunate enough to have.  Keep an open mind to the choices of others.  For best healthy eat  a variety of whole simple foods.  Your and your children will thrive,  whatever you choose.

The Ying and Yang of Halloween

Trick or Treat time. Once again many of us are plagued by the ying yang of what to do. Give out candy, which perpetuates poor health and health habits, or give out something healthy that kids will likely throw away. I have two suggestions. One is to give out non-food items. There are many inexpensive and small items kids like to have. Try temporary tattoos, shiny rocks, shells, pencils, erasers, small rubber balls, glow sticks, stickers or even coins. If you are feeling creative, make something yourself. Give each child one or two pieces of origami paper and directions to make an animal. Buy a book of Mad Libs or crossword puzzles. Give each child a page of the book, rolled up with a ribbon. You can even make your own mad lib or crossword puzzle. Find the directions to a unique paper airplane and attach them to the appropriate size piece of paper.

If you want to give out candy type items I recommend sticking with real food. By real food I mean nuts, seeds, dried fruit (with no sugar added), honey based treat (as opposed to high fructose corn syrup) and popcorn. Buy small individual serving size bags of sunflower seeds, nuts or pumpkin seeds; or bag them yourself. There are several different brands of sesame honey candy available. Even peanut brittle is real food; nuts and sugar. Dried fruit such as raisins, mango and berries are widely available, but also may require you bagging them in small sizes.

Popcorn is great for kids. If you like you can pop it yourself and give it out warm in small bags. The children can eat it as they walk from house to house. You can also give out small bags of unpopped popcorn kernels with directions on how to pop it on the stove top with oil. Many children think popcorn needs to be micro waved and are amazed that it can be popped in a pot. Please do not give out microwave popcorn, the bag liners have carcinogenic ingredients that escape into the popcorn when heated. Also, flavored popcorn usually has high levels of food coloring, artificial flavors and salt. Another corn based real food is dried corn kernels. These also come in small snack bags.

Although honey is just pure sugar, it is a natural real food. Purchase honey in small plastic tubes. Also, the amount of honey in the tubes is very small, but kids love to suck it out. You might consider serving real apple cider on Halloween night, let the kids and adults drink it at your home. Warm the cider if it is cold on Halloween night. Hot chocolate, made with real milk, may also be appreciated in some areas of the country. So enjoy, and have a great, guilt free evening.

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