Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Children and Healthy Eating Habits

My children are grown now and are either at the teenage or adult stage in their lives and are pretty much in charge of what they put into their own bodies these days, but as they were growing up it was my duty to ensure they were well nourished.  I cooked most of our evening meals from scratch, packed lunches for school and work, and baked homemade goodies for snacks.  It was also a part of my job as the homemaker to do the grocery shopping which meant that I was the one who chose what food was coming into our home and therefore what everyone was eating.

Grapes - washed and cut into snack sized bunches.  Frozen grapes or frozen peas are a great snack too.

Over the years I learned that white bread was no good for us and that during the process of milling the flour, so much natural goodness was taken out that eating white bread was leaching nutrients from our bones.  Medical research has shown that white bread causes a variety of health issues and the health authorities decided that they needed to 'fortify' the flour to make it 'good for us' again.


I also started working as an assistant to a naturopath and had my eyes opened to the chemicals in our foods and other nasty toxins around our home and the effects it has on our health.  I have learnt first hand about the build up of toxins and heavy metals in our bodies from constant exposure over years as I now have many chemical sensitivities.

Homemade Lemon Iced Tea

I wish I knew back when my children were little, what I know now.  I would have started them on brown bread, raw sugar, vegetable sticks for snacks and more wholegrains.  Children will eat mostly what you bring them up to eat.  Sure sometimes they still don't want to eat their greens but basically if you start them young enough they will eat what is in front of them because that is all they know.  When I first introduced my family to wholegrain bread there was a fuss, even from my husband, but because it was the only bread in the house they soon learned to eat it and now my adult children buy it for themselves.  It was the same with raw and brown sugar and brown rice & pasta.

Homemade Trail Mix - so we only get the things we like

Having adult children and teenagers in the house I find a different problem in getting them to eat healthy snacks....laziness.   Mostly they stand staring into the refrigerator or pantry looking for the most convenient food to grab and run with.  That could be a packet of chips, muesli bar, biscuits, an apple or banana, but it is rarely an orange, pineapple or any other fruit that needs some sort of work to be eaten such as peeling or cutting.

Fresh Pineapple - Peeled cut and ready to eat on the run

I have found that making my own 'grab and run' foods and drinks encourages them to pick a healthy snack rather than a more expensive, over processed one.

Homemade Healthy Muffins

The photos are some of the things we have on hand most of the time.  Basically I do the preparation and they eat it but it is worth it to know that they are getting good nutrition and are healthy.

Hard-boiled Eggs for a grab and go snack.  Peeled is even better.

Do my kids still eat junk food?  Yes they do, but at least I know that in between junk snacks they are also being well nourished from home.

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