Susie Rahaim is a mother of three who is passionate about making sure her children are given healthy, unprocessed foods every day. I wanted her to write a 2-part guest blog on children’s nutrition because this is such a critical topic for women our age. She is also far from a “granola mother,” as she is one of the most stunning and stylishly polished women I know. – Chelsea
Feeding My Kids Right by Susie Rahaim
Here is the typical day of a mom (me!) trying to feed my kids right. By this I mean nutritious whole foods throughout their day. And yes, I DO MAKE THIS EFFORT each and every day. My kids are ages 2, 4, and 6. This is really my favorite topic of all.
Quite a bit of controversy surrounding this topic! Jaime Oliver, well-known chef and health food advocate goes as far as stating that feeding your children junk is just as bad as child abuse. Well with that said, we all know the old saying “you are what you eat.” I believe we have a duty as parents to feed our children healthy REAL food.
The key to success I have found is being consistent and offering healthy real food and most important=CHOICES. Having choices gives your kids the power to pick for themselves.
You know the choices are guaranteed to be healthy if and only if you are stocking your fridge and cupboards with the right foods or “real” foods we can call them.
According to Mercola.com (one of my most favorite and highly regarded health sources) unfortunately the concept of “food” has expanded from meat, veggies, dairy, fruit and other such natural items to include highly processed, preserved, artificially flavored and often brightly colored concoctions that now exist in super markets.
Dr. Mercola continues that food marketers do a masterful job at making it seem like fast foods and junk foods are the obvious choice, and they spend mega-billions every year to convince you and your kids to choose highly processed convenience food over REAL foods. I couldn’t agree more with this statement! These companies are flat out LYING to you. Please don’t believe the commercial that cinnamon toast crunch is a good source of whole grain cereal for your kids.
So how do you shop for REAL food? Here are some tips …
Real food almost always has the following characteristics:
-Vibrant colors, rich textures
-Strong connection to land and culture
Think Vegetables, fruit, fresh organic milk, eggs, cheeses, plain yogurts, beef (preferably farm raised and grass fed vs. factory farmed) organic pork, free range organic chicken, wild caught and sustainable fish, raw nuts and nut butters, healthy oils, and (in moderation) raw oats, quinoa, barley, millet, brown rice.
“Food products,” or processed foods tend to have these traits
-Always the same
-No connection to land or culture.
Think most grocery store cereals, crackers, chips, pop, candy, cakes, cookies, frozen pizzas, lunch meats (filled with toxic nitrates), hot dogs, most any and all frozen packaged foods, lunchables.
So now with this info under your belt…back to feeding the kids. I know I know, you are saying “So what can I actually feed my kids then?” Below you will find a day in our home and the meals/snacks prepared.
Soaked, non-instant plain oatmeal with organic cream (some of my girls put raw honey in too), piece of fresh coconut, and 2 slices cantaloupe.
(My oldest did not care for this option so she had 1 piece of Ezekiel brand sprouted whole grain bread, 1 TBLS raw almond butter and drizzle of raw honey. 2 pieces cantaloupe).
Hard-boiled eggs on organic saltine crackers (one of my few cracker exceptions), 10 green beans each and just picked from our garden. Handful of raw nuts.
Newman’s brand plain microwave popcorn. 3 pieces chicken sausage (Applegate farms brand= nitrate free).
Salad made with romaine, red cabbage, carrots, sunflower seeds, and olive oil/balsamic dressing.
Brown rice pasta and our Aunt Kim’s homemade pasta sauce and meatballs.
Steamed broccoli (kids call them little trees and they like to dip them into the salad dressing)
Dessert (not always needed but if the kids are asking…)
Strawberries picked from our garden, 4oz. each organic plain yogurt (Greek), exceptions I make are Julie’s brand organic ice cream, 100% fruit juice popsicles, and of course treats are fine in moderation if at a party or celebration.
Stay tuned! In the second part of my series I will outline my family’s Top 10 Healthy Snacks to give you a little “whole foods” inspiration when packing those lunches.