In this post I’ll attempt to answer some of the common and uncommon questions I get as a real mom trying to feed my family real food on a regular basis. If I don’t cover the burning question in YOUR mind, then jump into the comments–I’ll meet you there!
Do your kids eat all this food you make?
Usually. Mostly ’cause I focus on finding meals that are both nourishing but yummy. It’s a waste of time and money for me to make something they won’t eat, but we do have a wide variety of meals they eat well. “Well” being a relative term depending on the mood we’re in, if the littles have had naps, and if I let them snack before dinner. lol Here are my top strategies…
- Little bit goes a long way. The great thing about having nutrient dense food at every meal is that even if I only get them to eat a few bites, I know they’ve been nourished. We have a rule if they don’t feel like eating, they have to take as many bites as they are old. For Seth, that’s just 3 bites, which he counts himself and isn’t overwhelmed by. Jesse has to eat 7 bites, which usually comes close to emptying his plate! (Sneaky mamma scores again!) We have raw milk with almost every meal, so that kinda fills in the gaps with good protein and fats, and the grass-fed goodness that comes through the milk when the cows are on pasture.
- Making it fun. My kids are not big on soup. We have to get creative when their soup-craving mamma serves dinner in bowls. Last week I made my favorite–chicken vegetable soup–and I called in Amazon Stew because we’d just been studying about the Amazon jungle in school. Suddenly it became a contest to see who could eat a crocodile (green beans!) or a goldfish (corn!) or a great big boa constrictor (noodles!).
- Rewarding. We use bribery regularly. I know that sound awful, but it’s really not. They have to eat their breakfast eggs before they get their toast or fruit. They have to eat their soup before they get cornbread. They have to eat at least half the food on their plate before they get a drink with their meal…otherwise they fill up their bellies with liquid and have no room for food. And no dessert until plates are clean. 😉 Just good, old fashioned training.
- Hiding. The other thing they don’t eat well is sauerkraut, so I just sneak the milder versions, like gingered carrots or cordito in with something before I serve it to them, and they don’t notice. They get most of their enzymes from kefir smoothies and bowls of yogurt. I hide lots of goodies like fermented bean paste, Mexican sauerkraut, and sprouts in taco salad.
- Helping. Another great strategy is letting them help with the food prep. They are way more willing to eat something, or at least try it, if they helped make it. Jesse helps me sprout, dehydrate, and grind grain, sprout seeds, feed our sourdough start, chop veggies for sauerkraut, and especially lick the spoon when we make peanut butter fudge.
Does your husband eat this stuff?
Yes. I’m very blessed in that my husband was raised in a home that knew whole foods. His mom ground her own grain and made most dinners from scratch. I’ve admittedly taken it a step further by soaking things and topping stuff with fermented veggies occasionally, but we both make concessions and achieve a good level of harmony about the whole thing. He displays a willingness to try new things or eat something that’s not quite his favorite once in a while, and I commit to keeping the cookie tin full for him. 😉
Do you ever cheat/compromise?
Oh, my goodness, yes. All the time. I live in the real world, people. I am not a fake person hiding behind perfect-looking blog posts. (Wait till I tell you about the cake I made in Thursday’s post!) Reality has its affect on our diet. We travel a lot. When we do, we eat in–gasp!–restaurants! I love Chik-fil-a! The way I’ve found peace about the compromises that are a part of real life is with this understanding: We eat as healthy as we can when we’re at home, so we don’t have to stress about food when we’re out and about. This doesn’t mean we binge when we hit the road–my kids drink water (not soda) in restaurants. We rarely order dessert. We focus on protein, not carbs in our meal choices. What it means is we give ourselves grace. I can’t control everything we eat, and because we don’t have any allergies, I don’t have to. I do my best, and let it rest.
One thing we do NOT do is food coloring. My kids have this so rarely that when they do they go insane. So even when it’s a dear relative trying to serve a tasty dessert to my kids at a party, I gently put my foot down if it’s got food coloring, and explain that it makes my kids crazy. No one really wants crazy kids, so I don’t get flack. I do have to be brave sometimes, because it makes me the odd one out, but it’s worth it to maintain my kid’s non-hyper behavior!
How DO you have time to make everything from scratch?
Well, let’s see. I don’t have TV, so that frees up a lot of my time…but I do have facebook, so there’s always something to distract me from what I should be doing…It all comes down to priorities. I love serving my family real food. I love how healthy and strong our bodies are because of it. I love that I’ve never had to take my kids to the doctor. I love that my husband and I no longer have to visit the dentist. I love that we sleep well and feel well. I sacrifice at times to make sure we continue to eat what is helping us thrive. I roll out of bed at 10:30pm because I remember I have to soak oatmeal for breakfast. I menu plan and think ahead and do a little advanced prep for the next meal every time I’m in the kitchen. I prepare food in bulk so there are whole days I don’t have to cook. And I wrote a whole book with every one of my strategies so you, too, can cook real food fast. 😉
When are you going to write another book?
When I’m ready. Lol Writing books is like birthing babies…a lot of work, and my body needs a break in between. 😉 Actually, the content for this series was originally slated as a sequel to my cookbook, but then I just decided to gift it to you as blog posts. But, if you would like this series in a book form for easy reference and inspiration (with a few more topics that didn’t fit in this month, and some stuff expounded on more!) then do let me know, and I’ll put the idea in a pot to simmer. Along with my chicken stock. It’ll be yum. And good for you. 😉
Got anymore questions? I love chatting with you all. And no question is taboo. Ask away. Even if it doesn’t have anything to do with real food. I love getting real with you. 😉