Monday, March 28, 2011

Step One | Admitting You Have A Problem

Two things happened that made me realize it was time to do something about what I was feeding my kids.

Thing one: A friend's son, who is Daniel's age had a malignant growth, resulting in surgery and significant changes in their diet. They are avoiding foods that come in a box or bag, trying to take some preventative measures, while also needing to react to what already exists in his little body.

Thing two: Daniel and Mommy and Daddy had a 30-hour battle over mixed vegetables. (Too bad it didn't happen during the 30-hour Famine sponsored by World Vision. That would have been a much more honorable cause.)

My kids favorite foods are: pizza, cheeseburgers, macaroni and cheese, fruit snacks, ice cream, and candy. Their favorite beverage is pop. Yes, I acknowledge that my kids are normal American (strong emphasis on American) children.

I must start with a confession. A big part of the problem is that I love all these foods too. I don't like mixed vegetables. I don't like soups loaded with veggies. I hate the smell of broccoli. I vividly remember the night at the dinner table that my husband forced me to eat all of my stuffed zucchini. Gross. I remember feeling very angry. I won't go into how stuffed zucchini ended up on our dinner table. I didn't make it. I'll leave it at that.

The problem: Our eating habits need to change.

The challenge: The change will need to be incremental. The trick is to slowly make changes to their diet.

The goal: Make at least one small, but significant change each week. Discover new recipes. Discover new favorites. Discover new ways to mix healthy foods into favorite foods undetected.

Join us. Read our stories and laugh. Try our recipe discoveries. If you find you and your family in a similarly embarrassing spot, get a little healthier with us. I'd love it if you leave a comment. I'd love ideas and tips. Recommend recipes. Tell me how you encourage healthy eating at your house. We need help!

I'll be posting about our progress (and probably sometimes set-backs) each Monday.


  1. Good luck. I remembered your story when we battled with my son who likes to not eat dinner and then 30 minutes later wants a snack....

    Here's a tip we've tried that a friend gave us. We put everything individually on a plate for our son, but only about a tablespoon of it. He has to eat everything and then whatever he liked he can have more of. That way he doesn't feel overwhelmed when trying something new or that he's going to have to eat a ton of food on his plate.

  2. I've heard it takes time to adjust one's taste pallet... like 10 times of trying a new thing before you start to enjoy it more... That said, I would just encourage you to keep finding new ways of preparing veggies (just because they don't like broccoli served one way, doesn't mean they won't like it prepared another way). Also, maybe it would be fun for them to get involved. What about making sweet potato fries? They are so good for you and a good alternative to regular fries. Also, I would experiment with seasonings and sauces (homemade)... they can totally change how you view veggies. Also, I find the pea, carrot, lima bean veggie mix to be one of the worst :) What about the California blend? Or stir fry veggies? Hmm... I will keep thinking about it. Proud of you for taking up this challenge!

  3. Do your kids like oatmeal? One of Judah's favorite things for breakfast is old fashioned oats (not the kinds from the packet). I cook them in the microwave with milk. After they are cooked, I add some applesauce and some yogurt. He eats it almost everyday for breakfast. It's healthy, cheap and easy.
    Good for you for getting your kids on track with eating healthy. It'll pay off!

  4. I was a 'shredding mom' - shredded many veggies and put them in hamburger patties, meatballs, spaghetti sauce, and lots of casseroles. Our palates change as we grow up; someone said they change completely every 7 years. Kids are probably not going to like most veggies unless they liked them when they were quite little. Rather than fight every meal, sneak them into their foods. You can still encourage them to try things (overtly) but if they don't like something, you will know they are still getting what they need. Besides, it's so much fun to trick them like this. I have great memories of eating a meal and listening to my boys say they didn't like something, while they were in the process of eating it! Great fun!

  5. I am so with you! My first step was cutting down on the condensed soup. There are so many good recipes that I had with cream of xx soup that I was having about 1 a week or so. Now, I have one a month.

    For baked goods, I highly recommend (you may already have it) Deceptively Delicious cookbook-puts veggie purees into baked goods and they're actually good. (Doug can tell it's different, but still eats it).

    My next step--I don't know, I'll wait and see what yours is. :)