Happy Tiny Tuesday! I can’t tell you how happy I am to be back home and reunited with my girls! The hubby, too, of course. It seems like each trip I take without them I miss them more and more. And, it’s trips like these that make me realize just how close my girls and I are. We are truly a little threesome. They are my little chickens, my best buddies, and my littlest loves. All that to say, I’m glad to be back with those people that are such a huge source of joy in my life.
It’s crazy to think how much our kids do for us – make us laugh, help us grow as women and moms, bring us out of our comfort zone, and much, much more. And when I think of all that my girls do for me, it’s hard to avoid thinking about what I do for them. Kids are such a big responsibility and as moms, we play such a huge role in their lives – especially during these foundational years. I started thinking about this over the weekend and asking myself all kinds of questions. Questions like “how am I doing cultivating a positive environment” or “am I loving them well?” I want to make sure I’m building a good foundation for life, for love, for faith in Christ, and for nutrition. And that’s when I realized how little I’m doing to build a solid foundation for my girls’ nutrition.
As you know, I had the privilege of spending a long weekend at Kripalu with my mom and sister. We escaped for a yoga retreat centered around building a nutritional foundation for health and vitality. I learned A TON and will be sharing a good amount of that info with you guys on Friday. But what I want to talk about here today is some of what I learned regarding my role in my kids’ nutrition.
You guys, have you ever thought about the massive responsibility we have as parents to give our children a good, solid nutritional foundation? Anything and everything my girls are eating right now is dictated by me. Me! That’s a big weight. I’m going to be the first to admit to you today that I hadn’t given my kids’ nutrition a huge amount of thought. I of course tried to have something healthy at every meal, but I also wanted to be the fun mom. I let my girls have a lot of things at first just as a splurge. But, those splurge items like sugared cereal and hot dogs ended up becoming staples. Yikes.
I do feel ashamed because I give my own diet a huge amount of thought. Being a people pleaser though, I never want to push my diet choices onto other people and unfortunately that line of thinking trickled down to my kids.
After this weekend I learned a lot about how our macronutrients and micronutrients effect our health. I learned that for the first time in US history kids 18 years and under are predicted to live shorter lives than we are because of their diet. After hearing some other staggering statistics, I took a personal assessment and realized just how little veggies my kids eat. I also realized how much sugar I’m loading them up with (in the form of sugar, excess fruit/fructose, and carbs). I have been putting a massive strain on their little bodies. I have not been giving them the fuel they need to be the best versions of themselves.
Instead of dwelling on all the “bad” I may have cultivated, I have decided to make some pretty big changes (all founded in research) in my girls’ diet. We’re talking a whole new diet here. Typically, when I make a change like this I wait until I see the result before I share it with you guys. However, this change will take time so I opted to include you guys on this process with me.
Some of you may be rolling your eyes right now and please know that I am cool with that. In fact, I used to be the same way. In a culture where we spend so little time educating ourselves on the nutritional value of what we’re eating, I know I am in the minority. I know it’s easier to feed my kids frozen food or corn dogs. Heck, that’s been my strategy for almost 4 years. What I want to do now though is give my kids nutrient dense meals. I want to make a conscious effort to give their little bodies exactly what they need to learn, grow, run, dance, you name it!
Make no mistake, the changes I want to make to create a new diet for my girls will take time. I also understand that they are kids and I will let them splurge every now and then. I recognize, too, that there will be times where their diet is out of my control – birthday parties, school events, grandparents’ houses, etc. I will cross those bridges when I come to them. For now though, I’m strictly focusing on what I can control and begin to implement those things in my home.
Let’s dig in! Here is what and how I plan to implement diet changes:
- Reduce our gluten intake – I know this is a super controversial topic. In fact, my husband and I don’t see eye to eye on this one. But, after hearing about the negative effects gluten has on our brain function and our gut health, I’m opting to reduct our gluten intake. We currently have a ton of gluten items. Instead of throwing all of our gluten items out, I’m going to let them eat what’s left (bread, crackers, etc.) so as not to waste money. As our gluten items begin to decline, I will start to add in substitutes. I also won’t be buying more gluten items. Moms – if you’ve ever done this, I would love suggestions!
- Switch from A1 milk to A2 milk – you guys! Learning about A1 milk (milk from Holstein cows) has been a big eye opener for me. For starters, A1 milk doesn’t contain vitamin D3, which our bodies so desparately need. Raw milk is the only source of sulfated D3. A1 milk also increases your risk of heart disease, type I diabetes, and all cause mortality. A1 milk has none of those. This switch is a lot easier than you think. You simply buy A1 milk (milk from a guernsey or jersey cow) or goat’s milk. I actually bought the girls goat’s milk and goat’s milk yogurt from Trader Joe’s last night and they LOVED it!
- Eliminate sugar and processed foods – this will be the hardest part because we have a lot of processed food in our casa. But, as those run out, I will be prepared with healthier snacks for my girls – nuts, kale chips, string cheese, berries, carrots, etc.
- Reduce our fructose intake – I didn’t really realize how much excess fructose our girls were getting, so I will start to decrease the amount of fructose we eat.
- Work toward better ratios – this will be tough. Over the weekend we learned that 50% of our plate should be green, leafy vegetables, 25% should be starch or starchy root veggies, and 25% should be protein. I can tell you right now I wasn’t putting any green veggies on their plate. So, I will start to add this back in as creatively and tastefully as I can. I am going to start with things like creamed spinach and work my way into some of the harder green veggies for kids. Again, any suggestions would be great!
- Buy better meats – the way cattle is raised in our country is awful. It’s awful and often the animals themselves are fed well. I am fully aware of this and have just turned the other cheek on this topic as of late. Before kids my husband and I only ate meat from local farms, but we fell off that bandwagon when we had kids and started needing higher quantities. But, we are vowing to buy grass fed meat, bison, lamb, and other healthy meats for our girls.
This is just a start, but hopefully a good start. I hope you all chime in with any tips or tid bits you may have. I so appreciate hearing from you guys! And again, stay tuned for Friday because I’ll be sharing a lot more then!
photography: fort lion studio