Friday, May 13, 2011

Pick your Battles

I'm a little irritated.  Yesterday I had a lovely blog post all about my home-made bread and the goodness and loveliness that it has brought to our lives...of course it was almost ready to post when Blogger decided to go kapoot.  And kapoot went my post.  So, here's something a little different...a little more angry as I'm in a feisty mood.  I'll get to bread tomorrow.

I try to give my kids the best.  The best I can afford.  The best of me.  The best education.  The best nutrition.  Nutrition is a huge on my priority list.  I am so grateful that my kids live in a time where I have been able to educate myself about what good nutrition is.  Forever people have debated what kind of diet is best and I'm guessing that it's not about to stop any time soon as everyone has their own opinion.  But I do feel that we know some good basics.  Gone are the days when all fat is bad.  Gone are the days where bread is bad.  Gone are the days when juice was just as good for you as water.   Everything in moderation, right?  We've all heard it.

I don't hate on sugar.  I don't typically have a lot of sugary or processed items at my house, so my kids normally only get a sugary treat at the grocery store or if we're on an outing.  Except in the summer when I feel a daily popsicle is the only proper way to help beat the heat.  They get cereal that has sugar in it...Raisin Bran, Honeynut Cheerios, Frosted Shredded Wheat and their oats.  The reason I feel that these sugar cereals are acceptable is because I feel their high grain and fiber content is valuable.  I try to avoid giving them anything with artificial sweeteners.  I do feel natural is best, I'm a little leery of chemicals.

I am not a fan of corn unless it is corn in cob form.  Our country is obsessed with putting corn in everything.  I don't know how many people realize that so much of what we eat has corn in it.  Check the label.  Of course Corn Syrup and High-Fructose Corn Syrup (by the way the corn industry is trying to change the name of high-fructose corn syrup to corn sugar, I guess they figured it's gotten such a bad rap that it needs a new name.  Tricky tricky).  Dextrose or Dextrin, Maltodextrin, Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Lactate, Calcium Stearoyl, Citric Acid, Glucose, Polydextrose, Xanthan Gum...all are corn derived.  And I feel that in many cases this is just adding extra carbs and sugars that we don't need in a sneaky way.  We had a box of Corn Flakes that I had used to make Company Potatoes and my oldest had decided that she loved Corn Flakes and that was all she wanted to eat.  Luckily for her not too long ago Daddy was making breakfast and he gave her a bowl as Mama is a hater and wouldn't think of it.  Not two hours later she was desperately hungry.  That corn cereal did not stick with her where the oat or wheat-based cereals will keep her full until lunchtime. 

All I'm saying here is...this is getting ridiculous.  I don't avoid everything that has these ingredients in it, as that would be impossible, but I do make a conscious effort to take a look at what I eat and wonder why do we need all this added stuff?  Does my orange juice really need xanthan gum in it?   And is this possibly part of the reason our nation is reaching epic levels of obesity?

I have changed the way I look at food and hopefully will give my children a better relationship with food than I have.  I do not give them access to eat whatever they want, whenever they want to.  We have our 3 meals and then 2 snacks a day.  A snack for us is usually a string cheese or a banana.  We drink milk and water at home.  If we go to a restaurant...okay, they usually get milk there too, but on occasion I'll let my Oldest get a Sprite.  We have candy almost every weekend in our popcorn for Family Movie Night and usually a tasty dessert for Sunday Dinner...but that's about it.  I don't want them to be crazy about sugar like some people who never get to eat sugar are, but I don't want them to have unlimited access to it and crave it every minute 

Let's all try a little harder to make the right food decisions for our kids sake.

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