Raising kids on nutrient dense foods
I get asked about how we were able to navigate raising kids on nutrient dense foods. Our daughters are now in their twenties, our youngest almost 16 (how do these things happen??). I’ve written about this before, but here’s a couple little tidbits.
Honestly, I think it’s more philosophy than tactics. We said “no”. A lot. We were always comfortable with our kids being mad at us. I also started educating them from a very young age. I wanted my kids to be invested in their food. I explained not just what was healthy but why it was healthy, what was in fake foods and how those ingredients affected their bodies. We talked about animal welfare and how animals from factory farms, the main ingredient in junk foods, are treated. We empowered them with knowledge.
I made healthy versions of cookies and cakes. For birthdays, gluten-free wasn’t common enough at that time, so I would just tell the host parents that our kids had some food intolerances and ask what they would be serving and if it would be ok if I cooked up a version that would be safe for our kids to eat. I never had anyone balk at that (at least not to my face). I would then show the kids what I was sending for them and why it was different than the other food (they were always pumped to get whatever it was because it was different and special from what we normally ate, a “treat” in other words).
Leading by example. We don’t eat at bakeries, fast food places etc. so it wouldn’t occur to our kids that this is something to do to get food. What you do is bring food with you. When we did eat out, it was a couple of times a year at a fancy restaurant with quality food – a special event (they can still list off restaurant meals eaten during their lives).