Our family has been on a 5 year journey of veganism, vegetarianism, rawism and pescetarianism which has brought my family nothing more than processed, nutrient poor meals full of macaroni and cheese, soy nuggets, cereal and peanut butter and honey sandwiches.
In the big scheme of things you may be wondering...why does this even matter? Why do I care what this Registered Dietitian feeds her children? What I have determined is that I am not the only one on this planet with children that don't eat a wide variety. And, there is such thing as an unhealthy vegetarian. There are numerous books that will teach you what to feed your kids and how to work miracles with even the fussiest of eaters. There are also numerous cookbooks that will teach you how to feed your kids, and believe me I have read many books and cookbooks and will share my experience with you on a monthly basis.
As a global community children around the world receive less than 4 hours per year of nutrition education. As a parent you might think that your child will learn about nutrition through school but it is important to know the facts and realize that the most important person they can learn from is you.
Back tracking a little bit, I want to Introduce my family.
My husband and I are the same age, 38. I have always felt that it was important to have a meal at dinnertime and since we were married I cooked a more or less healthy meal for at least 4 nights a week. Soon after we had our first child we decided that we would clean our lives with purer food and dove right into Vegetarianism and Veganism. When our son was little it was fine. Most foods for infants and toddlers are easy to prepare and simple. My son loved avocado and bananas, hummus, yogurt and applesauce. He nursed until he was 19 months old and then we made the transition to a variety of milks. Soy milk was a favorite and by the time he was 3 he slowly accepted cow's milk. Our daughter came when our son was almost 3 years old. At this point he was eating more finger foods but still liked a lot of fruits and vegetables. Our daughter nursed until she was almost 2 1/2 years old. She has never really accepted cow's milk and drinks very little soy or almond milk. She loves eggs and most fruits and all nuts, but pretty much lives on peanut butter and honey sandwiches.
The year of 2012 also brought the honor of being my town's Ambassador for Food Revolution Day. This day has been set aside to promote awareness of what our children eat and to advocate for better community involvement at both a home and school level.
As a Registered Dietitian dealing with children I have found our eating habits more frustrating than most people might. I tend to dwell on the fact that if I can't get my children to eat healthier then how can I advise other parents to feed their children healthier fare?
So the journey is to begin now. My personal and family challenge to get us healthier in the new year.
Over the next 52 weeks I will pick an area of nutrition to work on, new foods and recipes to try, and techniques that have been researched and tried by other parents to incorporate into our journey.
I will incorporate and support interactive questions on my facebook page: ABCD Eat Right and find out what works for you as parents and grandparents. I will present a book that I have read and fill your parenting tool kit with recipes and alternative resources. And, I will describe our families trial and tribulations on a weekly basis right here on this blog. So join us, jump in with us and offer any advice you seem may fit into our discussion.
I look forward to a Healthy and Happy New Year!