I have been doing a lot of research on food and the effects it can have on behavior. Not only in children, but also in adults. Just google the effects of food dyes and artificial flavors and you will have a vast array of information. Some of our children struggle more with anger and outbursts, some with tics of different kinds, like chewing on clothes and blankets (literally chewing a sleeve apart or putting holes in the neck band of a shirt), others with rashes and itchy skin. As the woman in charge of food in our home, I feel responsible to figure out where these issues are coming from. Now, I just want to add that this is not to excuse sin. Children and adults alike sin. But if there is something that is causing someone in my family problems, and its in my ability to fix it, I will. So, this leads me to the research I have been doing.
The american diet is full of artificial flavors, artificial colors and preservatives. In fact, I just read an article that said Americans now eat five times as much food dye as they did in 1955. We have strayed so far from a whole foods, natural diet. We are caught up in having things now, being impatient to wait for the time it takes to raise a loaf of bread. I understand the busyness. I also understand that sometimes we don’t have time to make dinner and need something quick.
I am trying to do better about this and plan to start doing 3 things to feed my family healthier food. I thought I would share those three things with you and hope you can use them too!
Here are three tips to help you feed your family healthier meals.
- Meal Plan! – This is huge. If you know what you are going to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus snacks, it makes your life so much easier. When you have a meal plan and you make a shopping list from it, you will have the ingredients you need to cook healthy meals and snacks. This meal plan doesn’t need to be fancy. It can be a list of options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, then as you cook those meals, cross them off the list. Or print a blank calendar and fill it out with the foods you will eat each day.
- Stick with the basics. – The meals you cook don’t have to be fancy. If you are overwhelmed with the thought of what to cook, just stick with the basics of meat, vegetable, fruit and starch. It doesn’t have to be fancy. A couple nights ago, I cooked an entire bag of chicken tenders with some coconut oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and thyme. We have had that chicken for 3 meals now and my kids think its the best chicken they have ever eaten! When shopping avoid products that list terms like “artificial color”, “artificial color added”, “color added”, “natural flavor”, and “vanillin”.
- Make a few freezer meals. – Take the time to prepare a few freezer meals. You can make casseroles, soups, marinated meat, crockpot meals, breakfast sandwiches and burritos, the list goes on and on. So many healthy foods can be made and frozen for when you don’t have time to cook dinner. By having the meals frozen in your freezer, you can pull one out the night before you need it, dump in the crockpot in the morning and set it to cook all day. When dinner time rolls around, serve it with an easy green salad and you have a healthy meal that you can feel good about giving to your family.
Pretty simple, huh? Let me know in the comments below what you do to feed your family healthier meals.