Confessions of an Imperfect Food Mom

I have a confession to make....

Our family diet is not perfect (sometimes it's even all out bad) and I am completely ok with that.

We are blessed to live in a time where we know so much about how our bodies work and the effects of the food we use to nourish them.  As a society, we know about vitamin and mineral balances, digestion, effects of certain foods on blood sugar, dangers of certain artificial ingredients, and so much more than I could ever describe...but I think you probably get the idea.  Many have seen the documentaries on fast food and Monsanto and know the statistics on obesity, cancer, and diabetes.

And yet in our family...

sometimes we stop for fast food because it is there.

sometimes we order pizza.

sometimes we buy cereal that has more sugar than we should have for breakfast.

sometimes we even buy soda and candy.

Rarely do we....

buy organic foods.

consume full fat dairy.... actually we don't really drink milk at all.

worry about the sugar and fat content of homemade foods.

We almost always...

buy canned beans instead of dry.

buy in bulk from Costco.

have a few quick meals or canned soups and sauces for *those* nights.

have homemade treats of some variety available.

For every one of these statements I can find reasons why these decisions are *bad* for my family... how our health would be *better* if we did something different.  I imagine many of my readers have seen the same information and felt the same pressure!   I like to stay informed and I regularly try new things, but when they don't fit into our family's taste or my household routines I do not feel remorse over letting them go... regardless of the miracle cure they are going to provide for our health.

Now, to be clear, I have no hard feelings against those who do things differently than we do.  I am a very firm believer that every mom needs to make the choices that she feels are best for her family.  I refuse, however, to feel guilty about or apologize for the foods that we eat.


Oh, I'm glad you asked!

First of all, I feel great about the majority of the foods that we eat.  I won't expound on that more because I will undoubtedly mention something we do that one of my readers doesn't (or visa versa).  I don't want anyone to feel that I think they should be doing it the way we do.  The closest thing I have ever found to describe what we do and don't eat is probably Dr. Sears' Nutrition Book.

Second of all, with 6 soon to be 7 people in our family I need to balance cost, time, and space.  What I am doing simply works on all accounts.

Third of all, what 1 of those 6 family members can and will eat puts a whole new set of constraints on how I feed everyone.  I have to pick my battles with Mr. C because he actually will refuse to eat for days on some abstract principle I can't hope to understand.  This has been a big challenge because there are a lot of success stories with various diet changes for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders, but honestly I'm not ready to fight that battle with him right now.

Fourth, my kids are healthy and active.  For me, that pretty much speaks for our diet since they have eaten this way their entire lives!

Finally, in my family, food is love.  I am not a food scientist or nutritional expert.  Food is for our bodies, but it is also for our souls.  Eating and preparing a meal should be something to share, not a science project.  There is a time for that to be sure, but a variety of pleasing tastes, textures, and flavors all make food more enjoyable for those preparing it and those eating it.

As in all things, balance is key.  Food is an incredible gift that we have been given and our physical health is an important responsibility.

There is something to be said, however, for a piece of warm cake or pie with some cold ice cream, even for no good reason!

It's really too bad I can't seem to perfect a gluten free pie crust....


Mari and the family said...

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! So often I find people questioning why, when I have eliminated some things from our diets I haven't eliminated others. If I'm not careful I find myself on a roller coaster of guilt (which I try to steer away from) on how I can feed my family some horrible thing (when in reality it isn't that bad.) I'm balancing feeding and caring for a family of six...on a limited budget with finite time. While many times I think that I'm Wonder Woman, the reality is, I'm not. Thank you for saying it's ok to make the choices we do for our families. :)

Angie said...

Great post Heidi!

Sephora said...

Oh, Heidi. How I love thee.