I’ve been thinking a lot about how we eat as a family. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t been paying as close of attention when grocery shopping. I’ve had to take all three kids to the grocery store for the last several months and lets face it, that’s about survival rather than healthy eating. Plus, I am often looking for easy, quick food that I can just hand them. I think that I am doing us all a disservice. Here’s the story:
I watched a video about the 3 worst foods we eat. Basically the video said that sugar and fake sugar (like high frustose corn syrup) are the number one cause of obesity in our country . . . no surprise, right? But I was surprised at how much sugar and fake sugar is in so many of the products that I buy at the grocery store. We used to only eat organic but 3 kids later, money doesn’t flow as freely and eating organic is expensive. Now, I am working on a compromise. How can I eat the healthiest way possible on our food budget? No easy task folks! (and I’m taking input!)
For example, I buy whole milk greek yogurt for the kids. They are all little peanuts so a little fat, in their case, is a good thing. The brand I buy has 36 grams (YIKES!) of sugar per serving and when you read the label, it’s disguised as all kinds of things; “cane sugar, cream, brown cane sugar, honey.” These aren’t bad sugars, there are just too many of them. In fact, sugar accounts for 4 of the 8 ingredients in the yogurt. I am turning my kids into sugar addicts. Those little bacteria in your belly crave more of the food (sugar) that helps them grow. These aren’t the good bacteria! So, I am switching to the plain whole milk greek yogurt with 5 grams of sugar per serving (same serving size as above brand) and adding some honey at 17 grams of sugar per tablespoon. I will never put that much honey in. AND those granola bars and wheat bread. . . full of terrible fake sugar. You know what your body does with all that fake sugar? First, it doesn’t recognize it as food so you’re still hungry and you eat more, which could explain why my kids are always hungry and why so many of us struggle with our weight. Second, when your body doesn’t recognize something as food, it turns it to fat. Yes, fat (and cancer by the way). I know that I just said that they could use a little fat, but I don’t want them to get it from foreign objects that the body doesn’t recognize as food! Plus, I eat the wheat bread and I definitely don’t need the fat. I’m not trying to give my kids fake sugar, I just didn’t realize that it was in the brand of cereal bars and bread that I buy. The good cereal bars are more than 2x as expensive. But if they’re less hungry because it’s satisfying, then it’s not really, right?
So, this has been on my radar lately. I am trying to make some changes for myself and for these little people.
Over the weekend, I made a batch of veggie chili. We’ve been eating less meat lately so I took my normal chili recipe, courtesy of my mom, and substituted veggies and extra beans for meat. It turned out super yummy and is really easy. You could use just about any veggies that you wanted. Here are the dets:
- 4 squash, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 carrots, diced
- 1-28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1- 15oz can diced tomatoes
- 1- 6oz can tomato paste
- 3-15oz cans of beans, I used kidney (drained), cannelli (drained), and chili beans in sauce
- 4-6 tablespoons chili powder (season to taste)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper
- Saute all veggies until tender in a large pot.
- Add all tomatoes and seasoning.
- Simmer slowly for hours (mine cooked on low for about 6 hours but more or less would have been fine)
- Add all beans about 30 minutes before eating.
- Add more seasoning to taste.
We topped ours with cheddar cheese and plain yogurt. Luke also likes his chili over white rice so we cooked a pot of that too. I cooked about 1/3 of the chili separately for the kids because they don’t like anything that might be considered spicy.
We have cooked all of the crockpot meals that I prepped and froze the first week of school. Here’s the verdict:
- Asian Chicken lettuce wraps- good flavor, a little mushy, not sure if I’d make them again.
- Crockpot Cabbage Casserole- flavor was okay but it was so mushy, wouldn’t make this again.
- Salsa Verde Crockpot Chicken– YUM! This was the easiest and tastiest of the bunch. I would definitely make this again. It had great flavor and texture. We served it on wraps.
Look at these two cuties that I drive to school. Aren’t they so precious? I look at them and think how lucky I am and one of them isn’t even mine! Sometimes parenting feels like such an honor. Other times it’s holy hell but you know what I mean?! HA!
Big Luke’s littlest (and so far, his best) hope for a surfing buddy. This girl has so much personality.
Elle and I walked over to the park. It was so nice to go on a walk and not sweat through all my clothes.
Fleet participated in the Fun Run at his school last week. This is the biggest fundraiser they host. He ran laps around the gym. Every time he passed us, he gave Bitsy a high-five.