K.M. asks from Orient, OH on December 29, 2006
Hello fellow moms! I need some suggestions on getting my family to eat healthy. My husband and I are first-time parents of an 8 month old, beautiful girl. I want to make sure we are teaching her healthy eating habits as she grows up. She is, of course, still eating baby food, but as she starts to transition soon to table food, I'd like her to see that we eat well so she will hopefully want the same thing.
The problem I have is that my husband doesn't really show interest in eating these things, and thinks it's "too expensive" to buy fresh fruits/vegetables and things such as whole grain breads, etc. Does anyone have any suggestions on how we can fit these into our budget and get him interested in these items? Or have any good recipes to share? Thanks!
J.F. answers from Dayton on December 31, 2006
I buy my bread at the wonder bread thrift store. I usually purchase two loves of 100% whole wheat bread for $1.79. One loaf of this bread costs me $2.39 at the grocery store. Contact me if you need the locations of these stores since I am not sure if there are any close to you.
K.K. answers from Cleveland on December 30, 2006
First off - congrats on your baby girl! Second-congrats on wanting to be healthy. My husband and I began the transition to a healthy lifestyle while I was pregnant. My son just turned 1, and we feel good about the way we are raising him nutritionally. The basics that we follow are eating as many homemade, not processed foods as possible. We eat a lot of natural or organic foods - not so much for their organic name but because they have the most natural ingredients in them. We do not eat any foods with high fructose corn syrup, hydgrogenated oils or enriched wheat flour. It's hard because almost all national brands are made using these ingredients so they have a longer shelf life and because it is supposedly cheaper. I understand that it is expensive - as a one income family, sometimes it is VERY hard! This is something that I heard on Oprah, that 20-30% of 3rd graders currently weigh over 200 lbs. I heard this when my son was about 4 months and I freaked out! The average American consumes 63 lbs of high fructose corn syrup in a year, which leads to at least a 30lb. weight gain in a lifetime. (however, in the 1960's the average American consumed 0 lbs.) The hydgrogented oils are perhaps the most harmful for your body because they are solid oils and your body simply cannot process them, and they lead to all the serious health problems that now run rampant in the US. My son was a gerber baby until he started eating snacks such as crackers, etc... and now he eats mostly Earth's Best brand snacks. They use all natural ingredients. (The only gerber snacks that I buy are fruit puffs and dried fruits.) The main "snack" type foods that my husband and I buy for us are, Kashi, Back to Nature, Full Circle and Giant Eagles' Natures Basket brand. Also - many store brands (including walmart and target) are better for you than name brands- and they're cheap! I know that fresh fruit and veggies are expensive, but they are so essential for health - whether you are young or old!! And you are so right to say that if she sees you eat healthy, she will follow suit. We are what our children learn from! While I know everyone loves a good oreo every now and again, it's better to eat a cookie by a company that makes them with natural ingredients. We've found that much of the natural food tastes better anyhow! Well, I hope that this helps a little. I wish you the best of luck with your family!
K.S. answers from Columbus on December 30, 2006
Trader Joes or grow a small garden in the back yard. I grow green beans, carrots, corn, and peppers and freeze them for the winter. I also buy alot of frozen veggies they have the most vitamins in them much better than can. You also might want to start baking your own breads, I know it can be time consuming but it is much cheeper..
L. answers from Mansfield on December 30, 2006
Congratulations on wanting to teach your family on how to eat healthier. I too am like you. I did this 9 years ago just after my son was born. There is a good book that you can probably get online...Train up a child in the way they should eat, by Sharon Broer...her husband is Dr. Ted Broer...a christian nutritionist. He also has some very good books on the market. Barnes & Noble online have a couple used ones available for a little over $11.00 (good price) unless you can borrow one from a friend!
I try to buy Organic when ever I can. Meijers & I see Walmart carry quite a good selection of Organic foods, including cereals. I know people think Organic food is A LOT more expensive, but in reality, it costs more to be sick...which a lot of food that we eat with all those Nitrates, Preservatives, MSG, and what ever they put in and call it food, is actually making us a very sick country. So, anyway, just to let you know, my husband sounds like your husband, but he does feel a lot better & he is healthier too. Keep strong in your quest for better eating.
I do belong to a food co-op that carries mostly Organic & Natural foods as well as other items that don't have tons of preservatives in them. Go to www.unitedbuyingclubs.com to find a location near you. If you have further questions you can email me.
M.V. answers from Cleveland on December 30, 2006
Hello and congradulations on choosing a healthy lifestyle for your family!! Teaching her now is best she will know no other way! The best way to eating healthy is only shopping on the outsides of your grocery store! The inside isles of the store are all processed foods! That equals obiesity! As far as your hubby is concerned ask him if he wants his daughter to be another statisic of Fatville USA or is a little extra in the food budget worth having a healthy daughter? Honestly it's not that much extra!!! Go to the freezer section and where the bread is you;ll find frozen whole grain bread and you can bake them when you need bread they come in three loaves per package for $4.00! Now you can't buy 3 loaves of bread
for 4 bucks and they wont make your house smell yummy!! Google is a great resource, you can find SO many yummy recipes online!!! Good Luck
J.B. answers from Cleveland on January 01, 2007
It's so great that you've made a commitment to healthier eating with your baby...even if your husband doesn't see the value in it. Healthy eating can sometimes be a little more expensive than pre-packaged foods, but it pays off in the long run -- less trips to the doctor and a child who is more active and less moody.
My husband owns a catering company that specializes in all local, all organic food and so I'm dealing with the opposite extreme here. (Not that I'm complaining!) We only recently started feeding our baby purees, but my husband has been at the farmer's markets throughout the fall buying fruit and veggies to puree and freeze for when she's ready. Pumpkin, sweet potato, peaches, etc. It was simple -- he'd just use the food processor and freeze the puree in ice cube trays (1 oz. each) so for mealtime we just pick out a few cubes and warm them up. It's much cheaper than the jarred food at the grocery. Speaking of cheap, go to your local farmers markets this spring and summer! Buying direct from farmers supports our communities and is MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE than anything at the grocery store. Ohio has some of the best farmers markets in the country and your baby will love the weekly trip outdoors in the stroller. You can find schedules and information online or email me if you want info on markets in the Cleveland/Akron area.
Also, check out the book "First Meals" by Annabel Karmel for great recipe ideas all the way through age 5. It's full of interesting nutritional information as well. Good luck and stick with it -- eating healthy is one of the best gifts you can give to your child.
H.S. answers from Dayton on December 29, 2006
Good foods don't have to be expensive. Save a lot carries apples and broccoli and almond at a better price than Kroger. I buy a lot of canned fruit. Eat cereal and yogurt in the morning and try making whole turkeys (not big huge ones) instead of using deli meat to cut back on salt. I like to buy organic cereal and milk so I know that at least one meal a day is healthy and organic.
Oh yeah, have you been to Trader Joe's?