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Healthier Kids – Moving Beyond Pizza and Hot Dogs

by Tiffany in Healthy Eating

healthier-kids-moving-beyond-pizza-and-hot-dogsOne of my readers, Tessa, recently left a wonderful comment asking me to share some ideas for parents who are just starting to analyze their children’s eating habits and try to change them. Specifically she said she would like to see “recipes for kids who are used to eating pizza and hot dogs”. This is a hugely important topic because there are so many parents out there that allow their children to be nourished by a diet of pizza, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and French fries. I think they have some idea of how BAD this kind of food is but they probably don’t know just HOW bad these foods can be. Convenience may also be playing a big factor in how they feed their kids.

But to me this is a very serious issue. When I was 18, I started working in a movie theatre while I was in college. For years I ate buttery popcorn and soda as meals…it was accessible and it was free. Then when I had my first baby and I started working in marketing and advertising I let my 60+ hours a week work schedule dictate our diet. Let’s just say my oldest child had a lot of Happy Meals. This went on for about 2-3 years and started to change for the better when I got pregnant a second time and quit working. As my life made a huge shift towards natural family living and my days were spent at home, our diet improved greatly. But it was already too late…I would be diagnosed with colon cancer not too much later and it was stage 3 so I had it for awhile and didn’t know it. I think I had everyone in my family shaking the naughty finger at me. We pretty much all knew why I got cancer. Needless to say I look at food a lot differently now and I LOVE to research as much as I can on the subject. Amazingly I found that 40% of all cancers are attributed to diet. Yikes!

Also, I wanted to mention that my son (who was injured by a vaccine) developed epilepsy by the time he was 3. The part of his brain that caused the seizures was actually damaged so Doctors held out little hope that he would ever be seizure free. He went on prescription medications as suggested by his neurologist but I also decided to see if I could control his epilepsy or even get rid of it by changing his diet. Within a few months of following a diet like the one I describe below, I took him off his meds and he has not had a single seizure. His Doctors are still scratching their heads over that one.

Here are some scary health facts about the healthy diet/kids connection:

* Autopsies done on children as young as 2 years old are showing signs of fatty cholesterol buildup in the arteries.

* Over 100 studies have been done that validate the theory that food dyes and additives are a factor in ADHD and ADD.

* It is estimated that 10% of 2- to 5-year-olds and more than 15% of children between the ages of 6 and 19 are overweight. 25% of those are obese.

* 14% of children now have type 2 diabetes, a condition that used to be pretty much specific to adults.

So what can you do? I don’t want to lay down a list of hard and fast rules here because well… different strokes for different folks but…in general the things most important to me when I feed my own kids are these:

* Organic foods – It is important that my family eats food with no pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, or chemicals in it. All of these things can accumulate in the body and cause health problems. For me it is issue of clean or dirty almost. Organic is “clean” food and I that is what I want to eat and what I want my kids to eat. I wrote an article last year about how to eat organic affordably.

* No food coloring – Synthetic color has no nutritional value whatsoever. Beyond that, the food colors approved for use today are in a class of chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that are universally suspect as carcinogenic (cancer causing). But according to the FDA it only causes cancer when it is injected into rats, not when they are feeding on it. Therefore, they conclude that it perfectly safe for humans to eat. Food coloring is also predominantly in super sugary foods that kids don’t need anyway. My oldest child can be VERY hyperactive after he eats something with food coloring in it.

* Unprocessed whole foods with no preservatives or additives – Many processed foods have chemical preservatives and additives in them. Some of them have been linked to cancer too. For instance, hot dogs, bacon, and deli meats are packaged with a preservative called sodium nitrite. In the 1970s it was discovered that sodium nitrite was not safe and it was linked to cancer. The government tried to ban it but food company lobbyists played hardball and in the end they got their way. These type of products are a no-no in my home unless they are preservative and additive free. Dedication to whole foods would also eliminate things like white breads and flours because they have been refined and left nutritionally lacking.

* No refined sugars  – Refined sugars can really be bad news for my kids where behavior is concerned. This is especially true for my daughter. Give her a bit of sugar and she will be unbearable all day long with bad mood swings, crying, tantrums, and irritability. Refined sugars will send my oldest into hyperactivity and aggression.

Ingredients to avoid are: Sugar · Brown sugar · High Fructose Corn Syrup (or HFCS) · Glucose · Fructose · Corn sweetener (HFCS) · Corn syrup · Dextrose · Fruit juice concentrate · Invert sugar · Lactose · Maltose · Malt syrup · Sucrose · Syrup

To sweeten things in my home we opt for raw honey, stevia, raw agave nectar, raw sugar cane, coconut milk (on rare occasions), natural maple syrup, raw yacon syrup, and fruit… like figs.

* An abundance of raw (uncooked) foods – Raw foods are living foods with their life giving enzymes still in tact. Heating and cooking foods kills those enzymes and renders them useless so eating raw food is important. Cooking also kills off a large portion of the vitamins and nutrients, approximately half of the protein content, and it causes fats to become rancid.  I like to make sure my kids have lots of raw fruits, nuts, and veggies in their diet. Check out my previous post on the benefits of raw food.

* Raw (unpasteurized) milk and cheeses – They might be hard to get in your area but the benefits are wonderful. In fact raw milk is the only milk I can drink. Check out the Real Milk site for all you could ever want to know about raw milk and where to find it in your area. I also prefer raw, organic because I don’t like pesticides and growth hormones like rBST in our milk.

* Limited meat (except fish)– I like to limit meat for a variety of reasons…one is environmental impact. Meat eating is a big time contributor to pollution. Organic meat can be expensive and is therefore less likely to be the heavy on my grocery bill. Also, since I like to emphasize raw foods as much as I can this usually leaves meat out. I won’t prepare raw/very rare meat dishes in the home but when we go out we will enjoy a good steak tartare and we LOVE sashimi and sushi. Usually once or twice a month the whole family will head out to our favorite Japanese market for fresh sashimi and we usually have one or two cooked fish meals a week.

* Superfoods –These are the foods that are considered to be nutritional powerhouses. They are generally rich in antioxidants, nutrient dense, and they help the body fight degenerative conditions and diseases like cancer. We like blueberries, Goji berries, seaweed, Spirulina, and cacao beans among others. Just throw some seaweed, green powders, or Spirulina in a fruit smoothie and everyone is getting a big boost of healthy nutrients.

Of course these are my choices for health. I have other sticking points that are more ethical in nature such as eating local when we can, growing our own food, and I guess organic falls in under the ethics category too. It is a heck of a lot to consider for a someone who is just beginning to question the standard American diet but baby steps are okay. My outlook on food as outlined above was not an overnight thing. Try picking one thing above, do some research on your own and see how you can make some changes. When you have that aspect under control switch gears and start again. This is one area where you may never stop learning…I know I haven’t. The end goal is worth it though…the health of our children. You are what you eat.

Be sure to check out the recipes section of this blog…and these related articles:

Healthy School Lunches  | Healthy Snack Ideas  | Easy Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Vegetables  | Natural Family Recipes

  • Lisa

    I just joined my local Holistic network and would love to win a copy of the book. Thanks for the great post.

  • Stacy S

    I am slowly switching our diet over to more organic, local and homemade foods myself. Sounds like a great book – I would love a chance to win it!

  • Thank you for all of the tips! I”ve been trying to move my familie’s eating habits to a more local, organic, raw, meat free diet for quite some time now. I can be over-whelming but I”m taking it one food at a time so to speak. Your book would be wonderful to have!

    Sonyia’s last blog post..Shrewd as Snakes but as Innocent as Doves

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  • MamaBird/SurelyYouNest

    Sounds like a great book! Congrats on changing your family’s eating habits… Could you also comment on hard-wired taste? My first is/was a much better eater than our 2nd kid and I want to figure out how to adapt without feeding him a limited diet…

  • I’m making baby steps towards the food habits you describe. Your children are incredibly fortunate to have a mom who cares enough about them to feed them well.

    Frances’s last blog post..The Power of Praying Politicians

  • I have made great progress converting my family to healthier eating, but there is so much more to learn and adapt. I definitely need more cookbooks, I would love to win this.
    I really enjoy your blog Tiffany, it is nice that you find and share all of this valuable information. Thank you!

    Robin Lemon’s last blog post..This keeps me hopping

  • Karen

    Thanks for the post, I am always looking for ways to provide healthier foods. The book looks like it would be great for us, as my daughter is starting to eat more and more finger foods!

  • Stephanie B.

    Thank you for addressing this subject. I am the mother of 4 boys, one of which has attention issues. Doctors want him on meds and I need help with diet etc. to keep him off those horrible medications. Keep up the good work. Thank you again.

  • I’d love to enter for a chance to win the cookbook. I linked to this post in the sidebar of my blog. :)

    Michelle Lane’s last blog post..Don’t Be Bitter… Don’t Be Bitter….

  • jdp

    I’d love to win! We *know* what is healthy but 5 years of my son being corrupted by other family, even school…. its a lot to “undo”. I’d like some tips on changing that but in the meantime I keep trying new foods, new recipes just trying to find something that he loves as much as chicken nuggets (I’ve even made my own but Tyson always wins darnit!).

  • The book sounds great! I’d love a copy.

    Our family started small by switching to organic for the fruits and veggies that are the “worst” in terms of pesticide residue. We also buy all local meats and poultry and frequent our farmer’s market in the summers (not always organic, but always locally grown). We are also big fans of organic (but pasteurized) milk and eggs year-round, despite the additional cost. We also started a little garden ourselves this year using square-foot gardening and a wonderful book called Bountiful Containers. It’s been almost a two year journey for us to get to this point and now we’re considering a little farm to raise our own chickens and such!

    Good luck to those readers who are just starting out. In addition to better health, you’ll soon be enjoying tastier foods!

    Kansas Mom’s last blog post..Pre-Easter Celebration

  • Sarah

    Have you ever read the book Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson? It is an all natural, vegetarian cook book. Includes a GREAT recipe for whole wheat chocolate chip-oatmeal cookies (they are made with raw sugar, too!)

  • Sara

    Even without having a family, I would love to win this book! Thank you for your blog – you have great ideas!

  • I’ve found also that you can provide all of this great food, but it doesn’t mean kids will actually EAT it.
    If you can get your children INVOLVED in making the foods: get them to the CSA or farmers market; or involved in growing their food – they are more likely to eat it (and snack on these yummy foods as they make it). Plus they learn skills that help them later.
    We made lasagna and salad a few weeks ago and even though my 2 year old didn’t eat the finished product, I knew he was full from what went into it – organic, non-BST, homemade food.
    It takes a little more time to get dinner on the table, but I can assure you it’s mighty tasty when everyone pitches in! ~H

  • Jeanette

    Love the tips and would love to win this book!

  • Erica

    wow, enter me please!!

  • lovelilacs

    I would love to put my name in for the book :) Thanks for having such great giveaways!

  • Rebecca

    Since having our first child my husband and I have slowly started to change our ways. We are eating healthier and some organic. We are starting to compost and our own garden this year! I would love this book for more ideas to make life healthier for my family!

  • Michelle

    These issues have become more important to me over the past year or two–I’m learning slowly, and would love a copy of this cookbook for our family!

  • Thanks for posting about this. It can be so hard to have a healthy diet in our culture. My husband and I don’t allow our children to have any of the foods on your list, and we’ve faced resistance from more than one place, including family. The key for us has been to make our way of eating the fun way and the creative way. If we go to a birthday party, I bring an alternative treat for us to eat. If my kids are in Sunday School where a snack will be served, I pack a healthy alternative for them. It helps if the whole family is unified in the quest for a healthy lifestyle. My kids have never had fast food pizza, but I love making homemade pizza from scratch. I enjoy coming up with healthy versions of favorite recipes, and I like to blog about my “creations.” ;) It’s great to see people commenting here and sharing their desire to change their lifestyles. It *is* possible. You can do it!

    Kelly’s last blog post..Cold and Flu Season

  • I love your blog and this article is a good reminder of how we should eat. When I do buy things like pizza, hotdogs or chicken nuggets I buy them from places like T Joes where the list of ingredients is smaller, less fat and they have nitrate free hotdogs. I am in a business that creates sweets high in all the bad stuff, but we don’t eat these every day – its fine for a once a year celebration.

    Dana Brown’s last blog post..Rock themed 50th birthday celebration

  • Carli

    This is definitely an issue for all parents, thanks for the great information.

    Carli’s last blog post..Thoughts for Thursday.

  • Laura

    I’ve grown up eating crap with my parents and developing some major health problems as a result. I have my own daughter now and I don’t want her to have the same problems that I got. However, she’s developing into a picky eater, so it would be very beneficial to have a cook book that was about the types of foods that I give her and that we eat.

  • Jessica

    Thanks for the informative blog. I can see that your messages will be a valuable learning for me!


  • Thanks for the outline. Very helpful as I’m in the process of really trying to make better choices for my daughter and honestly the whole family.

    Beth’s last blog post..Avery’s Outfit for Today

  • Jennifer Hudson

    These are ALL great ideas! My girls know that they need to avoid things like HFCS – in face my youngest comes home wondering why her teacher and classmates “Love High Fruit Corn Syrup” as she calls it. We are members of a CSA farm down the road, and grow our own fruits and veggies as well.
    Having a friend who had a cancerous tumor removed 2 years ago (she was 30, like me) had a huge impact on our family. Our diet was already fairly good, but it has improved greatly since then – although I will admit a weakness for pizza!
    The only thing that I can’t do is the raw milk – my hubby won’t allow it in the house. I bought a small jug of it a while back, and my daughter ended up with e-coli. The health dept. chose to blame the raw milk (which I disagreed with, I had more than her & was fine) so it’s banned unfortunately.

    I would love to read Growing Healthy Families – I’m always looking for new food ideas to feed our girls – and to send with them for lunch each day. I’m the granola of the extended family, and I’m slowly influencing the rest of them – one sister is joining the healthy bandwagon, but the other still feeds her kids chicken nuggets & ketchup for almost every meal – ugh…

    Thank you (again!) for this blog – you send out so much wonderful info, and I eagerly read it every day when it hits my inbox! Keep up the good info!

  • Wonderful post. When my son started on solid foods, I made a commitment to him (even though he does not understand) to keep him eating healthy, which has improved the overall diet of our entire family. I became so frustrated with his daycare that I send his meals daily. I am the “crazy lady,” but I don’t care. My 15 month old son will chose fruit over cake every time.

    That being said, there are times when he (and all of us) eat a “special treat” via dining out or at friends’ places, but those cases are rare, and most of the time, he doesn’t eat as much.

    Anyway, thanks and I’d love a chance at the book! :)

  • Pam

    I really enjoy your blog! Thanks for offering the book!

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  • Morgan

    Hi Everyone,

    I am pregnant with my first and while my husband and I already eat this way, I am worried about our children and would love any words of wisdom from you: My husband keeps saying to me, “you cannot be a fanatic with our kids” and while I understand that every now and them it’s okay for them to have a something that contains the hazardous ingredients, I would like to show and convince my husband that it is possible to raise your children to make healthy choices when they’re out.

    I don’t mind being known as the “crazy lady” among my friends, I already am, however, what can I do to help mny husband with this concept when we’re out with other people and the children?

    Thank you for your wisdom and help.

  • yarrow

    Thank you so much for the ideas and tips on getting kids turned on to better, more natural eating. I strive to keep my three year old from having the worst stuff. I can proudly say that she has never had a Happy meal, but alas, not candy. Thanks a bunch.

    yarrow’s last blog post..Hip, Hippie, Hooray!

  • beth

    I believe you live in ohio now? I live in columbus and I’m curious what do you spend monthly on groceries to eat so healthy and are you feeding two kids and two adults?
    thanks and take care!

    beth’s last blog post..W’s 3rd Birthday Party

  • Vicki

    Excellent, excellent post. I’ve been doing organic, whole foods with my family for years. You gave excellent information.

  • Karen

    Great topic – thanks for the ideas and motivation to eat and live as healthy as possible.

  • Kerensa

    Thank you for this blog! My MIL is quickly trying to push McDs on my not yet 13 mo son. I don’t think that my husband or MIL understand just how important a GOOD diet is for his health. HEaring it from other sources besides just me is sure to help.

  • Lori Marie

    I, too, changed my own eating habits when I became an at-home Mom. It is nice to have confirmation of many of the things I already do and some that I am working toward. I have a major barrier though, my husband – eats junk food, insists on having it in the house, continually picks arguments with me over food, makes family dinners difficult,etc. Also my 5 yr. old has a nut allergy so that leaves out a great category of raw foods for us.

  • Zynnia

    I would love the book. My 16 month old daughter is a pretty good eater. She’s not crazy about vegetables but will try them and she LOVES blueberries and strawberries, bananas and some other fruits but those are her staple fruit. Blueberries and strawberries can be expensive but I’ll pay the price for her to eat them year round. My 3.5 yr old son will chose sweets over fruit any day (he’ll eat some things like clementines, bananas, apples) and he won’t try stuff which is the frustrating part. So I just keep trying. We even participated in a CSA farm last summer. He loved going and watching the pigs and he even picked a raspberry and ate it we also went blueberry picking but it didn’t make him want them even though his friends were eating them. He has a really sensitive sense of smell and I wonder if that makes him pickier about foods. Who knows. It’s frustrating and I am trying so hard not to give in to chicken nuggets and hot dogs, etc. He likes pastas with red sauce so I’ve started sneaking veggies in there and that makes me feel better. But it’s still a constant battle at meal times trying to figure out what to prepare. Thanks for the tips.

  • deborah

    Thanks for the post! Excellent information. I agree with everything there, and wish I could enforce those same dietary guidelines in my household. I know I wouldn’t have the support I need to do so, but am slowly working towards it! :)

  • Cindi

    Hello, What a wonderful giveaway! What family doesn’t need to read this?! We all need healthier eating habit and ideas! Please enter me in your drawing. I appreciate it….Cindi

  • Holly Autry

    I just joined a local CSA and am so excited to make healthy meals for my family this year. This cookbook would be a great jumpstart! PICK ME!!! :)

  • Aubrey

    This was my first visit to your blog. I absolutely must add it to my favorites list. My family is currently in the process of changing our diet. Over the last few months, we have had wonderful changes. None of my children have been sick for 8 months! For us that is quite a miracle. No more infections, no more asthma attacks and we have more energy. Though the kids still have more energy than me, lol! Who knows maybe I will be able to keep up in a few more months; I’m still healing. Continued healthy blessings for you and your family.

  • julie

    Growing up on a farm, we ate “organic” almost everything and didn’t even realize it. Now that I live outside NYC and not near my parents farm, I have tried to make good decisions on what I feed my family. I love to cook and would love to try the recipes in the cookbook.

  • elena

    My husband and I try two eat very healthy, we feed our son the same things we eat and to this day my son has never had a chicken nugget or a hot dog because we don’t eat that kind of food. Love the blog!

  • julie

    I would love a copy of the cookbook! I shop and cook organic all the time, and it gets hard when you feel like you serve the same meals over and over again….. I need new ideas :) thank you for this post! Also, could you recommend some raw food cookbooks as well? I want my family to eat more raw foods, but I never seem to come up with anything more than gazpacho, lol!!

  • chanie

    Thank you so much for all your very informative blog. I look forward to reading them. Kind of scary – all the terrible kids my kids have been eating!! Are there any risks to drinking unpasteurized milk?

  • Patricia

    Your post came at just the right time for me – my 8 month old breastfed daughter is having some GI problems that may be linked to my diet. The more I read, the more convicted I am that the whole family needs to cut out foods with preservatives/coloring and embrace whole foods.

  • Chandra Sherman

    I love this post and would love to win a copy of the book! My husband and I have always worked hard to be healthy, but now that we have a child it is so much more important.

  • Sharon

    I love your blog and look forward to it everyday. Since my first son had reflux and blood in his stools as an infant, I completely changed my diet in order to continue breastfeeding. Since then, I have learned a great deal about diet, but still have a long way to go. Your knowledge and suggestions are extremely helpful. Your children are lucky to have such a great Mom!

  • michelle y

    I don’t even care about the giveaway this time, this is just what I needed to get my husband to eat better! (I’m forwarding this to him as soon as I’m done typing this!) Hopefully he’ll listen to someone else…it always seems to work that way :)
    Thanks for such a great summary though, especially the natural sweeteners part, I’ve been sorta stumped there!

  • Sonali

    It is great to see more and more people trying to be ‘Green’.
    Tiffany you are doing a great job by writing this blog. I will say it is ‘Gods work’ :)
    I recently came across this website which everyone might find very useful.
    Aso there are always questions about vegetarian recipes.
    In my country many people are vegetarians and their meal does not contain any meat. Food is still tasty and nutritous enough. I am amazed by the range of vegetarian recepies that exist. One of the websites which has very good information about the vegetarian food and also the pictures of the end products is I hope others who read your blog like it.

  • My wife and I love your blog, thank you for all the great info!!!

    Adam’s last blog post..3 Mice that are blind

  • Meridith

    I am so happy to have found this blog! I am a first time mom trying to give my child the best possible start in life and I am loving all the tips and frankly, the reassurance that other moms are out there wanting the same. Some of my friends think I am crazy and making life harder for myself. thanks so much!

  • Candice

    Great info again! I would love to have a copy of the book! :)

  • Thanks for the great information! I would love to get the book. My daughter is 4mo old and we’re starting to feed her homemade baby food. I’m concerned with the amount of nasty stuff out there that she can get her hands on when she’s older, I really want to start feeding my family as organically as possible. Thanks for the tips, I really appreciate them!

    Cara’s last blog post..Easter

  • Kristin Baxter

    This is such a timely post. I have a 6 year old little boy with autism and he is extremely picky. He has self limited his food choices to just a few things…and they’re mostly processed junk. I’ve just begun trying to change his diet. The going is slow but I’m stubborn enough to keep with it! Please enter me in your drawing…I’d love the cookbook!

  • courtney

    i’d love a chance to win! thanks so much for the opportunity!

  • Becky Thomas

    I stumbled upon your blog one day and now try and read it a couple times a week. I am now pregnant with my first child and am learning a lot from reading your blog. Thank you for all your tips and information. Have you done an article on Vaccines, seeing that your son was affected by them? There is so much to research out there that sites like yours help all of us narrow down the truly important things! Thank you

  • Jessica

    All your information is just music to my ears! It totally validates all the information I have researched and found to be true. It’s so nice to have someone agree how important healthy eating is. The cookbook sounds great. I could use some inspiration.

  • Laura

    Count me in! The cookbook would be a great win.

  • tessa

    thank you so much for all the info. you were alot of help.
    I feel like I can do it and that it is the right choice. My family means everything to me and I want to do all Ican for them.
    thanks again.

  • Jennifer

    These are all great ideas, I am slowly trying to move my family over to a healthier, organic lifestlye. It is hard to undo all the years of bad habits they have acquired because of my ignorance, but I won’t stop trying. All of the information you provide on your site has really got me interested in a healthier lifestyle. Thanks!

  • This is really an excellent list of ideas. The book also sounds great and I would love to win a copy!

    C Duran’s last blog post..Aloha Friday – Where Would You Like to Travel?

  • It’s so nice to find like-minded moms! We try to focus on raw foods, as well. Your colon cancer story scares me. Did you have any bleeding or other symptoms, or did this suddenly hit you?

    Jules’s last blog post..Favorite Moment

  • Oh, I forgot to mention that if any of your readers are interested, I am hosting my own giveaway. I’m buying one person a two year subscription to Clean Eating magazine.

    Jules’s last blog post..Favorite Moment

  • Nell @ Casual Friday Everyday

    All really sound advice. And it may sound overwhelming to some, but once you get into the habbit it isn’t so bad, actually.

    I do sometimes miss the ease of popping a pizza in the oven or running up to the fast food joint…it’s so easy and the clean up is next to nothing.

    But, I know in the long run I’m playing a huge part in my son’s health. Not to say there aren’t the occasional trips to eat out, but instead of going a couple times per week and going weeks without fresh veggies, fruits, or meats now it’ll be the reverse. I say “it’ll” because I’m back on the healthy diet after a short vearing off the health path. It’s hard to break addiction…this I know. But, we were doing really well for several months so I know it can be done.

    If you get them young it’ll be easier. My oldest is four and it only took a few days before he stopped asking for junk food and began asking for healthy veggies for snacks. I realize that in an older child it would probably take longer.

    And before last year I was one of those Americans that thought I was eating healthy. I hadn’t a clue how sick I was and how sick I was making my family by feeding them the way I was.

    Nell @ Casual Friday Everyday’s last blog post..I?ve Been Made Over

  • Donna E

    thanks for the as usual great info,I am joining a csa this year,and look forward to making great meals with the food.This book would be a geat help,thanks for the offer,and your great advice.

  • Awesome! You have great give aways. Would love this book. Thanks again for all the info. I am pretty good at not letting my kids eat junk, but I forgot about how bad sugars effect attitudes. I’ll have to keep an eye out for that, when Grandaddy gives them crap food! :)

    Sarah’s last blog post..Photo blog anyone?

  • Wow, what a post. I have to read it over and over and over and then all the links in it. Such good information. I LOVE how you say this was not overnight and your choices. It seems so overwhelming and to most impossible. Baby steps count. I’d love to win this book and will be linking you to my blog. Thanks!

    Sommer’s last blog post..To use or not use the CFL bulbs

  • I am moving in this direction too, and am excited to attend a Nourishing Traditions meeting in my town next month. I am trying to sort through all of the literature out there about it, and would love it if I won this book!

    Jen@BigBInder’s last blog post..Feature Friday. Yes, I Know.

  • Great article…lots of good information!!

    Kensie’s last blog post..Earth Hour Tonight!

  • Pamela

    I am striving to provided healthier foods in my house. I would love to have this cookbook to help out.

  • Katrina

    One thing that I have found has worked to get kids trying new foods is get someone else to make something. One of my girls was nearlly impossible to get new and different food into, refusing to the point of not getting closer than putting the nose above it and sniffing it then declaring that she hates it. Then one day she came home from spending the day with a friend and asked for a particular dish for tea that week (from memory it was actually lasagne) because she had had it for lunch with her friend and really enjoyed it. I have found this even works as both girls have got older, they will try things for other people and it seems to work (as long as they are not aware that they are being set up for anything it should at any rate)

    Katrina’s last blog post..Lasagne

  • Daria

    The other day I had a conversation with a mom at my work who’s son was diagnosed with ADHD and she immediately put him on meds. I said, “I hope you looked into other things, like diet?” But, she went on and on about how the meds worked miracles and that his birth mom had ADHD too. I guess it’s “easier” to medicate instead of taking responsibility for things such as a poor diet and too much tv. I’ll be sending her a link to your great blog…thanks!

  • I would love this cookbook

    sunday grant’s last blog post..Easter, 10 months, and ……..cake!

  • kanchan

    wonderful post! i found it very useful!
    how does raw milk really taste? i have been wanting to try it….

  • Thanks for the great post! We try to eat as healthy as possible but sometimes I find that we start veer towards conventional eating habits again and have refocus… thanks for the reminder ;)

    Hannah’s last blog post..Bird Spotting

  • Jill

    Great blog!!!! My family and I are taking our baby steps to a healthier, natural lifestyle. We are one of many families that are guilty of giving in to the conveniences of conventional eating. Over time we’ve come to realize the negative effects it has had on the family as a whole and on each of us as individuals. The information you share here has really opened my eyes to many things that I was completely unaware of. Thank you!

  • Katrina S.

    That sounds like a wonderful resource (and I have a pretty severe book habit, so it would be great all the way around!). We’ve been analyzing our eating habits, and are slowly working to change for the better. Your blog is a super resource!

  • Pingback: euphoria’s blog for green mamas » Saying “no” to Junk Food()

  • Rachel

    Great post. I want to win! I’ve recently joined Holistic Moms Network. I’m sure it’s a nice cookbook.

  • Kathy

    Just thankful I happened found your website – love your blog! Hope you will keep it up in many, many years to come! I’ve been slowly transform myself to become green with envy and am proud of it. I’m sure you are far beyond PROUD of yourself for making this accomplishments! Mother nature is thank you for it!

  • Shazia

    I found your blog when I was searching for safe sippy cups and found your reviews very helpful. Ever since then I have been reading your blog daily and searching the archives too! Thank you so much for all of the information… it has really given me the push I have needed to make my home healthier and more green.

    We have also been trying to eat healthier. Your list is wonderful. I would love some tips about switching to organics, in terms of which foods are most important to start with. Also, I love to bake with my daughter and would like to know how to make baked goods more healthy. We use whole grain flour and brown sugar, but I am sure we could do better than that.

    Thanks again for your blog!

  • alaina

    I am a new mom and a health educator for our local health department. We do a lot of education with teen pregnancy, substance abuse and that sort of thing. I really would like to find grants that deal with natural living to fund more community outreach on this subject. It seems like common sense but I’m amazed everyday by what people think is healthy!

  • Kim

    As the mother of a 7 month old, I am determined to change my eating habits and to give my child the best start possible. I would love to win the cookbook!

  • Kate Maselli Zimman

    Great blog post! We try to eat locally and organically in our house. We have a 20 month old daughter and the change to local and organic started when she was born. I agree that you need to start small and change one thing at a time….otherwise the change to being a more green household can seem overwhelming.

    I think it is wonderful that there are blogs like this so that people can get inspiration and support towards living more green. Although we eat locally when we can and organically your post has inspired me to try to do more RAW foods…as we often cook most of our foods. Thanks!

  • I just wanted to let you know how glad I am that I found your blog and how happy it makes me to see that you are trying to educate the world. We need a better place to live and a healthier society/family. What a difference it makes to have someone who takes the time to research and inform the rest of us. Thanks for all you do!! I would love to be considered for the book if its not too late!

    Jill’s last blog post..Put it all together!!

  • Penny

    Thank you so much for this post. I am new at eating natural and organic but I’m committed and a bit overwhelmed. Reading your blog really helps me have faith that it is possible. I would love to have a cook book to help me through those days when all I really feel like doing is ordering in. Thank you

  • Great tips, I agree whole heartedly! Diet is the key to health. It starts even before our children our born also. What we eat during pregnancy lays the stepping stones for later on.

    I also want to add, start a garden with your kids. It’s so simple, they enjoy it, it’s a huge learning experience, and children are much more likely to eat vegetables if they help grow and tend to them!

    Erica’s last blog post..Babies, the new accessory!

  • Beth

    I agree with your food regimen – with the exception of one thing, what about all the mercury in fish? I struggle with this all the time, as I love seafood but have given up most of it (sushi fIrst and foremost) because of mercury contamination.

  • Deborah

    I keep checking back – were the winners announced?

    Deborah’s last blog post..springtime in Calgary

  • Deborah

    No way! I am SO excited!

    Deborah’s last blog post..springtime in Calgary

  • Freaky Deborah…I used to pick a winner and it chose #47…you! Congrats!

  • george rotramel

    Since you are into safer places for kids, I thought I’d pass along this info on my “Dandelion Stomp”: Non-Chemical Control for Lawns and Playgrounds
    Dandelions are one of the worst weeds of turf, but they have one critical weakness. They can’t handle trampling. The complete stem of a dandelion plant is crammed into a cylinder a few millimeters long right where the flower stalks emerge from the center of the leaf whorl. Trampling this stem crushes it and exposes the plant to infection by plant pathogens. The result is a dead dandelion with no time-consuming digging, no pulling, and no herbicide application.
    Learn more from my March 23, 2008 entry in the “What Works” section at