I told you a few weeks ago in this post that I find myself with 6 free hours a week this school year. At that time I wasn’t sure how I was going to spend my extra time. I just knew I wanted to be thoughtful and deliberate and use those gift hours to do what was BEST for my family.
After much thought, now I know what is BEST for my family at this time.
I am going to use some of my extra time to focus on nutrition for my family. I have long been passionate about family meals and now I am passionate about feeding my family healthy and nutritious meals.
I think my decision had to do with my mom’s cancer, my dad’s cancer scare, my own energy, and a Relief Society meeting…plus several articles and blogs I have been reading lately.
As to not overdo or overwhelm, I just decided to put some time in each week and take baby steps. Here is how I have spent some of my free time to get the nutrition ball rolling at our house:
I spent 2 hours at Wal-Mart just reading ingredients on common foods that I buy often. I don’t care so much about calories and fat but rather what stuff is in foods we are eating. For example, you can either by applesauce with apples, water and citric acid or you can buy applesauce with apples, high fructose corn syrup, water and citric acid. I opted to go for the applesauce without the high fructose corn syrup. My shopping trip took a lot longer than normal, but I came home with foods with much less added junk in them.
I got on line and ordered some new ingredients for a healthy kitchen. My first purchase was Nutiva unrefined, non-hydrogenated extra virgin coconut oil. It is to replace my vegetable oil and canola oil in my baking. We actually used it to make popcorn the other night as well. Yum! Yum! (I just saw this exact brand at our Costco yesterday! I bought 3 more tubs.)
Another day I read blog post after blog post and comment after comment gaining information, sifting through the big words and lots of opinions. I put together a nutrition action plan with lots of little baby steps.
One afternoon I blanched, peeled, sliced and froze peaches from my sister’s tree so that my family could have fresh peaches all winter long.
Another day I experimented in my kitchen with healthy recipes. I tried a baked oatmeal one morning and I used my new coconut oil to make modified banana bread and whole wheat pancakes to freeze for breakfasts.
Yesterday I bought a big block of cheese and grated it because I wanted fresh cheese on hand. I guess pre-grated cheese has some caking agents and mold inhibitors in it (preservatives). And to think I thought I was just buying cheese.
It may sound like I am crazy or that I spend all my time in the kitchen when I write the steps all out in one post, but I really haven’t done anything major yet. Just lots of little baby steps to get the nutrition ball rolling. I have made several small changes and have plans for several more.
I figure if I have been blessed with some extra time, I need to use it doing what is best for my family. And right now what is best for my family and me, is getting a handle on the food that goes into our bodies and fuels us all day.
Leave me a comment if you are interested in more nutrition posts. I would be happy to summarize and share what I am learning and trying with my kids if my readers would find the posts helpful.