Over the past few weeks the number of families who have committed to reduce processed foods in their home has continued to increase and it’s been fun hearing from friends who want to cut this snack or that box out of their child’s diet. We unknowingly took on a primarily unprocessed lifestyle when my son first started solids, but it took on a whole new definition for us as we learned about his reactions and sensitivities to ingredients in processed foods.
I know that it’s not easy when you have a full time job, two kids in school with after school activities and homework, and an active social calendar. Some times I’ve wondered if making all of our meals and snacks from scratch would be easier if I cut one big thing from our life (job, soccer, whatever) but my friends and people I talk with who do have different situations don’t report back otherwise.
It’s not easy because convenience food is so, well, convenient. And making food from scratch takes some work. A little time and effort.
But let me tell you that it’s worth it. When your family is healthy because they’re eating real food, it’s worth it. When your kids know that their food comes from a farm and not a box or can, it’s worth it. When you know what’s in your food and that it’s real, and tastes great, it’s worth it.
So making real food happen in my home is all about making it easier. I can achieve improvement. Small steps towards an unprocessed life. I’ll tell you now that I have no intention of making my own cereal, almond milk, crackers or juice. It sounds lovely and in my dreams where I live on a farm in a Tuscan village, I make my own pasta, milk my own cows and pick grapes from our vineyard.
But let’s get back to reality. My reality.
Unprocessed Solutions – Making it happen
We make real, unprocessed food a reality by consuming less, and eating more of what we make at home. We can eat more slow cooker steel cut oats and make big batches of waffles on the weekend to freeze and eat on busy school day mornings. We can pack grapes, apple slices, almonds and dark chocolate on the side for school lunch instead of yogurt with candy and whatever else makes it glow.
We can double our dinner recipes and take leftovers for lunch or freeze for later. We use our slow cooker and grill more often to make dinners easier. And faster. We can use frozen organic vegetables all winter long instead of overly processed canned alternatives.
And we can still enjoy wine. Right? I think Andrew at Eating Rules said that was ok.
Alright, so let’s do this together. What might be hard for you and your family? Earlier this month I shared recipes for a few common kid-friendly foods like chicken strips, macaroni and cheese, and pizza – but what else will be a challenge?
Here’s a few more ideas to inspire you and get your morning started with real food:
Want to take on making your own almond milk? Check out this tutorial at Eating Rules
This Slow Cooker Cran-Apple Butter is on my list to make soon. I’m confident this will taste delicious on anything, but especially fresh French toast or waffles.
Share an “unprocessed” recipe with us in the comments below.