I recently shared my own thoughts and definition of what real food means for our family, along with responses from friends that would easily be referred to as “foodies”. My goal has always been to help other parents realize just how easy it can be to feed their children real food, so I hope that hearing from other moms about how they do it helps put things into perspective.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you try to balance life, work and family with eating 100% local, organic, unprocessed food all of the time. Here’s how other moms feed their family real food.
Bettina Siegel, The Lunch Tray
“In our house, ‘real food’ means food prepared from ingredients that start out pretty much in their natural state. But that doesn’t mean that everything is always local or organic, and on a busy night I’m definitely not opposed to short cuts such as frozen, canned or pre-chopped vegetables, or all-natural, store-bought sauces or spice mixes. I passionately believe that eating real food is an attainable goal for anyone who’s willing to learn some basic cooking skills. With some practice and a few simple recipes, you’ll find that you can quickly turn out a delicious, healthy ‘real food’ meal in very little time, and you’ll be doing your family so much good!”
Aviva Goldfarb, Six O’clock Scramble founder
As a busy working mom who thinks good nutrition is crucial to my family’s health, I take a realistic approach to eating real food. I try to make at least half of what we eat plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, followed by whole grains, dairy, and protein. I buy (or grow) whatever I can local and organic, but I do also sometimes rely on pre-made time-saving products, especially on busy weeknights, like store-bought bread, tomato sauce, shredded cheese, pie crusts, etc. If I can’t find whatever we need local and organic, I use it anyways. I guess I subscribe to the 80/20 rule, where we eat the right thing most of the time and when we are out and about we relax the rules and aspirations. When I buy prepared products (anything from butter to pasta sauce) I favor products that are organic, use all easily-identifiable ingredients, and have no artificial colors or flavors and little or no added salt and sugar.
We do our best and try not to make ourselves absolutely crazy by trying to be perfect. By the way, I not only choose organic foods because they are better for our health but also because they are better for the health of the farmers, animals and land on which they are produced.
Melissa Moog, ItsaBelly founder
Eating fresh, whole, organic, non-processed foods as much as possible at every meal and snack time. We drink a lot of water and sometimes organic milk. We don’t drink juice in our house unless we’re actually juicing it fresh. We try to stay away from sugary drinks as much as we can.
We always serve a vegetable, lean protein and healthy carbohydrate with our meals. Our favorite easy dinner is chicken, brown rice and broccoli or we’ll do taco night served with lean ground turkey, black beans, shredded cheese and veggies (lettuce, tomatoes, corn, avocado). Sliced avocado is a favorite no-cook, easy side in our house!
Katie Briggs, Happiness by the Jar founder
Real Food for me means nothing artificial added. And I need to be able to recognize and pronounce all the ingredients. I would love to say that this is all we eat. It’s most of what we eat though.