One of the goals we set for ourselves as a family was to make better food choices.
Not to diet.
Not to take on challenges that we can’t maintain over the course of a lifetime.
Not to flat out eliminate things that we love forever and ever.
But, to at least make a few changes as to what we will buy and allow in our refrigerator or pantry.
I always plan out a grocery list before I go shopping and I have learned not to deviate from it. Doing so has been essential to maintaining our food budget each month and it keeps me from buying things that I already have at the house or things that I want but don’t need. Going forward, I will no longer be including the following items on the list:
For years now we’ve had a rule that no soda is allowed in the house and it’s been upheld quite well. Now, we’re eliminating juice. The only beverages that we plan to allow in the house are water and milk. That’s it. I plan to buy lots of lemons since Maddie and I both love lemon water. Hopefully, this will somewhat help with the transition since I’ll be eliminating her beloved apple juice boxes. I’ll miss OJ myself (which we had initially planned to keep around for sickness purposes) but we’ll get our Vitamin C (sans sugar) elsewhere!
We just don’t need these in the house. They’re just plain out no good and since they are kept in plain sight Maddie asks for them often just to be told no the majority of the time which leads to whining. The hubs has an obsession with chips as well (that he’ll probably deny) so I’m no longer adding them to the list. Done.
Mario and Maddie tend to like Frosted Flakes which, in my opinion, is nothing but a bowl of sugar. I had considered limiting the purchase of cereal to Honey Nut Cheerios only but after doing a comparison of it to Frosted Flakes, the sugar and sodium content is basically the same so I’ve decided to eliminate cereal altogether. This is going to force me to cook breakfast more often during the week so I’ll be relying heavily on fruit, oatmeal (that I can slow cook overnight), eggs, homemade muffins and yogurt as my go to in the morning.
There is always ice cream in our freezer. Always. And we all know how fattening it is. I’m not a fan of store bought ice cream so this is one of the hubs’ guilty pleasures but I do LOVE ice cream too. So again, we don’t plan to not go out on ice cream dates, thereby eliminating ice cream all together knowing how much we love it, we just won’t buy it to store in the freezer any more.
Lastly, we LOVE cookies, or should I say that I love cookies. I buy a pack almost every shopping trip. It’s on the list. But no more. If we want cookies I’ll have to make them from scratch. In the words of Michael Pollan, "eat anything you want, just cook it yourself."
So that’s our start towards eliminating some unhealthy products in our home. I’ll be grabbing double the fruits and double the snack-able veggies (e.g., carrots, celery, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.) when I go shopping instead of the items we’re eliminating above. I will continue to buy Honey Maid Teddy Grahams, Nutrigrain bars, FiberOne brownies, Goldfish and marshmallows because I am not currently of the opinion that serving only fruits and vegetables at all times is a realistic, sustainable approach for children or adults. For now, we’ll try our hand at finding balance (tipped towards healthy) between fruits/veggies vs. salty/sweet snacks.
But I’m praying it’s as easy as it feels!
Photo by Neha Deshmukh