Q & A: Raising children in a culture of junk food

KimiHarris

I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

I am still setting up my new house, but I thought I would take a moment to answer an question I got from a reader last week. This question comes up frequently, as I think it is an issue that we all face. Here’s the question:

Sarah: First, I’d like to say thank you so much for your blog. I enjoy it so much and your recipes are wonderful. I am writing to you as a fellow traditional foods enthusiast as well as a mother raising two young children. I am finding it extremely challenging to be around other families who for the most part parent similarly to me except for when it comes to food. I was at a birthday party the other day and my daughter (who is just over 2) asked me for a juicebox. She’s never really had anything like that before because we don’t consume juice in our home. The other children at the party were each having one and I didn’t want her to feel left out and my friends said something like “it’s just juice, it’s not going to kill her” so I let her have one. I believe first and foremost in gratitude and that when someone invites you into their home we should gratefully receive what they have to offer unless there are allergies or intolerances (which we have none of). This raises so many issues, though, because I do believe that we are what we eat and that juice from concentrate is not an appropriate beverage for my kid. But then I also want my daughter to be a part of the world we live in which happens to have crappy juice boxes that most of my friends give their kids. I love my friends but I eat differently from them in a lot of ways. I wanted to reach out to a fellow parent and ask what you do in these situations. how do you balance your beliefs about food and raising children in a society that for the most part eats junk?

I have a few thoughts here, most of which I have shared before. Hopefully, Sarah, you will find some of them helpful.

1. Historical views on hospitality

Historically, a guest would have been purposely insulting the host to refuse to eat his food. Most cultures placed a lot of value on treating guests at the table, even if they were just stopping for a bit (like English visiting hours of the middle class in times past-they would have tea and tidbits to serve to guests). For a guest to refuse the food was a serious offense in many cultures. While that viewpoint has largely been removed from our society, between all of those on weight loss diets as well as food intolerance or allergies, I think that people can still feel insulted.

Truthfully, I have found no easy way around this when one has to be strict about a diet. My saving grace has been my recovering health. My friends know that I suffered from very low energy and was diagnosed with adrenal issues. They knew that I was choosing to eat a certain way to help heal. Plus, I have very sweet friends who been very accepting and helpful even when they wouldn’t have made the same choices as me.

Your friends comment, “It’s not going to kill her…..” probably shows annoyance. Even though you simply hesitated at giving her a juice box, she was feeling that you were judging her food choices at the party. That’s why this is such a tricky issue, I think. People take offense because they feel that you are judging their choices.

2. The 20% rule

If you are a hardy, healthy family who eats really well 80% of the time, eating junk food at a birthday party  occasionally, won’t be an issue nutritionally. Dr. Weston A. Price found that when he fed a group of children a really nutritious meal for their lunch, that even though their food at home was very bad, they stopped getting cavities and started healing. This allows you the freedom to eat with those around you. I know that some feel strong enough about the evils of refined sugar and flour, and bad additives like MSG, that they will find it hard to let go and allow their family to shovel in these types of foods when out. Personal convictions and standards will vary, but this rule can make life more livable when sharing your life with others.

3. Eat small portions of food

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Q & A: What Nutrients Am I Missing on a Dairy Free Diet?

KimiHarris

I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

I have shared two nondairy milk recipes this week. I think it’s important to point out the obvious.  These nondairy milks do not replace milk equally in nutrition. I thought it was a good time to answer a question I got recently in my email box. I am planning on trying to answer one question a week.

I get a lot of questions via my contact form. While I read every single one, it is hard for me to personally reply to all of them. I do notice that I get a lot of the same questions over time. So I feel that the best way for me to answer your questions is on my blog. That way others with the same question can hear my answer as well.

But an even greater advantage is that others can also pip in with their answers and thoughts! I appreciate the honor of receiving these questions, but I am just one friend sharing thoughts with another. And I hope that others will feel free to share as well. As always, please read my disclaimer on the right side bar.

Question:

“I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for some time now. I am also gluten free and have recently discovered that dairy also causes me some problems. I understand that your daughter is also gluten/dairy free. I’m curious if you’ve considered what vitamins, nutrients, etc. she is missing from not having dairy, and what you’ve done personally for her in this regard? I’m wondering if I should look into supplementing my diet with other items that have calcium, etc.–basically the good in dairy that I can’t have–to ensure that I have good bone density and that I don’t lose one battle in trying to win another, so to speak. So I was just curious if you’ve done anything for Elena in attempts to “fill in” what she’s missing in fresh cream, butter, milk, and cheeses. I believe Weston A. Price is big on good, grass-fed dairy products, and that they are quite healthy and good for you. Anyway, just curious if you’ve considered that or come up with any solutions. I’m also a mother of a three month old baby boy, and I want to make sure he’s getting all the nutrients he needs to grow into a strong, healthy boy. Any thoughts on the matter would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for all your tips, advice, and recipes!!” – Nicole

This is a really important question because our American diet is very dairy based. When we take it out, in my opinion, we can have gaps in our diet. It would be a rather lengthy process to go into all of the nutrients provided by dairy and how to replace them, so let’s just look at the most important items, starting with calcium.

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Q & A: What to Feed a “Meat and Potatoes” Man

KimiHarris

I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

q&a
Merry Christmas to everyone! We are quickly drawing near to the 25th and if you are like me, there are still some last minute things to get done. It’s a fun and busy time of year. Meanwhile, here is another Q & A video for you.

I would love to have everyone’s comments on this great question from Kelly as well. Here it is.

” My husband is a “meat & potatoes” kind of guy and could really care less about eating organic or “nourishing” meals. He doesn’t mind if I make them (providing it doesn’t change the grocery budget), but he doesn’t really want to change the way he eats. Any good suggestions or recipes that fall into both the comforting “meat & potatoes” and “nourishing” catagories? He is just not into beans (too bad for me…the fugual aspect alone is enough for me!) or other grains. He wants food that still looks completely “normal” to him.”

Oh, and by the way, some people think that I am a little younger than I really am. So if my voice and face make me seem like I am 16, don’t believe it. I don’t think my voice has changed one bit since I was 12!

Q & A: Best Choice with Limited Meat Options and Is Venison Nourishing?

KimiHarris

I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

q&a
Last week kept me glued to the computer getting all of the giveaways ready to roll. Wow! What a week! Three of the giveaways are still open to new entries, enter here to win three nourishing “must read books”, or here to win a wondermill grain mill, and here to win 25 pounds of sprouted flour. All three of these giveaways end on Wednesday night.

Since last week kept me so busy, I got a little behind on some other projects. So today, instead of sharing a recipe or a long post, I share part one to the Q & A series that I promised. Instead of spending two hours typing out a post, I thought I would do it the fast way and just do a little video for you.

Now, I warn you that I am unusually calm in this video as I really needed to be taking a nap as I was quite overtired. But instead I grabbed the labtop and curled up in front of the fire to answer the first two questions you had for me. Next time I will try to be a little more lively. *smile*

The two questions I started with were in brief, 1) Should I eat animal products when all I can get is badly produced meat? 2)Is Venison Healthy?