Latest posts by KimiHarris (see all)
- Pumpkin Spice Cranberry No-Bake Cookies (Grain, Gluten, Egg and Dairy-free) - December 20, 2013
- Sparkling Cider Ice Cream Floats - December 19, 2013
- Pennywise Platter Thursday 12/19 - December 19, 2013
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