Yikes! I’ve had a hard time lately at family gatherings with traditional food that we’ve grown up eating, versus what I know to be good and healthy for my kids today! I’ve learned so much since having kids that I realize many things that we ate as kids are what they would refer to here as a slow poison!

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So now in lies the frustration of trying to explain to elders who are set in their habits and what they cook and eat, that I don’t want my kids eating it!  And you get the eyes rolling back at you. Have you experienced this? I have to say that my mom did a fine job giving us mostly healthy food, based on what she knew to be healthy, but here are a few things I’ve gathered that I would have liked to know growing up.

Food dyes are in every kind of candy! Food dyes have chemicals in them shown to cause cancer!  Color that cake or cupcakes or icing naturally, not with a food dye.
Natural food coloring. I’ll be honest, it DOES NOT look as pretty, but it is much better on the inside!!
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Dairy. Got milk? I know this is an advertising campaign from the past few years, not many years ago, but milk was ALWAYS advertised as being great for you and your calcium when truly it’s not! Who knew? My older two drank organic (at least it was organic) whole milk for their first two years but the youngest has never had it. I stopped drinking milk a few years ago and am 99% off dairy since the start of the year.  I’ll eat it here and there so as not to be a total stickler, but I know it’s not something my body feels good about after eating.  I don’t think we are meant to eat cow byproducts!

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Photo credit: amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Allergy-Alert-Stickers-Dairy-Set/dp/B003J4OXS4)

Organic organic organic.   Not everything you buy has to be organic, but knowing which produce is considered to be in the dirty dozen is helpful.  This list seems to change annually so keep an eye out.  Photo source: http://www.practiganic.com/p/dirty-dozen-and-clean-fifteen.html

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Apples is always on the list and maybe the most common food out of everything else on the list that a family would purchase. Other things to definitely buy organic are chicken, meat and dairy.

Yes, it’s more expensive but it’s worth it for your health!

Here’s a great quote from eatlocalgrown.com

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Artificial sweeteners, fat free food, “lite” food,  – eat the real stuff in moderation!! What do you think the process involves making something fat free or lite, or what is added to keep the taste???

PROCESSED FOOD – If there are more than 5-6 ingredients or ingredients you cannot pronounce, I usually steer clear.  I also limit sugars and don’t bake that much with processed sugars anymore.  I love the site 100 days of real food for recipe ideas!

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I’ve found that the best thing that works for us is sticking to as much unprocessed food as we can, real food in moderation, very little dairy, little meat, and a mostly vegan diet, but I try not too be too crazy or strict which is hard for me as an all or nothing type A personality 🙂 What works for you?

Here are a few of my favorite websites for real, healthy food:

What are your favorite sites?  I’ve found lots of great recipes and gems through instagram as well!


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