Thursday, December 11, 2008

Processed Foods

I have a handy little dry erase board hanging up in my kitchen where I keep my list of 'Things To Do', appointment times and, of course, my shopping list. Once a week I try to scan over the fridge and pantry to see what I'll need to pick up next at the grocery store.

I pride myself on trying very hard to feed my family healthy meals and snacks, but as I was staring at the pantry last night I realized one glaring problem:

We eat entirely too many processed foods.

In my defense, these are not your average processed foods. I don't buy things like Twinkies or cookies, or regular potato chips. Instead, I buy the Light or Fat Free versions of these foods to satisfy our urge to have them while keeping their effect on our weight to a minimum.

Let's be honest. It isn't cheap to eat healthily. Everything you want to eat that is fresh and good for you costs an arm and a leg -- even if you aren't trying to buy organic. Being that we are a military family with only one income and 3 (almost 4) mouths to feed, I have to cut corners where I can. We buy lean meats and I cook healthy and well balanced dinners, but snacks consist of things like pretzels and graham crackers for The Big Little One, and 100 Calorie Packs and granola bars for us adults.

My husband isn't your average guy, either. At 6'3" and 225 pounds, he eats like a teenage boy. Keeping food in the house is quite the task when he takes 2 sandwhiches, a pudding, a yogurt, a fruit and a bag of chips as his lunch. However, very recently he's begun not taking seconds at dinner and trying to keep a better watch over how much he's eating in one day. THANK GOD.

I recently found a great farm stand that has a great deals on fruits and veggies, and thankfully they are fresh and delicious. Unlike the crap produce I usually buy at Walmart. It's kind of a hike to get over there, but with gas prices having plummeted recently, I can start justifying weekly trips without worrying about how much gas its costing me to get there.

I'm going to start making a conscious effort to buy more produce and less processed foods. (It will be easier now that I've got The Little Little One in her new cloth diapers and I'm saving monthly on diaper costs! Woot!) I'm going to find healthy recipes for things that will satisfy our sweet tooth while avoiding filling our stomach with mystery ingredients. My kids health and nutrition takes center stage always, but I'm going to do better about being sure what it is I'm giving them.

Here's to even more new beginnings!

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