How do you try to keep processed foods out of the hands of your little (and big) ones? Between time and money, it is a struggle to keep a balance between the good for you and the tastes good to you.
By time, I mean that you have to 1) search the grocery store for items that somewhat meet your specifications and diligently read all labels. I don't know how many times I have left the store feeling like I found a great deal on some "Healthy" item, only to get it home and realize it still has so many of the things I would like to cut down on. And really, who know what things are ok and what are not. Does Red Dye really make your kids crazy-we all know we don't need anything else getting them wired! (I realize this is a serious matter for many families, and it only complicates things when you know they really like a food but it has red dye, but is it the right kind of red dye, and does it even affect my kids anyway??). That leads to 2) the time you have to spend researching what is/isn't ok to be in your food. Some things sound kind of suspicious but are really fine, and the general rule of thumb is "don't eat anything you can't pronounce," but what if it is the very last ingredient in a long list of suppsedly good things?? 3) and, obviously, there is all the time I spend worrying about what is OK and what isn't...then giving up and taking them to McDonalds!
Which leads to the next struggle: Money!
REAL food costs more money! REAL meat, REAL milk, REAL fruits and veggies. No hormones, organic, no pesticides, all of this costs big bucks. And, honestly, my kids like hot dogs, mac and cheese, etc. and, honestly, so do I. So, decisions must be made. Do we pick and choose, take the good and the bad and hope we come out somewhere better? Do we choose some kind of a middle ground-is there even a middle ground-where everything we eat is a little better, but not quite where we want to be?
I choose to pick and choose. I grew up eating hot dogs, et.al., along with healthy made-from-scratch foods, and sometimes, you just want your kids to eat something that you cook, right! So, here is a list of some of the good, and some of the bad:
quick oats and raisins instead of instant oatmeal
NatureBox.com/Graze.com-subscription "healthy" snacks-a little pricey, but good-may not pan out in the end
Middle of the Road (MOTR)
Skippy Peanut Butter
whole wheat goldfish (kind of a stretch, but it counts in my world)
Real Deal tortilla chips and cheetos (with the $1 coupon they often have on them, they aren't too pricey)
Jennie-O Turkey Dogs
Ground Turkey to replace ground beef in almost every case
Processed snacks-cereal bars, little debbie-type treats, graham crackers, ritz crackers, pre-packaged snacks I can put in the pantry and the kids can get for themselves
Diet Dr. Pepper-for me only, I figure I am just preserving myself while I am still alive
Krave-I just love it, but eat it as snacks instead of breakfast
Frozen Chicken Nuggets
What are some things you do to help your family eat well? What are some things you just don't want to give up on?