I've been thinking a lot about food lately. Good foods. Bad foods. And the differing opinions on what is and is not healthy. While one person might say that Goldfish crackers are a great healthy snack for your child, another might say that they are high in carbs and therefore will create a high and then a low in your child. A better snack would be a fresh fruit or veggie.
Don't get me wrong. Long long ago, in a land far away, I was the mom who gave my children hot dogs, chicken nuggets, fries, and mac and cheese for lunches. They ate plenty of yummy fruit snacks, goldfish crackers, ritz crackers and pretzels. Packaged items who aplenty in my home. And then the fairy tale crumbled. I began learning about Autism. A good friend, who had been dropping hints for years about healthy eating, began educating me on foods that can cause a negative effect on human beings. I learned about high fructose corn syrup, msg, hydrogenated oils, etc. I began recreating our world and the foods we consume.
Now, don't think that it happened in a snap....with sparks of light and twinkling my cabinets were filled with healthy foods. NOT! That would have been amazing! But it took time. Lots of time. Loads of time. And hours and hours of research. My computer became my friend. And "junk" in food became my enemy.
We still have General Mills Honey Nut Cheerios in the house because we are not perfect and we eat starches and carbs still. But we have reduced them significantly. Please note that I have looked at generic honey nut cheerios and they are NOT the same. The ingredients are SO much better in the General Mills brand. It's not perfect, but MUCH better!
Ingredients:Whole grain oats, sugar, oat bran, modified corn starch, honey, brown sugar syrup, salt, tripotassium phosphate, canola and/or rice bran oil, natural almond flavor and vitamin E (to preserve freshness).
A few things that I still cringe about...sugar is the second ingredient. NOT the best way to start your day...especially if you have ADHD or Autism. But there is no BHT. They use vitamin E to preserve freshness. That is a nice little fact. Modified corn starch...well if it says modified that means they did something to it, so it sends off warning bells in my head.
Use good judgement. Decide what ingredients you want to consume. At first we only removed certain items from our approved food list and gradually the list got a whole heck of a lot longer. We try to stay away from prepacked foods most often. It's not 100% of the time or I would go insane. But it is happening most of the time.
We started having eggs with ham, cheese and fruit for breakfast. Each child chose to do it a little differently. Some liked scrambled eggs with cheese in them that were rolled up inside the ham. Others wanted them all separately. Whichever way you choose to serve it, make it fun. It's not a death sentence to eat healthy. It's a lifestyle change that can extend your life.
A couple of my children are always fighting me on eating healthy. They don't like it. I hope that eventually they will see the good in eating healthy...not the "healthy" that the school and outside world tells them but the REAL healthy way...and choose to live that way on their own.