In our modern, fast-paced society, it’s tempting to want instantaneous results. We see people in a desirable place or position and think, “That is where I want to be.” Looking at the end result of many years of hard work, be encouraged that with diligence and perseverance you can achieve your goals as well. When I first became acquainted with families who were walking in real health, I longed for my family to get there! We had 4 children all under the age of 7 and were expecting our fifth. I cooked what I thought was “healthy” at the time – vegetables, fruits, some boxed foods, still had cereals and used white sugar and flour. I needed to make a change so that my children would grow up without cavities, chronic sickness, or diseases. I decided to go in baby steps to acclimate my family’s palettes to appreciate real food, in their whole forms, properly processed. I figured if I had trained them to eat the food they did up to that point, I could train them to like food that was better for them.
Knowing that it takes over a month to develop new neurological pathways and thus sustainable habits, I settled in my mind that this would be a journey, but a well worthwhile one. I began switching out their white sugar and white flour half and half with whole and unrefined counterparts. I began to buy organic meat, from local farmers. I switched to organic raw cheese and local raw milk.
I began to visit farms with my children so that they could see how their food was grown, how the animals were treated, and how these people were taking their stewarding of the earth seriously. Making regular trips to Amish communities & farmers’ markets, as well as discontinuing eating out at fast food or other restaurants who were not serving organic foods created a new pattern in the minds’ of my children – respect our temples & respect God’s creation. It softened our hearts and placed in us a love for nature and each other along the way.
I involved them in as much as I could when it came to real food. We began growing our own vegetables, a little at a time; raised some laying hens; even had a few cows for meat or milk. We moved out of the city and into nature where they could breath, run, and learn at their own inquisitive pace. This is our journey of intentional , real living. It evolved over several years as I learned various traditional skills that people had for centuries relied upon for real health & vitality.
I am forever grateful for the journey and the education of those who came before me. I hope to encourage you in your path to a true and sustainable lifestyle. Here are some steps that would help you transition your family to appreciate real food:
- Replace inorganic food with organic and local – things that are easy to replace like meats, cheeses, milk, produce & fats.
- Learn to bake! And teach your children with you – they love to make a mess in the kitchen! Switch over half and half then gradually increasing the amount of sucanat or coconut sugar or raw honey, and sprouted or gluten free flours in your baking. It’s important to have fun foods – teach them that we aren’t avoiding fun! We love brownies, ice cream, and cookies around here. We just do them in a truly healthy way.
- Make it yourself! Cooking from scratch will save you money, as well as invest in your long term health by avoiding toxic additives, preservatives, and artificial food stuff.
- Take time to plan – this is critical for success. I spent hours initially researching and making meal plans so that I was not last minute shopping or caving to hunger pains for myself or children. Nowadays, you can find TONS of meal plans available on the internet for free or minimal costs.
- Clean out the pantry & leave no alternatives. It’s a very frustrating battle if you’re trying to teach your children to appreciate real food while toxic, processed food counterparts are readily available in the pantry. Get rid of packaged foods, sodas, and candy. I taught my children to try everything on their plate. They didn’t have to love it. But I would ask them to say “I am learning to like this” – instead of saying they didn’t like such and such. Be positive. Words are powerful. Have them say and reaffirm what you are instilling. If they chose not to finish their dinners, I would leave them on the counter until they were hungry again and that’s what they were allowed to eat before having something different. It was tough at first, but eventually like any new habit, they learned to eat what we were all eating for that meal time, because it wasn’t always great cold later on.
Remember you’re going for life long healthy habits. It takes time and lots of grace. I pray for your patience and endurance to stick to it and be resolved to begin a healthier future for your children and their children! We have the power to reverse disease and degenerative health in our family lines. There is no time like the present – today is the day. Start your glowing health journey! You can do this!