Saturday, September 12, 2009

Welcome to Real Food For Kids!

I love food. I love my family. I love making good real food for my family.

One night while settling my daughter down for bed, the idea of writing about my quest to provide real food for my family. Allow me to introduce my family. I am a mostly stay-at-home mom, 33 years old, living in a western suburb of Boston. In addition to the blessing of being a mom, I also have the honor of teaching middle and high school students at a Jewish supplemental school for 6 hours per week. I am married to a wonderful man, Aaron, who I met in my last semester of college. He works as a university instructor and computer consultant. I think he is quite talented -- he can fix and build all sorts of things, is a great cook without using recipes, plays guitar, and he is just a great guy. I'm sure I'll share more about him as this blog progresses. Aaron and I have two children. Caleb is 3.5 years old, passionate, inquisitive, extremely active and rather direct with his opinions (of which he has many). He keeps us right where we belong -- on our toes. Elisheva (Ellie) is 15 months old, playful, curious, becoming more opinionated and increasingly mobile.

My hope for this blog is to share how Aaron and I attempt to feed ourselves and our family reasonably healthy real food. In the past few years, we have learned a lot about food and changed our eating habits as a result of what we've learned. We cook an increasing number of our meals from scratch or at least from minimally processed foods. We try to follow the idea that food is what our grandparents and great-grandparents would recognize as food. We eliminated high fructose corn syrup from our house and reduced how many "ready-to-eat" meals we buy. We also started thinking about how our food is created, produced, and distributed which led to our buying more food locally and food grown sustainably or organically.

As far as our eating habits, Aaron and I have our quirks like most people do. For starters, we choose not to eat mammals. I choose not to eat mammals because I get sick every time I try, though at this point I have a more philosophical reason as well. They make milk; I make milk. That's too close for comfort. Seriously though, I just don't like being sick enough to eat red meat. Aaron feels like it's too close in the food chain, though he originally gave up red meat thinking he would lose weight. Other than not eating mammal, we also wrestle with the idea of kashrut/kosher. We don't have a kosher home, but we don't eat foods which are "overtly treyf" (treyf = not kosher). For example, we don't eat shellfish/crustaceans or pork. And of course, we each have our likes and dislikes (I love chocolate and hate olives; Aaron loves peanut butter and hates sweet potatoes).

Then toss our two young children into the food puzzle. Fortunately our children do not have allergies and they are reasonably open to trying new foods, but they are kids. We never make eating into a battle, other than to establish a one bite/one taste rule. I always ask the kids to try a taste of each thing being offered. I don't enforce this rule with Ellie so much yet, but it works well with Caleb. We try to make food fun and tasty, and we try to make sure there is at least one thing at each meal the kids will eat. Sometimes we succeed; sometimes we don't.

And that's what this blog will be about - our successes and failures with providing our family with real food. I'll include recipes, photos when I have my act together, and lots of stories about making and trying different foods.

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