In my meal planning quest I have run into a detour. Upon trying to decide what food I should buy and prepare for my family I ran into the question: Am I really making the wisest and healthiest choices for the ones I love?
I thought I had been doing pretty good. We eat out rarely, processed/ pre- packaged foods are limited, I actually MAKE meals (most of the time ;p). But the truth is this, we need to be eating WAY more veggies. Now, I can’t make Hubby do this, it needs to be his choice 🙂 But, for myself who is the food source for Blue Eyes and giving (and educating) Sweet C in what to eat, we need to do a little work.
So I made a list of all the possible veggies our family does eat and a few I would like us to try to eat. Then I also listed some of the healthiest fruits we eat. We actually eat way more fruits than on the list but some fruit can just really pack a healthy punch so I just wanted to include those. Since I was in a list making mode I want ahead and listed proteins, grains, and spices/herbs. I generally don’t cook with many herbs but after some research I’ve seen we are missing out on some major health benefits from not including them! The World’s Healthiest Foods was a great source to find out all the benefits of each of the foods (including spices/herbs) on my lists.
In case you are interested the items on my lists are as follows:
- Bell Peppers
- Green Beans
- Green Peas
- Sweet Potato
- Swiss Chard
- Peanuts/Peanut Butter
- Pork (includes sausage or bacon)
- Whole Milk (For Sweet C)
- Whole Grain Bread
- Whole Grain Cereal
- Whole Grain Pasta
- Home-made breads my mom makes from her own milled flour which includes ancient grains like kamut and spelt
- Black Pepper
Now my goal is to be stocked up with at least seven different veggies and seven different fruits at all times. I don’t care for canned fruits and vegetables but frozen is almost as good as fresh so that makes it easier to have these items on hand.
You will note that I didn’t make diary a category and just lumped some dairy items in with protein. I am personally trying to cut back on dairy because I think little Blue Eyes is having tummy issues when I drink milk so I have switched over to Almond Milk (which mainly goes in my cereal or coffee). We aren’t big cheese eaters and so it is easier to just cut it out since it is expensive. With the exception of our once a week pizza that will probably be the extent of our cheese eating. And as for ice cream, which was not listed, I still will love to eat some from time to time, but it is a special treat (like pop) that I refuse to actively have stocked in my house.
I am the only one in our family that eats fish (and only canned tuna at that) so I need to figure out how to get my family to eat some healthy Omega 3’s from cod or tilapia. Suggestions??????
Our family does a great job of not buying or eating many, if any, junk foods (chips, cookies, pastries) which comes in the form of grains, but I would love to be even more conscientious of getting the healthiest whole grain options possible for my family.
For now I need to stock up on some of those dried herbs, but I would love to have a little indoor fresh herb garden in the future.
Now that I have all the real, whole foods listed out that I know my family likes it will be easier/faster to make a grocery list, find simple recipes for those ingredients, and get our healthy variety on a weekly basis.
Oh, and a couple other little notes to add. We all are big water drinkers, but I am now even more determined to drink even more water and not feel guilty about our family not drinking juice or cow’s milk. (Except Sweet C gets whole milk, but still drinks more water than anything). We do occasionally have pop/soda (I love some root beer from time to time). But we don’t actively stock it in the house. As for cooking and baking, I exclusively use REAL butter and extra virgin olive oil. Do some of your own research and find out why these are great options.
What do you think about these lists? Do you think this would be helpful in cutting out waste, reducing shopping time, and ensuring you get a variety of healthy food you and your family will enjoy?
I feel very blessed to be learning new things every day to become wiser, wealthier (saving money by not being wasteful), and healthier!