What is Genuine Nutrition for Every Family?
Welcome to my first blog post! I am so happy you are starting this journey with me. My goal is that this is a place where all can find genuine nutrition advice for their family. Here are the 3 keys to genuine nutrition for every family.
- Guilt or shame is not the end point. In today’s world where you can constantly let people know what is going on in your life through various social media outlets it has become easy to pass judgement. Parenting choices are one area where judgement is in abundance and that includes judging the foods that parents choose to feed their kids. I have been the victim of that judgement on several occasions and being a dietitian makes you an open target for it. I realize that every family is different and has different needs. My hope is that this is a place to be educated, informed, and empowered to make food choices for your family, and not feel shame or guilt.
- Do not focus on feeding rules. It seems that there are several sets of rules about eating a certain way. I encourage healthy choices and consuming an abundance of fruits and vegetables, but I think when eating is centered around strict rules it makes learning about nutrition harder than it has to be. Also, some families have rules for eating that work for them, but may not work in another family. Implementing rules set by someone else does not cater to the needs of your family. I will be honest, there are certain guidelines I encourage in my home around dinner time, but realize that another family may have different needs. You are the expert on your family.
- Food should be enjoyed. Food should not be used as a punishment or a reward. Food should taste good to you. If you enjoy eating noodles made of zucchini, pizza crust made of cauliflower, or brownies made with sweet potato and spinach then that is a great thing and I agree some of those foods can be tasty. However, if this is a trend that you have not found enjoyable then do something different. Find your own way to improve your fruit and vegetable intake like veggies and beans mixed with a smaller amount of whole grain pasta topped with flavorful seasonings or just make some really good brownies and savor a small piece with a big bowl of seasonal berries.
I am including a picture of what my table genuinely looks like as we sit down to dinner at my house. As you can see there are no fancy table settings or serving dishes. This particular night I was cleaning out the fridge and I realized I had a lot of different fruits and vegetables to use up. I always have several options for fruits and vegetables as I try to keep them cut up and ready to go. I share this with you to demonstrate that I am not going to feel shamed for not having a perfect table set, show that I do serve a few choices of fruits and vegetables (to clean out the fridge), and I serve the meal family style to encourage participation from everyone and hopefully stimulate some family discussions. Not only should food be enjoyed, but meals should be too.
Thank you for starting this journey with me. Please stay tuned to be part of a community where we can learn from each other and have some fun with food along the way.