If you are anything like me, starting out on our wholefood journey was incredibly confusing and daunting, don’t eat this, don’t eat that, eat more of this, include this superfood etc. Everything I thought I knew about food almost had to be thrown out of the window. It all just became too much, sometimes to the point where I was paralysed and did not know where to start, so I didn’t!
And the reality is, it just does not have to be that way. It’s actually really simple.
Here are 4 easy steps to ensure your kids are getting the best nutrition possible:
1. Variety – Food should be selected from a wide variety of sources each day. It is also important to choose a variety of foods within a food group, e.g. don’t just eat apples every single day, try to include at 2-4 different varieties from each food group. By following this simple principle, you ensure you are obtaining a range of essential nutrition.
2. Wholesomeness – This essentially means that the food needs to be as close as possible to its natural state. For example if choosing a sugar source, choices such as maple syrup, raw honey or rapadura would be better alternatives than white refined sugar
3. Unprocessed – The ideal diet should not rely heavily on processed, packaged, tinned, frozen, take-away or pre-prepared foods. The less processed the foods is, the more nutrients it will contain. Additionally the less processed the food is, the less additives and preservatives it will contain which are so incredibly damaging to one’s health
4. Individuality – this simply means eat what is right for you! What is one man’s medicine can be another man’s poison. Things to consider when looking at individuality are:
- Digestion & Absorption
- Sensitivities & Allergies
- Medications currently being used
- Quality, cost & availability of food
As a family we don’t prescribe to any particular diet, we just focus on the above principles and eat real whole food and include as many healing foods on a daily basis such as broths, ferments, quality protein, good fats, plenty of vegetables and minimal fruits.
In addition we tend to limit our grains and if we do eat them, they are of a gluten free variety. I ensure that they are properly prepared, i.e. soaked or cooked in broth to ensure they are easily digested and the nutrients from the grains can actually be absorbed!
There is definitely no refined sugar by choice, however if it consumed outside of the house at parties etc, I'm not going to sweat it! Honey, maple syrup and other forms of natural sugar such as panela and coconut sugar are used, but only in small quantities. Even though they are natural sugars and have amazing vitamins and minerals, they are still a sugar and needs to be consumed in moderation.
I also ensure we eat the best quality available, i.e. eat grass-fed meat as opposed to normal conventional meat and buy fruit and vegetables according the to the clean fifteen and dirty dozen list. That list can be viewed here.
Personally I’m not a fan of “superfoods”. In my humble opinion, any food you are eating as close as possible to its natural state is a superfood. We don’t need the fancy stuff, but absolutely no harm including them to boost the nutritional content of the food.
Happy eating! XX