Yesterday, I read this. And I totally felt guilty because I feed Beatrice a lot of that stuff. A cup of Cheerios is quicker (and cleaner) than a piece of fruit when we're on the go and she needs a snack. A Gerber cereal bar is more convenient than toasting whole grain bread and smearing some hummus on top. And while I'm not under the impression that Gerber makes things more healthy just because they are marketed for babies, I still buy the stuff because it's readily available, cheap, and Beatrice will eat it.
These are terrible reasons to feed my child harmful chemicals proven to cause health problems and I want to change.
I haven't always been a healthy eater. Once I learned that food is fuel for the body and that it matters what goes in, I changed my relationship with it. Before I got married, I had a revelation that it might do my body good to eat off of the land. So I grew my own garden and for a summer, I ate only the fruits and vegetables that yielded from my crop. I juiced, I steamed, I ate well. And I felt amazeballs. My body functioned more, er, regularly than ever before, I had energy, and I slept better. I decided that eating right wasn't just an effective way to trim down my waist, it was imperative to my health and well-being to do so.
I started out feeding Beatrice this way. I bought fresh, organic produce and made all of her food until she was a year old. She got pickier and I got lazier. Like most everyone, she liked packaged food. It tasted good and it was quick. But I don't want to be like that anymore. I want to do better and I want her to eat better. So I emailed my friend, Alima, who is the epitome of health and fitness. She runs a Crossfit gym with her husband and they live a Paleo lifestyle. Paleo means eating foods that you would find naturally in nature. No processed foods and limited packaged foods. Think nuts, berries, and hormone-free protein. I asked her to give me some Paleo snack ideas for Beatrice. Here is what she suggested:
1. Lara bars. Made with nuts, fruit, and spices. That's it.
2. Brothers All Natural freeze dried fruit. Just fruit, nothing else. Except freeze driedness.
3. Organic raisins.
4. Terra Sweets and Beets. Sweet potato and beet chips made with canola oil. Mmmmm.
5. Water. Avoid juice which can be full of sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
I am excited to try these new snacks with Beatrice. My goal is have her diet 99% all natural, non-processed foods. Check out Alima's Paleo blog here. Here's to hoping that everyone makes efforts at cutting out some of the additives in their diets and for a healthier 2011.