So the other night at the dinner table one of my boys (I won't point out which one because they've both done this) made a complaint about eating paleo. They 'hate it', 'wish we didn't do it', etc. I've heard it more than once and I'm sure I'll hear it again before they leave our house.
My response this time and about 3 times prior over the last 2 1/2 years:
"Do you understand why we eat this way? Do you know the sacrifices we make to eat this way? Do you realize that so many people would feel blessed to eat as healthy as we are able to? Do you think I do this to torture you? Do I not let you have treats and non paleo food on occasion? Do you not have input on the weekly menu? Do I not spend hours in the kitchen every week making your favorite things?
Please put the word 'Paleo' aside. We eat REAL FOOD. We eat vegetables, meat, fruit, seeds, nuts and on occasion white rice and clean dairy. Do you understand what real food is? It's GROWN. God has provided it. It does not come in a box of with crap, chemicals, and other stuff that we don't know what it is. We eat REAL FOOD.
This was NOT a family decision but it was a decision made for the good of the family. A decision that your dad and I made for our family health. At this table we had one person medicated for ADHD, one person with high blood pressure, one person who felt bad physically from food, one person who can't tolerate sugar and yeast. We all have food allergies. Again it was done for everyone's health.
Do you think I grew up eating food from a box? NO. My dad hunted, trapped and fished for our meat. Our family together took care and grew a large garden. My mom ensure that everything from the garden was frozen, canned or in someway preserver so we had vegetables all winter. My mom went to a food co-op to buy our granola in a large bin, and this was a treat. We ate oatmeal so many mornings i can't count. We had to make 2 gallons of powdered milk after dinner dishes everyday so we had milk for the next day. We didn't buy store milk, we didn't buy box cereal, we didn't buy processed food. And you know what? I was embarrassed sometimes because we didn't have store bought food. But we ate good and healthy.
When I moved out I bought all store bought processed food. Then YEARS later guess what? I would have given anything to be able to eat the way my mom and dad raised us. And guess what? That's how we are eating. So while 'paleo' may be a new label for it, it's the way I was raised. It's the way you are being raised and one day you'll understand why this decision has been made.
While I know that you may not stay paleo when you move out on your own I do have hopes for you. I hope that you will keep with eating real food. If you eat grains, then make them organic, clean and make the best choices. I pray that you don't turn to eating garbage. You will pay for it with your health.
AND if you don't like what I put on the table each day then you are more than welcome to get up and pack your own lunch, make your breakfast and figure out what you are going to eat for dinner. Going forward you will not complain about how we eat. You will be grateful and thankful that you are fed and provided for. One day you will thank us for caring the way we do. Until that time you will be respectful."
And if you are doubting for one second that all of that plus a little extra didn't come out of my mouth the other night, you are wrong. I do not pamper my boys. They are being raised with the same values that my husband and I were raised. While I value their opinions and encourage them to talk things out when they are unhappy, we do not condone being disrespectful or rude. While they may not agree with decisions made for our family that's fine. BUT they do not run the house.
When I post about recipes that the family likes, or specifically the boys like, I'm being 100% honest. My boys beg for certain things to be made daily or weekly. If recipes come up that one of us doesn't like then I tend not to make it again and move on. We have plenty of recipes that we all do like. On the occasions that they do eat non paleo they've found that they feel crappy. When that happens we talk about it and how to perhaps make a different choice the next time.
Recently the youngest came back from an overnight trip with school. We talked about what choices to make for meals before he left. He came home so excited to tell me about the food and what he ate. The camp had all the dishes labeled so it made it easy for him to see what was 'GF' or gluten free. He knew what the GF stood for. He told me about all the good stuff he had and also told me about the non paleo choices he made. He was very pleased with itself and the meals he chose. He did great!
At the start of the school year my oldest, who's a junior in high school, was so excited to tell me about the changes that were made at school. That have more real food options. The cook was actually cooking food. He always takes his lunch but he will often purchase a garden salad at school to have with what he's brought from home.
So while what I post here, on Facebook, or IG may seem 'perfect', it's not. But I will tell you when it comes to food I feel like that our family has been very successful in the transition to real food. We have bumps here and there but my kids understand food, where it comes from, how to cook it, how to plan meals, how to eat a balanced meal, the importance of the foods we eat, how to fuel their bodies and how to do dishes.
I just wanted to share that moving a family to eating real foods is a lifestyle change and the kids don't have to love it. But they need to understand it and the importance of it. Us as parents are responsible for teaching them. Getting the whole family involved makes the process easier and everyone benefits. And at the end of the day remember who the parent is and who the child is. They WILL eat when they are hungry and if you provide healthy options they will surprise you.
Stepping down from my soap box now :)