I'm sure that every parent at some time or another struggles with the dilemma of putting a nutritious, tasty and attractive meal on the table and for the children to actually eat it, but when you add a couple of intolerances to the mix things go from being somewhat challenging to feeling near on impossible. There is organic, free-range, preservative free, additive free, sulphite free, dairy free, gluten free and that's just how we start the day! Feeding our children can be a real headache!
But a while ago my lovely Laura introduced me to Jude Blereau's book Coming Home to Eat, which is her bible in the kitchen. To be honest I borrowed the book twice I just didn't get around to reading it despite having the best intentions of doing so, but upon discovering she has new book specifically for children Wholefood for Children, I borrowed both from the library and am in the process of reading them. I've started with Wholefood for Children as this food journey is really in aid of meeting their needs. It has prompted me to consider what is truly important to me about food, so I have started a list:
- Organic wherever possible and reasonable;
- Food in its most natural state, so keeping it as unrefined as possible;
- Preservative and additive free;
- Homemade and homegrown;
- Locally and seasonally grown produce;
- Locally or New Zealand made products;
- And the list goes on - as I think, read, talk to others and learn.....
We have our own little vegetable patch from which we eat something from most nights, which we have kept pesticide free; using a 50:50 blend of water and milk to help my courgettes and Emily's white butterfly recipe to save my lettuces from annihilation. But despite the gardens' contribution to our meals and shopping at our local farmers market, our grocery bill is still HUGE and I can't fathom how or where it goes. Its not nappies because Felix is in cloth majority of the time. The sulphite free dried fruit and the sugar alternative that Gus needs does add up but otherwise there is no obvious drain on the weekly bill. I want to provide healthy and nutritious meals but I need to get the cost down.
|A blackbirds' egg on our walk home|
|The magic garden - love the door|
Wholefood for Children has given me hope though. I'm hoping that with a stricter food plan, as Jude recommends, I should be able to identify where I'm going wrong, reduce our grocery bill and improve our diet. I would love to know what you do? How and where do you shop? Do you have a strict weekly meal plan? What works for you and your family? Xo