My eating habits as an adult don’t fall far from the habits that were built for me as a child. I grew up in a southern household with my great aunts/uncles and great grandparents. It wasn’t unusual for a pot of neck bones, pig feet or hog head cheese to be cooking in our family home. Almost on a nightly basis we ate food that was made with love and mostly saturated with salt. As a child I watched the women in my family “throw down in the kitchen” and I wanted to cook just like them.
Once I got a family of my own, Sunday night dinners were just like I remembered. Not long after my son got his first tooth, he was eating homemade macaroni and cheese, glazed ham with neck bones and collard greens. Shortly after our wedding, my husband and I gained so much weight because I was cooking the only way I knew how.
As a wiser adult I understand the damage I was doing to my body and my family’s body. As hard as it is, I am making the conscious effort to give my family things that are healthier for them. Gradually I have started to substitute unhealthy foods with better options for my family.
1. I don’t buy soda or juice. Instead, I buy flavored and sparkling water. This is a great substitute especially for my son who would drink sugary juices daily.
2. My husband and I keep fruit in the refrigerator and on the kitchen table. I find that as a family we go into the kitchen a lot to find something to snack on. If there are mostly healthy options, we snack healthier.
3. We have replaced all white bread, pasta and rice with wheat options. Wheat bread/pasta and brown rice has a better nutritional value.
4. Using Stevia, a natural sweetener, as opposed to sugar helps to decrease our caloric intake. We still get the sweet flavor we are looking for without the added processed sugar.
These are just a few of the ways we’ve started to change the way we eat.
What healthy swaps have you made? Comment below.