I Gave My Toddler A Choice…

As you may know, I run a scratch kitchen. I do this for several reasons…

  1. It all started because of ‘alleged’ food allergies (which we are healing)
  2. I learned what GMOs were
  3. I realized the “food” we had been eating wasn’t really food…at all
  4. My family deserves better, healthy, *real* food and I can provide that (I’ve learned to, anyway)
  5. I’ve really grown to enjoy being in the kitchen and creating new recipes to nourish our bodies

Now, all that said, we live by the 80/20 rule.

What is this rule, you might ask? Mama and Baby Love does a great job of explaining the rule here, but in a nutshell…

  • 80% of the time we eat healthy *real* food – grass-fed & finished, pastured, hormone-free, simple natural meat; healthy sprouted and soaked grains; healthy fats like pastured butter, bacon grease, organic coconut oil; lots of organic fruits and veggies; and raw milk.
  • 20% of the time I eat…whatever I want. It could be pasta I shouldn’t have and don’t need; maybe I’ve been blessed  to enjoy a delicious meal handcrafted by a friend or family member (with CAFO meat and non-organic sides, sometimes I just want a fancy-dancy coffee, and sometimes I simply want (GASP…….) a Skor candy bar.

I do believe in maintaining as healthy, nourishing, and *real* of a diet as possible for my 22-month old son and me (hubby makes his own choices daily since he travels a lot), but sometimes I feel like it’s okay to stray. Heck…if I didn’t eat all of the things that I know I shouldn’t eat there would be days that I’d feel like I couldn’t eat anything at all!

Along those lines, HERE is an absolutely hilarious parody on eating *real* food. I’d suggest hopping on over (when you are done reading this post, of course) if you want a great laugh.

Anyway, point at hand for this blog post?

I gave my son a choice and he truly surprised me…and made me proud.

Last week my little family went to a local yogurt shop for part of our ‘weekly 20’ in the 80/20 rule.

Upon arrival, you first select from a gazzilion different types of yogurt (not the healthy grass-fed, non-homogenized, ultra low pasteurized organic yogurt I serve at home) and then move to the toppings where there are a bajillian more decisions (some more healthy than others, of course). You simply pay by the ounce, so take as little or as much of anything as you like. Since my son is a short-stepper and super-shorty (hey, he’s only 22 months old), I made some selections for him. I went with a simple vanilla yogurt and piled on the following toppings…

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries

I also placed a few of the following in our shared bowl…

  • Reeses Pieces
  • Oreo cookie crumbles
  • M&Ms

Now, let’s be honest…the fruit was really just the “lesser of the evils,” as I am sure that they were not organic and probably not cleaned properly. They did not appear to be sitting in a heavy syrup (believe it or not), so at least we had that going for us.

We sat down and he went straight for the yogurt. He’s had it a couple of times before, so he knew that he liked it. He then moved over to the fruit, which were all his favorites.

Now, let me preface the following by saying that our son has NEVER had store-bought candy before. I helped him get some Reeses Pieces on his spoon. He put one in his mouth, played with it, tasted it and……… Spat It Out On The Table!

He wanted NOTHING to do with ANY of the candy.

Hooray! A Big Fat WIN For Mommy!!!

You might be asking, “So, what’s the point, Scratch Mommy!???”

Weeeeeell, I do like to brag a bit that he is making health(ier) choices early in life; however, more than that I want to let parents know that you can help your child make healthy decisions.

  • Introduce healthy *real* foods EARLY, EXTENSIVELY, and WIDELY
  • Don’t stop with one introduction of a food; research shows that you should make multiple introductions to new foods before determining if children really do not like them or have an aversion to them (at that point in their lives)
  • If your children are older and already have a preference for unsavory and not nourishing foods, that’s okay…you can still make changes! Slowly remove one unsavory food item from the home at a time (one a week could do it). Replace it with a healthy *real* option.
  • Keep healthy *real* food snacks available at all times (this is so important). Especially for little ones, always have a nice supply fruits and veggies on hand to offer freely as snacks when they are hungry.

Need a little extra help?

I have a few books and a program (Ditch The Diet…on SALE through 7.3.13) that I’d LOVE to recommend to you. I own all of these books and refer to them often (and I’m also participating in the Ditch The Diet program right now)…

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An EXCELLENT 8-wk *real* food program (I'm participating in this NOW)
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An EXCELLENT 8-wk *real* food program (I’m participating in this NOW)

What else do YOU do in your home to encourage your little ones toward a nourishing, healthy, *real* food lifestyle?

Until next time…

Jess, aka Scratch Mommy


Photo credits- Question Mark by ed_needs_a_bicycle, Fruit Bowl by Dinner Service, Candy Balls by terren in Virginia, Fruit Pattern by Kit MacAllister, Fruit & Veggie Heart by yours truly (Scratch Mommy).

Comments 3

  1. I loved this story so much! I don’t have my own kids yet, but I’m a nanny for 3 and I’ve been with them almost 6 years! I have struggled so much with trying to change their diet; as well as getting their mother on board! I have slowly worked on it and after learning a lot this past year, I’ve really gotten serious about it. They now eat broccoli, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, cauliflower….. Any kind of fruit… And have been much more willing to try new things! So I can only imagine your joy when your son did that! It even made me happy and proud of the little guy!
    I just found your blog recently but I love everything I’ve read so far! Thank you for sharing your wisdom : ) are you on twitter? GoddessOfCoconut- twitter.com/LoveMyBanger

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