Top 3 Building Blocks for Mom’s Nutrition Philosophy

Since I ranted about how nutrition is more of a philosophy than a science, I should probably share my philosophy with you!

It’s certainly still evolving (as, in my humble opinion, ever person’s philosophy should.), but I can divulge what seven years of study and personal attempts at wellness have taught me.

1. Eat Colorfully.

Nothing says bleh like a monotone meal- yellow, tan, and off-white don’t make for a nutritionally-balanced or visually appetizing meal. One of the easiest ways to eat healthfully is to eat things that have a variety of colors (NOT food coloring, of course, but natural colors). For example, yellow or orange often indicates Vitamin A. Purples, blues or reds often deliver a whole host of antioxidants. Greens usually deliver a dose of vitamin K. And most colorful foods mean a serving or three of fruits and veggies, which also tend to be high in fiber.  All important for keeping and feeling well.

2. Shake Things Up a Little.

If you eat a rotation of 4 or 5 different meals or if you find yourself buying the exact same grocery list every week, you’re likely not eating a balanced diet. I struggle with this because it is SO efficient when you know exactly what ingredients you need to have on hand, and you know exactly what shelf they are on in the grocery store (until they move everything around- but that’s another issue!).

Shoot for rotating at least 10 different meals and challenge yourself to try one new food a week. Fruits are an easy way to start adding new items to your diet! If you’re a banana and apples regular, try reaching for a kiwi or a melon instead. Grains are also an exceptional area for experimentation and adding a little spice to your family’s menu- have you tried quinoa yet? or wild rice? or buckwheat?

Variety is a great way to keep eating healthfully interesting.

3. Nature (Probably) Knows Best.

When it comes to demonizing processed foods, I’m not a big fan of the bandwagon.

However, it is unlikely that yellow #5, blue #1, red #40 and yellow #6 are providing ANY health benefit to me when added to my granola bar. It’s probably best to avoid “added.”  If it’s “added” we probably don’t need it- added coloring, added sugar (including High Fructose Corn Syrup), added fats (think: trans fats, saturated fats).

Now, let me just clarify- that does NOT mean that I don’t eat chocolate cake or ice cream or cheeseburgers.

I most definitely do.

These things just aren’t everyday occurences.

Color- Variety- Simple.

That’s my nutrition philosophy.

If you need some inspiration (Don’t we all!)- here’s a few great places to find new recipes for you and your family.

The Fresh Kitchen

Smitten Kitchen

The Whole Grains Council

Wow! And check out this list of food blogs- Best Healthy Cooking Blog of 2012

Nutrition Philosophy: Color, Variety, Simple

Nutrition Philosophy: Color, Variety, Simple

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4 thoughts on “Top 3 Building Blocks for Mom’s Nutrition Philosophy

  1. I like your philosophy. Here are some of my thoughts: 1) Buy the best I can afford (I wont go in to debt just to be “organic”, but if there is an affordable option I’ll give it a try) 2) Don’t get stuck in a food rut. 3) Hide healthy stuff in different places and don’t tell the kids 4) Don’t freak out if kids want hot dogs and mac n cheese. 5) Don’t let food make me miserable.

  2. I was scrolling back through your posts – I was looking to see if there was any other input on this post, and I had another thought. As a mom, I want to teach my kids to be thankful for good food and to have healthy eating habits, but I don’t want them to be CONSUMED by their food. For example, I don’t want to eat in a way myself that makes my little daughters worry that they need to “diet” at age 5. Also, food needs to be addressed in age-appropriate ways. For example, “you should eat your veggies” is a toddler appropriate lesson. Telling the same toddler that “hot dogs have chemicals that will kill you” is not age appropriate. It may be funny to hear some lisping kid announce that sandwich meat contains “such and such chemical” which they can’t pronounce, but it isn’t funny when that child develops fears about food because they were taught things they shouldn’t have to worry about – like giving themselves cancer. Sorry to write a book, but it is an issue I run into frequently, and has given me much food for though.

    • I could NOT agree more with your thoughts. We are living in one of the most confused societies, I think, in the history of man when it comes to our food choices. Yes, it has become more complicated with the advent of prolific processed foods, but I also believe that people can get so wrapped up in their fear (about anything really), but especially surrounding food, that they pass on disordered eating behaviors or in some cases actual eating disorders to their children. That’s not living healthfully, that’s living in captivity. There is a reason that the dietitian mantra is “variety and moderation.” It’s all about balance. In balance- there is health. REALLY appreciate your thoughts 🙂

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