I get a lot of questions about how to change your child’s (or your own) diet, so I decided it was time to put pen to paper and provide a road map for change.
I’ve broken our dietary change from S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) to REAL food/low-no grain diet into six easy to implement steps. These steps can move at whatever pace your family is comfortable with. Generally speaking, step 1 should happen immediately. Do not pass go… do not collect $200… just do it. Then take your time. Our own dietary evolution occurred over a three year span. If I had the information I have now- I would have moved through these steps much faster. However, maybe three years is the right pace for you. . . if you are dealing with major issues (health, behavior, allergies) I’d recommended moving through these stages as quickly as you can.
So, what happens first? The very first and most important step on this journey to REAL food is REMOVE ALL CHEMICALS FROM YOUR DIET. This means anything with artificial dyes, flavors, preservatives, sweeteners… GONE. Purge your pantry. Put those foods into the trash where they belong.
At first glance, this may appear daunting. Take a breath, grab a notebook, pen, and the trash can, and step into your pantry. Pick up each item on the shelf- one at a time. Read the ingredient list. If there is any sign of an artificial additive (see list here), write it on your notepad and then toss it in the trash. Once you’ve gone through your pantry, repeat the process with your fridge and any other food storage areas. Now that you’ve completed the purge, take a look at your notepad and write down an alternative for each item. If you don’t know what the more natural substitute is, make a note and plan to do a little research (sometimes the best research is done during an unhurried visit to the grocery store). There is a more natural/less ingredient option out there for everything you currently eat.
Here’s a sample list:
Fruit Roll Ups – replace with Stretch Island Fruit Leather
Candy- replace with basic milk or dark chocolate and natural candy like Surf Sweets
Soda- replace with 100% juice cut with sparkling water
Breakfast cereals- go with oats or a natural cereal like Nature’s Path
Frozen “food”- replace with FREEZER MEALS
Chips- go basic, look for minimal ingredients (potato/corn, oil, salt) like Kettle Sea Salt
Jello- make gelatin with fruit juice
Cool Whip- real whip cream (heavy cream + a bit of maple/honey/sugar in the mixer)
Microwave popcorn- replace with a simple option like Costco’s brand (popcorn, oil, salt) or place 1/4 cup kernels into a brown paper bag, fold the top over 2-3x and pop like you would a microwave bag.
Margarine- REAL butter
Canola oil- olive oil
Shortening- coconut oil/butter/palm shortening
At this point you are eating a “natural” diet. That’s a step in the right direction away from S.A.D.
Watch for Part II, coming soon. 🙂
Eat Well. Be Well.
*I have posted links for your reference. I do not gain anything from your use of the links. I did not receive any compensation for this post. Opinions expressed are my own.