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As someone who has struggled with her weight all her life (and not just my adult life or since having kids – since I was 8 or 9 years old), I’m afraid I think way too much about what we eat around here. Especially since I became a parent, I am constantly thinking ahead – what am I going to serve for dinner? How long until we need more milk? Why do parents bring Oreos as a “healthy snack” for kindergartners? (WHY??)
I am an overthinker by nature, too, and I’ve discovered that leads to major anxiety and irrationality in several areas of my life. Of course, it also leads me to blog, so it can’t be all bad, right?
I fear that I way overthink food.
I desperately want my children to have a healthy relationship with food. I want them to understand what real food is and why we try to not pack ourselves full of things like preservatives and sugar. I want them to like to eat healthfully but not feel deprived, not feel the need to sneak chips or candy bars at any given chance.
Man, is it hard to figure out the balance.
Since we’ve been married, I’ve run the gamut from only spending $40 a week on groceries and couponing like crazy to trying to eat all organic, grassfed, happy eggs, etc. And when I go to the grocery store, I feel like I am in a guilt spiral.
source: Caden Crawford via Flickr
The kids want granola bars. Should I buy granola bars? Should I buy organic? Kashi? Do I have time to make some at home? And if I do, will they actually eat them?
Should I buy cheap eggs or supposedly cage-free eggs? Do I think Walmart’s cage-free eggs are actually from free-range chickens? Organic butter? Normal butter? In-between butter?
It’s EXHAUSTING. It makes me detest going to the grocery store. And I want it to change.
In an ideal world, I truly would hit up the farmer’s markets and buy produce, meat, and even dairy if I could there. I’d feed my family all grass-fed beef and free-range chicken. I would make everything from scratch and love it. But here is the truth: we have three small children and at least one of them is home with me at all times. We live on a teacher’s salary plus the small income I make from freelance work. Mr. V reminds me that we almost qualify for reduced lunch. We are not lacking, but right now I just cannot make the money and time investment to eat the way I think I want to in my head.
I read stuff like this and wonder, were those the glory days? When people lived in blissful ignorance of what their food choices might do to their health? Would I rather be ignorant … or guilty?
There’s got to be some kind of balance, right?
I recently backed out of a Facebook group that made me feel constantly bad about making compromise choices. About ever letting my children near food dye or flour. It’s me, it’s not them, for the most part. And I have to do what I can to back off the guilt before I start getting ulcers.
It’s not just me, right? Do you all feel the tension? What does it look like in your life? I promise not to judge either way, I’m just interested to know. (See some of the conversation happening on Facebook today.)