Removing Boxed Foods From My Kitchen

Removing Boxed Foods From My Kitchen

Tue 14 Jun 2011

Story by Kris Cacciola
 

Every parent wants what is best for their kids. But what if when you think you are giving them the best, you are actually doing more harm than good? Thatís where I found myself after watching the first season of Jamie Olivers Food Revolution.

Every mom knows how hard it is to work all day, come home, cook, clean and take care of the family. So making things from boxes was ok, right? Boxed foods are inexpensive, fast and nutritious, right? Inexpensive: mostly not. Fast: sometimes. Nutritious: definitely not!

My youngest daughter is 8 years old (Izzy, pictured). She already weighs 90 pounds and has an enlarged liver, as well as GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). I couldnít figure out why this was happening to my baby. Then I watched Food Revolution.

The next weekend, crying at the thought of what I was doing to my family by giving them such unhealthy meals, I cleaned out my cupboards and refrigerator of all boxed and already prepared items. I thought stocking back up with fresh, nutritious foods would break our bank. But I am very happy to admit I was wrong.

For the price of four boxed rice mixes, I bought a box of healthier brown rice and make my own mixes by adding spices and fat free cheese. One box of brown rice will make six side dishes for my family of four. Thereís a saving right there, in money as well as in nutritional content. Plus, it usually comes out tasting better.

Another added bonus of my food revolution: I am teaching my daughters healthy eating habits and we have more fun making menus, shopping and cooking together. We have also found out many more vegetables and fruits that are very tasty that we had never tried before. Some of the fruits and vegetables we have tried and like are: parsnips, peppers, spinach, mango, passion fruit, and apricots. There are so many out there! We try to pick a new one each time we grocery shop.

During this whole process of learning, we are writing a cookbook to show moms how easy and fun it is to create a meal from scratch with the whole family. Prep time might take longer, but you can do most of the prep work during the weekend, so when you come home from work, itís like opening a boxed food, only better because you know you are feeding your kids a healthier alternative.

I now feel better when I open my cupboards and look for meal ideas. While we still have a long way to go, I know I can do this! Iím not afraid anymore. I am helping my family get healthier, while still serving them meals that we all like. I will always be grateful to Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution for opening my eyes. Thank you!

About the author: Kris Cacciola is a proud mom and Food Revolutionary from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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