Our Real Food Revolution

Yesterday at 9:37 am I instituted a Real Food Revolution. Not that we were eating much “fake” food, but I will explain that in a minute. The reason it happened at 9:37 am was that that was the time my daughter started screaming at the top of her lungs, throwing her toys around her room, and slamming her door over and over again . . . because I had not adequately tied the knitted ear-warmer around her waist in such a way as to hold the sheet around her small body.

I emailed my husband, “Did you give her sugar?” He had let me sleep in after yet another night of terrible sleep caused by our little guy nursing like a newborn (he’ll be 2 next week). “Yes,” he replied, “but only a little.” Only a little, and yet there it was, the connection I had seen and have been seeing for years, only for some reason this time it gelled in my brain: give her sugar, and she acts like a maniac.

Sure, there are times she has had a bit of something sweet and not freaked out, usually when we’re outdoors, maybe with friends or family, or after a good solid dinner. But we aren’t always in an outdoor, social, post-prandial state of being.

So I googled something along the lines of “Kids, food, behaviour” and started reading. So much of what they recommend avoiding reminded me of what I’ve read in Nourishing Traditions, so I’ve decided to change our eating.

This won’t be a dramatic departure for us, but one shift I’ve decided to make is in my concern over spending money on food. While eating in a more traditional way will certainly cost more money, I think it is worth it. Our children deserve to get the best we can give them, and even our adult bodies will thank us for things like cutting out sugar, reducing grains, and doing things to boost the nutrition of whatever we are eating.

We will try to do this as frugally as possible, which means cutting waste and spending right for the right things. So my current quest will be to find some frugal “real food” staples that I can attempt to have on hand so we won’t resort to less nutritious options.

Today’s staple is Hummus! I love my hummus recipe. It makes a nice big batch which lasts us several days of snacks and lunches. My challenge right now is to find something instead of pretzel sticks to dip in it!

Fantastic Hummus

1 cup dry chick peas, soaked overnight then cooked for 1 hour

1/4 cup cooking water from the chick peas

1 clove garlic

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cumin powder

2 tbsp lemon juice

25 g olive oil

75 g tahini

Soak the chick peas overnight, drain and cover with fresh water. Cook for 1 hour. Place cooled cooked chick peas in food processor along with the garlic, salt and cumin. Process  until mushy. Scrape down the sides. Stir together the water and lemon juice and add to the food processor while it is running. Stop machine and scrape down, then process until quite smooth. Stir together the olive oil and tahini, and slowly drizzle in while the machine is running.

That’s it! Enjoy your creamy delicately flavoured hummus with a drizzle of olive oil or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or a few cooked chick peas scattered over the top.

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9 thoughts on “Our Real Food Revolution

  1. Very Interesing!

    I definitely see the connection between what children eat and how they behave.

    Good for you for taking on a new approach to something as important as food. Keep us posted.

    And Good Luck!

  2. I experienced the same problem with my youngest. His grandparents were always giving him candy in spite of my express instructions not to do so. They thought I was being mean!

    One day he did something really naughty, and so as punishment, I grounded him from having sweets for 3 days. He calmed down and was so good, his grandmother wanted to reward him. With a candy. In minutes, he was climbing the walls. Finally, they realized what sugar was doing to him.

    1. It’s amazing what happens when you start to reduce things–you really see their effect! The same thing happened with us and television. Once we reduced it, it became very clear how it was changing the kids’ behaviour. And only then was I able to get my partner on board with the no-TV thing, because I could show him the effect it was having!

  3. I don’t like processed sugars so I often use succanat and agave syrup to replace some or all sugar in baking. But they are like 8 times more expensive than sugar! So it’s a delicate balance between healthy and economical…

    1. You’re very right. Right now we’re staying away from any sweets (no baking–boo!), just as an experiment, but I don’t think I’ll be able to give it up forever, so we’ll have to see how things work in the long term . . .

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