I truly think I was raised on packaged food. Fake food. "Edible foodlike substances" as Michael Pollan (sorry if I spelled his name wrong) says. This is not a bad thing, I think it was my generation. We liked our Kraft Mac and Cheese (it's the cheesey-est) and our Velveeta cheese. Chips, Oreos, Fruit Loops. And those microwave meals, I lived on those as a single girl teaching for a couple years I think. So it is no wonder that we have to teach ourselves how to eat all over again. It's hard not to think there are no snacks in the house if you are out of Pringles or granola bars. Snack on an apple? Whodathunkit? Seriously, I think this is a learned thing. You live what you have learned. I learned that a snack came from a box. Of course I know so much more now.
I have always loved vegetables and I am trying to help my family to love them too. (That is Zoe peeling a potato.) We have pretty much eliminated packaged food from our snack selection. I do have some fruit snacks which are pretty much like candy, I know. I am letting them have these as we wean them off. We are still buying a small treat bag of chips at the swimming pool every now and then, I don't want to make these foods totally taboo and therefore very alluring, you know what I mean. The kids know they have these choices for snacks: yogurt, string cheese, fruit, carrots, smoothies (made by me), popcorn (again, made by me), goldfish crackers (it's not right to not have "fishies" for the kids- at least they have whole grain ones now!), or a homemade cookie. They haven't complained a lot, just a little sometimes, but like I said, we allow little occasional treats (at the pool) because I don't want them to feel like they are totally deprived. I don't feel too guilty about it, I made the kids watch Jaime Oliver, they go to Weight Watcher meetings with me, they know I am trying to do what is best for them. I know I am doing what is best.
Switching to eating whole, real foods has been a challenge. It takes a long time to prepare things. Last night I think I worked on dinner for almost an hour. But it was so good, totally homemade, loaded with veggies and everyone ate it up. I guess I have to admit it is worth it. Having that peace of mind is definitely a good thing.