A Healthy Example: Our Introduction to the New Food Pyramid

One of my missions as a mother is to live a healthy life and set a good example for my children. Healthy living is not an option in our household, it is a mandate that my husband and I both agree with. With one daughter living with SCD and both twin girls technically born premature, we know that planning a healthy nutritious diet is always important.

WHAT DOES EATING HEALTHY MEAN TO US

The food pyramid was recently revised and it really explains how we try to eat. We eat whole and multi-grains (corn, oats, wheat, grains, etc). For instance, I don’t believe I have ever eaten white bread. From childhood, I was always fed whole wheat or whole grain bread when my mother did not bake her own. Dairy products such as butter, cheese, and milk are rarely purchased and used only sparingly. We get vitamin D from dark green leafy vegetables and the sun. Sweets consists of fresh fruits with an occasional choice of sugarless (no sugar added) dried fruit like apricots, apples, dates, raisins, and dried cranberries. Water is the beverage of choice, but herbal teas are also available. Caffeine is not consumed, which means no sodas, lattes, or coffee. Fried foods are rare, fresh foods are plentiful. I try not to give my children junk food or candy. Overall, I believe that my children’s food should be simple and as close to its natural state as possible.

Here is a sample breakfast that my family and I enjoy together:

  1. 1 cup of Organic Soymilk/coconut/almond milk.
  2. 2 servings of fresh fruit such as pears, nectarines, strawberries apples, oranges, grapes, etc (depending on what is in season).
  3. One bowl of oatmeal made with hot vanilla soy-milk and topped with walnuts/almonds, diced apples and raisins (not a lot of raisins/persimmons just a few for taste). For my children I usually make a happy face out of the fruit to entice them to eat it. (Instead of using the vanilla soy-milk you could had 1/3 teaspoon of honey.)

A sample lunch would be:

  1. A salad made with (baby spinach/mixed greens; sweet yellow, orange, and red peppers; cucumbers; carrots; tomatoes; and wild onions). Toppings for the salad include sunflower or pumpkin seeds and dressing.
  2. 100% fruit juice or a smoothy (my kids favorite is bananas and blueberries)
  3. For protein we usually add chopped seasoned cooked tofu to the salad to make it a complete meal.

Sample Dinner:

  1. Steamed brown rice and beans.
  2. Steamed broccoli and squash.
  3. Sliced apples (usually consumed before dinner during snack time).
  4. To drink half water, half juice.

We aren’t perfect, but we are trying to do the best we can, while we can. Last but not least we exercise. My husband bikes, I walk, and my kids enjoy playing outside.

choosemyplateWHAT STANDS OUT ABOUT THIS PYRAMID

Exercise is key. Many of us live sedentary lifestyles where we rarely focus on getting up and out in the fresh air. For me, I am on my computer and a lot so I have schedule walks and exercise into my daily routine.

Grains are the largest portion followed by vegetables and fruits. Adding grains to my meal helps me feel that it is complete.

We generally use olive oil in our food and to cook with, but I only use a small amount because it is very thick.

Milk is also a large portion, but this is probably where I disagree. Personally, I am not a fan of feeding my children products from cows, it just doesn’t connect well with their system; however the vitamins and minerals that you get from dairy products is crucial so I make sure my children get the advantages diary provides by eating other foods with the same benefits. Here are a list of 15 non dairy foods high in calcium.

Meat and beans are surprisingly small. Contrary to common belief, our bodies don’t need a ton of protein to have energy and be healthy. Here are a list of protein sources for vegetarians.

I look forward to hearing from you! Do you agree or disagree with the information I have shared? What does healthy eating mean to you and your family?

Here is a video from the Duke School of Nursing

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  • Kudos to you for working hard to set that example for your family! My son has disabilities, so we began over 10 years living the organic lifestyle. We felt for his sake the fewer chemicals in, the more keenly his cognitive capabilities. As it turns out, all of us feel worlds better. We had no clue how sick we really were until we began to feel truly well.

    BTW I see you’ve left little to no room for flour and sugar in your daily eating regime. I too have found these 2 delicacies pack on the pounds when not eaten in extreme moderation (even when eaten organically).

    Thanks for the information and I look forward to learning more from you πŸ™‚

    Marisa
    http://www.meyouandcreamedcorn.com/

    • Thanks for visiting again, it really is amazing how sugar breaks down a person’s immune system. Having a healthy diet is something that I used to take for granted because it is how I was always raised, but I am learning to share more because other families can benefit from the information too. I am glad that you agree with the information I have shared. All the best to you and your family!

  • Thanks for sharing this idea with us. We are struggling to change our eating habits and this post is perfect timing. Stumbled…
    Come join the conversations every Thursday and Post your questions on Thursday Two Questions Meme

  • my eating habits are similar to yours but i still can’t decide about how much protein should i consume or more broadly, which nutritionist should i trust. i like to believe i don’t need much protein but my physical trainer isn’t pleased with my diet. πŸ™‚

    otherwise thank you for all good wishes. actually i’ve just come back from my trip but didn’t have the time to write about it yet. πŸ™‚ btw, are you sure that you clicked “like” on stumble, not “stumble” that gets you to the next post? not that i’m so strict, it’s just easy to notice the difference in number between likes and comments when the number is low. but maybe all likes aren’t recorded, I wouldn’t know because i just started to use that thingy today. πŸ™‚

    • I went back to your post and it is saying that i am the only one who has stumbled it. So I clicked “like it” again and it deleted my profile picture so i clicked it again, I am sure others liked it too, maybe that did it using a different platform though.

      Protein is tricky, there are some vegetables, beans, legumes, and nuts that contain protein so you may want to add those in your diet as well. Thanks again for stopping by.

      • sorry for that, i guess stumble confused something …

        i’m trying to eat more veggies like beans (fruits, nuts and grains are simple) but some days i don’t consume them enough. i have to learn to cook more tasty dishes (i’m quite a beginner) so i will enjoy preparing them more. there was one really great vegan restaurant at the festival i went to, i couldn’t believe how yummy veggies could be prepared, i wish i would know the recipes. πŸ™‚ i actually prefer eating everything raw (if it is possible) but sometimes it gets a bit boring or i feel like having a warm meal. πŸ™‚

  • Thanks for the info. I’m not familar with new pyramid at all so it was new to me! I’ve stumbled this post – thanks for stopping by and stumbling mine!

  • This is a wonderfully informative post. Thank you so much. Eating healthy is something that is extremely important to me, but trying to break habits that I’ve had since childhood is far more difficult than I ever expected.

    I’ve stumbled this post. Mine is at http://silverfaeries-dragonflies.blogspot.com/2011/08/creative-endeavors.html

  • I’ve been working hard the last year to change some of our eating habits, especially my husband’s, and move toward a less sedentary lifestyle.

    I stumbled your post. If you want to stumble back, you can find mine at http://www.mamamommymom.com/2011/08/savory-oven-roasted-potatoes.html

    Jamie @ http://www.mamamommymom.com
    http://www.facebook.com/mamamommymom
    http://www.twitter.com/mamamommymom

    • Thank so much. I stumbled your post. I tried to leave a comment too, but I am not sure if it went through. Your pictures were fantastic.

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