Why I’m Blogging

 

Why I'm Blogging on RealFoodwithKids.com

I consider myself first and foremost an instagrammer. This blog basically supplements what I share there. If you want to see a more regular peek at what we do in the kitchen, check out RealFoodwithKids on IG!

I branched out into blogging for those moments when I want to share more photos or the limit of characters-per-post is too small for my thoughts. My primary 2 reasons for sharing our lives on social media stems from the struggle I had while trying to learn this lifestyle. It was beyond rough. If it wasn’t for other bloggers investing their time into teaching others, I wouldn’t be where I am today. My little social media space is my small way to pay it forward and hopefully help others who are at the start of their journeys and encourage them to include their kids in the learning process.

My 2 main goals are to: 

1] Share how I’m teaching my kids to traditionally prepare REAL food:

I never cared much about real food at all until 2011 when we found out Andrew has Fatty Liver Disease. You can read that story, where our journey began, here. It caused us to slowly overhaul our lives! I was totally overwhelmed by it all. Like the majority of people in my generation, I was raised on processed foods. Pretty much everyone I knew had working parents and our lives were busy, so fast food and junk food were a part of our everyday lives. My parents started to eat healthier when I was in high school, but by that point, I was so addicted to the chemicals in the food I was eating that I wanted nothing to do with it.
 

So when I was faced with caring for Andrew’s health through diet, I was beyond overwhelmed. I couldn’t stop reading articles, blog posts, books, watching documentaries, etc. I was fascinated by the topics I was uncovering but application was another story. Yes, I cooked. I loved cooking elaborate meals; my favorite room in the house was the kitchen, but I knew nothing of cooking traditionally. My whole life in the kitchen involved opening boxes and jars.

I cried many times. I ruined many things. I panicked daily. I reread and reread and reread tutorials. I watched how-to videos dozens of times before starting anything, positive I was going to get it wrong [and I often did.] I cried more.

Throughout this whole process, I kept shooing my daughter, Emery, out of the kitchen. I was neck deep in learning  new skills every day and thought I needed to work in peace. I would try to entice her to play with toys, watch a show, or whatever distraction I could think of. [I expand on this in my biblical parenting point, below.] As Emery got older, there were many red flags with her health as well, but until August 2014, I couldn’t pin point what the problem was. You can read her story here!

One day I finally realized two things. First, I didn’t want Emery to grow up with amazing health but no relationship with me, because all I do is cook by myself. Instead of balancing her heart and her health, I was neglecting one for the other. Not good. I want my kids to grow to love and appreciate good food and the fellowship that can happen while preparing it.

And second, I was in this stressful position because I was never taught how to traditionally prepare food and neither was my mom. If I’m going to this insane amount of trouble to teach myself, why am I hoarding my education? Emery was going to grow up in a real food home, but leave the house just as clueless as I was. That would be a massive parenting fail on my part. For me to learn all these new skills but keep her out of the kitchen didn’t make since to me at all, once I thought about it. I was spending all this time struggling because I didn’t have anyone in my life to show me these skills in person and I realized Emery was going to feel the same way in 16 years. But she would have every right to be mad at ME because she had lived with someone who could have shown her but chose not to because she was self-focused.

What a wake up call. At 19 months old, I immediately stopped sending her out of the kitchen. I stood her up in a chair while I chopped some veggies and started a new chapter of our real food journey. We’ve giggled, chatted, learned, explored, made messes, taste-tested, and bonded. I have no regrets from that point forward. I’m caring for her heart and her tummy at the same time. I’m investing time and patience into her that are incredibly valuable. At 2 years old she could identify ingredients I’d never heard of until 3 years ago.

People everywhere are facing health concerns that require extreme diet change and I’m so thankful for those that are sharing their journey via social media to encourage others. But PLEASE, don’t forget in the midst of sharing with adults, that prevention could have happened if they’d been taught as kids instead. Adults most definitely need to learn about real food, but don’t put your kids on the back burner in the process. Teach them first or teach them at the same time just don’t forget to teach them. Don’t underestimate what they can learn. Don’t underestimate what they can do. You’ll never get this time back with your kids – there’s such a small window of time where they crave your attention over anyone else’s. Don’t waste it.

 

2] Share my journey in biblical parenting:

Honestly, God has grown my perspective on parenting in complete parallel with my growth in knowledge of food. Real Food with Kids is the testimony of work He’s done in my heart over the last 3 years. I started parenting with the philosophy that I needed a perfect plan and I had to stick to it. Before Emery was born, Andrew and I mapped out every parenting decision we could possibly make ahead of time and were so focused on getting the results we wanted, that we missed the point of parenting.
 
Our children are not robots for us to program. They absolutely need to be disciplined, trained, and taught, BUT they need an abundance of grace and love poured over them as well. My parenting should not be so results-focused that I’m unable to show compassion when it’s needed.
 
Also, my role as homemaker should not be so filled with things to do that I can’t slow down and make my kids a part of my day. Not just taking time to play with them, but investing in them by teaching them life skills as they work along side me. If I always encourage them to go play or watch TV while I work, do I really expect them to wake up one day when they’re 10 [when I decide they’re ready to have chores] and joyfully hop off the couch with a new-found passion for responsibility and hard work? No. No, I don’t. So then why am I keeping myself too busy to slow down and teach them, hands on, God’s design for hard work? Proverbs warns about the foolishness of a lazy lifestyle and my kids need to understand that truth, beyond memorizing a bible verse.
 
I’m now very careful and very intentional to verbalize the importance of hard work and team work throughout our days. I try to emphasize the things that my kids do to help our family by thanking them for being a part of our team, praising them for serving our family, pointing out how their hard work made something easier on me. The more I give depth to my feedback, rather than just saying “Thank you” or “Good job!” the harder I see them work the next time and the more motivated they are to find ways to contribute to the family. I’m slowly learning that my job as parent isn’t to constantly boss my children around so they fit the cookie cutter version of the perfect child I hoped they would be. My job is to train their hearts to value the things God values and this can’t be done without identifying, explaining, and praising these things throughout the day.
 

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