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:
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.