Trying to Grow in Healthy Ways - Food-wise

Sorry for my lateness in posting ... we were out of town early on the in the week. And I have found myself scrambling to catch up after being gone. We literally walked into our house and Eli and I looked at each other and cringed. We expected it - but it was rather messy. I know that all the sitters did their best - but with three different rotations of sitters coming in for three days in a row, I knew the house would be messy. So, we started laundry, cleaning, unpacking, spending time with the boys, and getting ready to send Eli right back out the door for a weekend at school. WHEW! Now, it's suddenly already Saturday, and my high hopes of posting on Thursday obviously didn't happen - and I'm left with what feels like an empty brain with which thoughts of what needs to be done for Jonah's birthday party ofn Sunday keep floating in and out.

BUT, one thing that I have been pondering - both in my mind and attempting to see how it works out practically for my family, is trying to grow in our consumming of healthier and different foods. Looking forwards to garden seasons and already wanting to "gear up" to try new things and get ALL my boys to branch out from normal and safe foods.

I'm eager to hear others' thoughts out there: I don't want to go weirdo over it all - but I do want to improve in how I manage this area of my household. How do you do it?

Here of some of my thoughts/changes/hopes for future changes:

- I splurge every now and then and buy Almond Milk. Eli and I both really like it. It's great in smoothies and it's lower in fat and calories than cow's mlk. Almond Breeze unsweetened almond milk has only 40 calories per serving, 0 grams of sugar, and 45% of your daily suggested calcium intake. Pretty good! Unfortunately, it also often runs over $3 a carton - so it IS a splurge. Worth it? What do you think?
- Eli is meat man. He just loves his meat. I, for one, could live without it. I enjoy meat every now and then, but if I needed to be a vegetarian for any reason, it wouldn't be that hard for me. So, we compromise: we attempt to eat several meals without meat a week. Why? First, meat is expensive - makes a difference in the grocery budget when we don't buy it each week! Secondly, the meatless meals we often come up with take a healthy focus - which we're both happy about.
- I don't think at this point we're going to put in a garden in our yard. But, we help out in Eli's parents' garden - and get fresh produce all the time from the family. My goal this year is to offer to help MORE often, and take any offers of produce - even if it's a kind someone in this house normally turns their nose up at. And then I will head home with it, search my cookbooks and online and find a way for us to try it.
- I've also been tossing around the idea of joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Rolling Prairie Farmer's Alliance would work for a Lawrencian. The cost ranges from $14-17/week - but it would support local farmers AND I would spend less at the grocery store. Yes, each week would be a surprise - but somehow the thought appeals to me. I haven't really asked Eli to consider it seriously, but I think the conversation may happen. Any experience from our readers with being a part of a CSA?

Ultimately, I think I might be growing hungry for spring! Warmer weather, gardens, playing outdoors, more physical activity, fresh watermelon, etc. And that might be part of the reason all this is on my mind ... how 'bout you?


  1. I am sooooo ready for spring! I have also considered being a part of a csa, but we are hoping to get enough produce from our backyard to feed us this summer. Probably wishful thinking.

    I know one way we have been able to get our kids to eat things that they normally wouldn't is to change the way we approach "strange" foods. Instead of talking about how they don't like certain foods, talk about how we all want to become more "adventurous eaters". It makes it a fun challenge, instead of an awful chore. Our kids also watch us very closely, and if we don't like something they don't like it either, so we find ourselves eating things that we don't enjoy very much. Sardines anyone?

    It has been a pleasure to see our kids grow in this area. To watch their tastes change and branch out, eating things I never could have imagined.

  2. I would highly recommend planting a garden!!! You don't need much space and you can produce a lot of food for a fraction of the price that you would pay to join the CSA. I checked out their website, but I don't know a lot of information about them...$14/wk just sounds expensive to me especially when you can buy tons of seed for much less than $14.

    Check out this post by Heavenly Homemakers...it inspired me to plant potatoes this year in a place that we are having a hard time getting grass to grow: http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/the-garden

  3. If you decide to do some more research about growing a garden, google "square foot gardening". I don't know much about it except that it is good if you don't have a lot of room for a traditional garden.

    Also, I recommend buying seed from Lawrence Feed & Farm (or Farm & Feed...I never remember). It is on 6th St. in Lawrence. The owner, Roger, is very knowledgable and helpful. I do NOT recommend buying packets of seed from Walmart or other stores.

  4. Thanks, Sarah. Eli's not too "on board" with the idea of a garden in our yard ... so, we'll see about that! I would love it - and feel like this year I would actually have some time to invest since the boys could run around outside with me, but, without the husband on board ... = ) I may do some research and perhaps I could just do a really small area with some easy and loved herbs and veggies ...
    And Jeni, Eli and I started talking about being "adventurous eaters" with Jonah today! We're going to work on that. Thanks for the tip! He didn't really seem to absorb what we were saying ... but I'm hopeful!

  5. I think it's great that you have family with a big garden! Seems like a great solution, if you can go over there and help some and also reap some of the reward!
    I've been thinking about trying a container garden, but we seriously get blasted by the Sun, so I'm really hesitant to spend the money on that experiment. sigh. I wish answers were always obvious!
    Sarah K, interesting tip on where/where not to buy the seeds from. I've wondered about that.

    Almond milk was one of the various kinds of milk I experimented when trying to find a milk that Joshua would drink (vain effort!). I thought it was interesting, although a little too sweet for my tastes. But when you find those things that you love, you can always find room for them in the budget- a big 'ol $6 jar of Nutella might not be on everyone's list of necessities, but it sure is on mine and LoLo's, so I find a way to fit it in! =)