In the random randomness of yesterday’s post I forgot to tell you guys that I lost 3.6 pounds last week! I was pretty amazed, since I didn’t think my food decisions were very good.
In all honesty, it has been hard for Nikki and I to eat well when we are so low on funds. We were just talking about this this morning when discussing our breakfast options. I have a big thing of plain oats and I was going to try some new oatmeal recipes that I have seen online. Most of these recipes require the liquid added to be almond milk or the like (I know I can cook them with just water and that is probably what I will end up doing). Nikki’s point was, why don’t we buy the box of 10 packets of instant oatmeal that is $1.89 rather than a carton of milk which is usually >$2? I agree that it is a very good point. How do you eat organic and natural things when you can’t afford the extra $3? Now, Nikki and I are very blessed. We are always able to pay our bills and we usually are able to stick to a tight budget that includes money for fresh fruits and vegetables. We are lagging behind because January is always a hard month in our respective professions. It is the accumulation of Christmas gifts and unexpected bills and a looooong stretch between pay periods.
This experience has allowed me to think about what other families, who aren’t as blessed with good jobs, do to eat healthy. Why is it such a burden? What message do we send our well meaning mothers and fathers when we price a “party pizza” at $1 and a bunch of kale at $4? The change in eating habits is feasible for my family because we don’t have any kids. How on earth will I make these decisions when we do? I better get to work on that garden I have been daydreaming about, I can tell you that.
I don’t mean to make excuses, or blame the food companies. There are better, more educated people out there to do that for me. I just wanted to share with you what was on my heart at the moment. I do honestly worry about families who truly want the best health for their kids but don’t think they can provide it. How can we help them?
How would Mr. Scrooge react to that question? “Are there no pantries? No food stamps?” Do these organizations provide healthy food to their participants? In truth, they are usually under funded and take whatever donations they can get. Usually these are canned goods, which in actuality are not that bad. A can of green beans is definitely better than peaches in heavy syrup, but the pantry will take whatever they can get. I also found (from our local pantry’s website) that they can only aid a family with groceries two times a year. I tried my best to find out more about the food stamps program, but I could not tell from their website if there were guidelines pertaining to the food bought. My assumption is that there isn’t, but if anyone knows differently please let me know. The reason I worry about the families that are trying is that it is becoming very trendy right now to make parents feel guilty for what they feed their kids. Most of this is warranted as I know there are parents out there who would use a sugar cube as a pacifier, but it makes me hurt for the parents who are really trying and doing the best they can and still feel the humongous weight of guilt. I have felt just a pang of it in these last few weeks because I can’t take Nikki out to eat and provide her with a satisfying lunch every day. She told me the other day “You should be used to this because you used to let your account get down to $.50 when you were a bachelor.” I said, “I know, but I have a family now.”
I don’t really have answers to all of the questions I am posing, I just wanted to share with you what was on my mind at the moment. Also, I was hoping to open up some kind of discussion in the comments. I have a very small corner of the internet, but I really hope and pray that my little website can provide encouragement and help alongside entertainment. I wanted to end today by showing you a picture of my dear sweet nephew Ben.
I saw this picture the other day and was reminded about how small we all are amidst the giant, staggering beauty that is nature. It gives me hope that the sunshine touches us all, no matter how small. It reminded me that the small gesture of children’s raised in greeting can beat back the swell of adult problems. It reminded me that Ben isn’t even my own son, but I love him more than anything and want the best for him. I can use that feeling to assume the feelings I will have for my own children and hope that I can provide them life, and health and happiness. I think that is probably all that any parents want. How can we help them achieve that when they can’t afford organic and natural foods? How do we help when cake is cheaper than carrots?
How can we be their healthy eating sunshine?