Whole Living Gal

Raising Healthy Kids

I taught a cooking class at Trillium Haven Farm on Saturday. The setting could not have been more perfect. It was a gorgeous sunny day and we were outside – a rooster even walked through at one point!

Since it was on a farm, the conditions were a bit rustic, which was fun. Here’s where I washed my hands:

And I cooked brown rice, black beans and a brown rice syrup/peanut butter sauce over these burners:

I felt like super woman after creating a delicious meal in the outdoors – it was like camping but with much, much better food.

The menu focused on simple, delicious dishes that are versitile for families. I also wanted to teach some basic cooking techniques that can be applied to other dishes. We ate beans and rice (inspired by this meal) and roasted beet salad. I also made my simple, delicious guacamole. I also did a version of brown rice crispy treats.

One key theme that I talked about during this class is to remember the big picture. We are not trying to raise healthy children, we are trying to raise healthy people. We want our children to grow up with an appreciation for good food and an adventurous spirit when it comes to new and different (but healthy and whole!) foods.

This takes the pressure off dinner time (and lunch time and breakfast time, too). It’s no longer about this one plate of vegetables or this one particular dish, it’s about the big picture. And raising healthy people has to do with the whole experience of food, too – choosing the vegetables at the farmer’s market or store, helping prepare, setting the table, clearing the table, tasting bites (during prep and during mealtime, too).

This has been my refrain recently as I now have a two-year-old who is extremely opinionated and strong-willed. The big picture helps me relax a bit when it comes to food – and helps me enjoy the process again, in hopes that she’ll enjoy it, too.

Happy, healthy eating!

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  1. Weekend Links « Whole Living Gal pingbacked on 6 years, 5 months ago
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  1. * darci says:

    Heather, you are an inspiration!

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 9 months ago
  2. Wow. I love the emphasis on the big picture. It does take much of the pressure off. Just learning that there are better options and that I am capable of preparing them well makes me a more confident mom!

    Great pictures! I love that sink!

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 9 months ago
    • * Joy says:

      I agree. I have never put that into words – about focusing on the big picture. Thank you. That is helpful. I have a 4 year old who is starting to have very strong opinions about what he will and won’t eat – and most of it is not healthy choices. After reading this Mom’s Guide (http://www.1dental.com/moms-guide/), I realized that the foods i give him know could contribute to health problems later on. It really is the big picture we need to focus on and I need to involve him more in our eating habits.

      | Reply Posted 6 years, 8 months ago
  3. * Luanne says:

    Yea! SO glad it was a success and that you had fun. I was thinking about you all day and was wishing I could be there to hear you! The whole picture from the rooster, to the sink, and the stove was awesome! I need to make the brown rice crispy treats for the kids again…love those!

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 9 months ago
  4. * marguerite says:

    Heather – great thoughts. I tend to get way too stressed about claire and food and her not eating what i want her to eat. Thanks for the reminder about the big picture. We did a trillium share this year and have loved it. The first day I brought the stuff home I couldn’t stop commenting to Justin about how much better the veggies were than the store!


    | Reply Posted 6 years, 8 months ago
    • You’re a great mom 🙂 and yes, trillium veggies are incomparable to store-bought ones!!

      | Reply Posted 6 years, 8 months ago
  5. * Leigh Ann says:

    I have a 6 month old who is just venturing into the world of real table food. 🙂 This was a helpful post to guide us into these new and exciting years ahead. His daddy and I are lovers of all things good to eat. I hope I can teach him to be as adventurous as we have been and will be. Will stay tuned to your blog for more tips on how to make him a “healthy person.” What a paradigm shift!

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 8 months ago
    • Thanks! Glad the post was helpful – you already have all the tools to raise a healthy person…trust your instincts 🙂

      | Reply Posted 6 years, 8 months ago

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