When I first became a mummy I was determined that everything should be perfect for my little boy, that he would live in a truly Healthy Home. And, when the twins arrived nine short months later, my desire grew. These precious children were going to have the happiest, safest childhood Gary and I could find. We were particular about what they ate, the chemicals we used, who they played with and what they watched and read. We protected them in every way we knew how.
What Makes a Home a Healthy Home?
Gary and I also worked really hard to celebrate every little thing. One of my mentors, when the older ones were little, told me that right now was the sweet spot of parenting. His children were all grown up, and he mourned the time he wished he had spent with them. Fortunately, I already knew this. I made the most of every moment, and celebrated every milestone. Every day was an adventure.
After a few years, A9 came along and then B7. We continued celebrating every little thing. I began to notice that food often accompanied these celebrations. Video nights were linked to sweeties and popcorn; family day was treat day, end of term presentations/exams/difficulties overcome….all were honoured….with food. Days out at the beach inevitably came with baguettes and butter and jam, washed down with diet coke. As a result, food has become our standard. The children expect treats.
With seven in the family and, therefore, many milestones being celebrated, treats became the norm. And once treats made their way into our lives to that extent, there were two obvious consequences:-
- Firstly, what was once a treat was no longer viewed as a treat, and
- secondly, those ‘treats’ were actually so unhealthy they were becoming harmful.
Our dream of a Healthy Home had been destroyed.
The Changes We Made to Create a Healthy Home
My personality is one of extremes and as a result, I almost always act in an all or nothing way. Knowing this about myself, I will often attempt to earnestly seek for a half-way house. It might not feel as good a fit to me, but it does tend to last a lot longer. My half-way house came to me whilst I was watching (I think) ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’. One of the health experts happened to comment that their goal (he and his wife) was to ensure that only healthy real food came into the house. If the children were taken to Mc Donald’s or went to a party, they were allowed to eat whatever they wished without guilt. But, in their home, where they all ate most of the time, there was only good food to be found – they kept their home a Healthy Home.
It was like a bolt out of the sky (again!). Suddenly, I realised that I had almost got it the wrong way round. We had so many ‘treat’ times that our healthy food was lost amongst all the rubbish. I loved the idea to keep a Healthy Home. I knew I wouldn’t bring rubbishy novels or trashy tv into our home, so why on earth was I bringing rubbishy and trashy food?
No Processed Food in our Home!
From that day on, I have not brought anything unhealthy into the house. It was a decision I made, but every single member of the family has enthusiastically got on board. Little B asks me all the time if one food is healthier than another. We are all much healthier. Lillie has finally got rid of her ear infection, which she’d had for over six months. And, this was in no small part to the superior food we are eating. We are all losing weight: slowly, healthily and without really trying to. Just by making sure we only have food which has not been processed in any way, our home is the healthiest it has been for a long time.
Over the next few weeks, I shall be sharing how, bit by bit, I have been replacing store bought staples for home-made one, and creating the Healthy Home I have always desired 🙂
Join me tomorrow – Healthy Homeschool Living: Oat Recipes