I make granola bars, what of it?

I just read this post at Becoming Sarah, and it struck a chord with me.

I can relate to the hesitancy toward letting people see just how uptight I am about food. It all started with a college course on food and American culture. And not being able to unknow the things I began to learn. I’ve definitely not come as far as I would like to be (Ben & Jerry’s is a major weakness, for example), but I’d say I’m much more strict than the average Joe about what food I put in my body.

Let me tell you, it’s only gotten worse since Sadie was born. Let me tell you some other things:

It is exhausting being this uptight. Exhausting both physically and emotionally. I stay up late or work early in the morning doing crazy things like making homemade granola AND granola bars. I worry all the time about whether I’m doing enough. I made strawberry jam, but I can’t seem to get around to making other jams or trying to can other things (pickles, sauerkraut, beans, tomatoes). I wish I could get into the swing of making homemade bread (I can’t even stand how long the list of ingredients on our preferred bread’s package). I made yogurt for a while, but then my local source of milk vanished. And I never could get that routine enough, either.

It is a constant, uphill battle keeping crap out of Sadie’s hands and mouth. And not because she’s a toddler. Because she’s surrounded by it nearly every time we leave the house. I can’t keep her from it, and I know a lot of people (maybe most) would say this is where I’m WAY too uptight, but I wish I could. I wish we could afford to send her to a school where only healthy, real foods were offered. I wish I could change the minds of family members who are okay with kids having soda and candy and other non-foods regularly. But I can’t. As Sarah mentions in her post, food is SUCH a touchy subject. Food + kids is volatile.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this. Just venting, I guess. I know: I’m too hard on myself, too hard on others, too hard on the world. But I CAN’T just let it go. In a country where elementary students have high blood pressure and diabetes at alarming rates, what we don’t know CLEARLY IS hurting us. It’s hurting our children.

7 thoughts on “I make granola bars, what of it?

  1. Elizabeth @cucinagirl

    I don’t think you’re being too hard on others or the world…obviously the way ‘we’ are/have been doing things is hurting us and our children. I 100% agree with your sentiments on food and the state of the food system in America. I know that when Brian and I have children, I will share your worries and do everything I can to keep them away from non-food… So, I guess I just want to offer a few words of encouragement. Keep up the good work!

  2. Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com

    Caring about your kid’s health is NEVER too uptight!

    I complain about the food system all the time to Donald. It’s easy for me to instill good habits at home. We eat healthy, unprocessed, organic foods here. But when we leave the little bubble, all hell breaks loose. Influences that I don’t want are everywhere, EVERYWHERE. People are constantly telling me to loosen up, not to worry about it, that I’m thinking about it too much, making a mountain of a molehill, but…I don’t agree. It’s exhausting worrying about it, but I would never forgive myself if I allowed Charlotte to eat a bunch of crap just because it was easier to give in.

    Keep up the good work! Sadie will be healthier for it and in the end, I feel like that makes it worth every second of effort and concern.

  3. eve

    Since Hank has started trying new foods, I am finding that I am pretty touchy too. everyone has their own opinions about what is best for our little ones. No solutions here, but maybe a tip:
    kroger makes fresh bread in their bakery. and it is good. no preservatives, etc. I like how hard you try to be the best parent for Sadie.

  4. Khourt @ Life As A Convert

    I agree with Eve in that I like how hard you are trying to be good to Sadie. I admit that I started out with the same mindset with my children, but things have kind of fell apart some. My children do eat pretty darn healthy (they love eating their veggies) but I do allow a lot of bad things. :/

  5. Becca

    I get it.
    I get extremely stressed out about food, especially when it comes to the twins. I have been slowly working on transitioning our household food into “real food”. It is so hard to walk the fine line of teaching the twins moderation when it comes to crap food-bc I don’t like for them to have it at all. However I get scared I’m going to give them a complex or whatever. We have gotten much better about real food, not great about more local stuff yet. I highly recommend a bread machine…we have been using ours like crazy.
    It is hard for me to think about the kind of stuff I know they eat at school. That is the one thing i wish I could change about CDC- just not quite sure how to go about it.
    I think you’re awesome for being so picky about food 🙂

  6. Connie

    Brooke, I think it’s great that you care so much about what food you’re consuming. However, when you say it’s exhausting and that you are stressed by trying to do everything, that is worrying. Food is a good thing, and it’s important to have a healthy attitude toward it, not just doing something to make a principled stance (imo). Give yourself some credit for the things you do, and then recognize that going against the status quo takes time and a lot of extra work. Then you can slowly incorporate the food options/techniques that are most important to you or make the most impact (on your health, the globe).


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