Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Drinking green

I realized after my last post about the donuts that I have never really blogged about food, or rather my food philosophy. Those donuts only made it through the front door because it was a birthday party. They were a nice treat but are very very rare around here.

I believe in eating actual foods. Foods that are grown out of the soil or on a tree. Vegetables and fruits that carry with them vitamins and living enzymes that help aid in digestion. We drink whole milk and and eat whole milk yogurt (seriously good) and when I can get my hands on raw milk I take it in a heartbeat. I love whole grains like quinoa and millet and oats. And we use sweeteners like raw honey, agave nectar, and maple syrup instead of refined sugar.

One of the things we've been having everyday is green lemonade from my juicer. It's a combination of romaine lettuce, spinach, apples, and lemon. It's so clean and crisp tasting and it helps me get more 'green' in my diet without relying on pure salads. Ian loves it too and calls it his green juice. He insists on helping me make it which gives me more opportunities to talk about each one as we put in the juicer.

These type of books seem to be popular right now. I think it's a great way to make certain foods healthier but I don't think it should be a substitute for teaching kids about healthy foods. It's so important to teach them from the start. In the same way we teach them their colors or letters, they should also learn which foods make them strong and give them energy. When Ian drinks his green juice or eats kale in his salad, I make a point to tell him that it helps his eyes so he can see really far. Or that it gives him vitamin C so he won't get sick. Then we flex our muscles to demonstrate how much stronger we feel. Make food fun and they will follow.

I realized when Ian was a baby that if I wanted him to continue his love for squash then I had to continue to make it as he got older. I don't buy junk food or processed food and since it's not in the house he doesn't know what he's missing. He has had candy before but it's very rare. He asks for apples, carrots, bananas, or nuts for snacks because that's what he's always had and he loves them. Children learn by example and diet is no exception. If I want him to eat zucchini and broccoli, then we have to eat it as well. It's been a great motivator.

Lately I've been making these oat bars which are very portable and really yummy. They aren't nearly as sweet as store bought bars which is nice. This is my modified version from Viva le Vegan.

Oat bars

2 cups ground oats (blend quick oats in food processor)
1 cup quick oats
1/2 ts sea salt
1/4 ts cinnamon
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup fruit sweetener, honey, or agave nectar
1/4 cup milk
2 T canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients into the dry mixture stirring well until combined. Transfer the mixture to a lightly oiled 8 x 8 baking dish and press down making it even along the bottom. Using a knife, score the bars into whatever size you want them. Bake 19 to 20 minutes, then remove and let cool in pan. Once cool, use a sharp knife to cut through the scores to fully cut the bars.



Annagrace said...

I agree-I have a hard time with people teaching us to hide the veggies in our kid's food when really, we should be teaching them to consciously eat them and even LOVE them. We've changed our eating a lot the past few years and we are still in process of change--but having Pea has been a huge motivator!

The Lehmans said...

I totally agree with your food philosophy. We hardly ever have junk food in the house either. I make "granola bars" a lot like the ones you have listed. Unfortunatley, we just found out through allergy testing that Charlie has an intolerance to oats! Bummer. Chandler is always asking, Why won't you let us have sugar?" We have lots of conversations about eating healthy. We can only hope that the things we teach them will stick when they grow up!

Adam and Raechell said...

I totally agree ladies. We are what we do your best to eat good. Setting the example that our kids will see more than the words that we say. ;)
The more we do...they will follow and it becomes habit and lifestyle.

What an awesome post! Couldn't agree more.

Karli said...

Hey Andrea,
Do you need a juicer to make the green lemonade? I need to get one of those as ours isn't working. I agree about teaching our kids instead of hiding the ingredients. Samuel is such a picky eater, though, that it's quite a challenge no matter how much explaining I do. Today he wouldn't eat a yogurt (he's on antibiotics, so this is important) because it wasn't the kids yogurt that he usually likes. The ONLY way I could get him to eat it was to blend it up as a smoothy with peaches, whole milk, extra bioflavinoids, and protein powder. When it comes down to a battle of the wills, sometimes hiding the necessary ingredient is the only way to go. You are inspiring me to be more healthy in our kitchen, and speaking of the raw ingredients in "green lemonade," I must renew my membership with Organics 2 You! --Karli

Andrea said...

So nice to see like-minded mamas!

Annagrace...It's definitely a work in progress but having the kids definitely kicked my rear into gear.

Tasha...It will stick it will stick! :-)

Shelly...All your raw food advice has helped so much. It's so nice to have people to bounce ideas off of.

Karli...I definitely think there are times when you have to just figure out how to get the good stuff in them especially when they need it like Samuel right now. Your ideas are great! And yes you need a juicer for this particular juice but I know there are smoothies out there that are very similar and all you would need is a good blender.

Betsy said...

The more I read your blog, the more I want to hang out with you! After our last year, I don't have the energy to 100% change all our eating habits, but Joel and I both agree, we WANT to. I need people to talk to that have done it already. Do you have a connection for raw milk? I have some info I got from my cousin. The lady that gets it is in Vancouver and the dairy is a Washington State Certified dairy.

Andrea said...

Hey Betsy! Thanks for's always nice to see who's visiting.

It definitely takes time to change eating habits. We've been doing this for over 2 years now and I finally feel like we're 'getting it'. Start with one thing and then just slowly add to it.

I don't have a raw milk connection. I've bought some from in California but the shipping is so expensive that I don't do it regularly. That's so cool that you have a connection in Vancouver! I'd love to hear about it!

Adam and Raechell said...

I'm going to give your granola bars a test run in our kitchen this week. ;) Let you know how they turn out.