Thursday, November 20, 2008

Imperceptible changes

Anyone hanging around on mom blogs for a while is sure to come across many ideas on what food is best. Time and again the challenge of preparing healthy food is bound to come up.

I’ve enjoyed reading the discussions and pondering the different ideas. At this point we eat fairly healthily: home cooked meals, little pre-processed food, whole wheat bread... Yet reading more, I really started getting discourage and stressed. Of course I want to feed my family what is best, but what is best for my family? does any food stand unchallenged?! can we really afford all the newest greatest organic products out there?

The more I thought about it, the more frustrated and guilty I felt.

But putting the questions in perspective made answering them much simpler.

Flipping through the pages of history or glancing at the newspaper, there are countless stories of famines and food riots, of mothers unable to put even a loaf of bread on the table for their children. The fact that I am faced with the decision of what food is best, is a tremendous blessing many do not have.

On a less dramatic note, the "science of health foods" is, to put it mildly, not perfect.

  • Often yesterday's health food craze is one to be avoided today.
  • Years ago it was the free range chickens that weren't good--just think what they may have gotten into!
  • Trying to follow the latest recommendations for feeding your infant is mind boggling. "Last year, we advised against feeding meat to your 9 month old, but new studies now find it helpful, besides that's what the nomadic tribes fed their children..." You get the idea.
Now of course, I'm not advocating tossing the salad and going on a diet of Doritos. But keeping in mind just how blessed I am and that health food does not hold the answer to life's woes, it is easier to look soberly at the question.

As the queen of my home, my goal is to make meals that both nourish and please my family, and keep to our pretty strict grocery budget. To seek a balance of these three ideals. And, as I'm able, make the little, seemingly imperceptible, changes towards better health. Keeping in mind the principle from Proverbs: "Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it."** The healthiest meal cannot take the place of a peaceful home, filled with love.

**For vegetarians I suppose it'd be switched, "better a fattened ox where love is..." ;)


Candace said...

I'm right there with you Anna. Although we obviously think some things are worth the extra dollar or two in organics (butter, carrots, milk, apples) we absolutely cannot afford to eat everything organic and best for us (fish three times a week, ev-olive oil, unrefined organic cold pressed coconut oil, etc). I really like what one blogger said about eating like a pauper but using the best of what you can afford. I would much rather have beans and rice with organics than a conventionally grown/processed steak dinner. Ultimately God is in control of our longevity and health - so we do what we can with the resources he has given us and don't worry about the rest. Good grief - sorry for the novel=). Perhaps I should go and write my own post about this.

Candace said...

oh, I just proofread after submitting my comment - omit the "about the rest" towards the end. Also I should add that I would rather have SOMETHING to eat - organic or not, than nothing at all=)

Anna said...

I love "novel-length" comments! ... and you should definitely write a post too. :)

Anonymous said...

A very timely post! I love to keep up with the latest health news and feed my family the best we can afford. But there is a lot of information out on the internet that is not accurate and this adds to the confusion. It is of upmost importance to allow the Lord to keep us on track. It is easy to get frustrated about what is the best food to feed our family and feel constained by lack of funds. In the end, I would rather have a simple meal with my happy family and know that we are blessed by God than any organic, raw, live, no GMO meal with worry and debt.

So with that, I wish you a Blessed Thanksgiving with grateful hearts around your table. May your table be filled with the healthiest foods you can afford and the peace of God rule in your hearts.
Lovingly, Mrs. Hardin