I had a moment at the grocery store the other afternoon. For once I was shopping alone. I think I was looking for tomato soup or maybe crackers when it struck me. Boxes. Cans. Bright labels and pictures everywhere. And not a lot of . . . well, real food.
Defining “real food” has been a struggle for me because no one seems to agree on what exactly qualifies. And I’ll be honest here: the idea of making my own chicken stock, giving up the convenience of Cheerios and graham crackers, and dealing with dried beans? It makes me want to run for the hills.
The whole subject seems overwhelming. Where do you start? What do you do if your husband refuses to eat whole wheat pasta? What do you do if the only fruit your daughter will eat is a banana? My family isn’t going to jump up and down for joy if I start serving more vegetables and fewer sweets. (Okay, Momo will jump up and down for joy, but she’s the exception and she’s leaving us this week, waaah!)
There can be a lot of guilt involved when it comes to food, even more so when you are feeding a child. Am I buying organic fruits and vegetables? No. Do I buy our meat from a local farmer? Not usually. Do I raise my own chickens? Definitely not, it’s probably not allowed in this area.
I don’t know what the next step is for us. Most days I am an overwhelmed mama who just needs to get dinner on the table. But standing in the grocery store, looking for something that might have been alive or growing less than a week ago or that had recognizable ingredients, I was struck by the fact that I’m not satisfied with the way that we eat and I want to take some cautious baby steps toward more real food.
What about you? How do you define real food? Are you happy with the way that you and your family eat? What would you like to change?
Recipe for the granola here.