Defining healthy

There aren’t any foods that I abstain from, meaning I’ll serve meat (yes, even red meat), nuts, wheat, dairy and soy. I just try to offer certain ones in moderation. For example, I prefer to limit the kids’ intake of soy, because of the controversy over how much is okay, as well as dairy, because both my children are sensitive to it. As a result, I opt for cheese made from goat’s or sheep’s milk. I also try to curb the amount of gluten they eat. If there is an easy and tasty alternative, I’ll typically go with that. For example, I almost always cook brown-rice pasta instead of wheat, and if I can bake a granola bar or waffle with almond or oat flour, then I do.

It’s all a balancing act. So, I don’t cook everything myself, and I don’t recommend that you do either. While I think it’s important to pack a healthful, whole foods–based lunch for my kids, there are going to be days when the best I can do is a heated frozen entree from Trader Joe’s. After all, a sane mom makes for happy children. And to me, mental health is just as important as physical health.

With that said, there are five ingredients that you won’t find—ever—on this site:

  • Transfats/hydrogenated oils
  • Nitrates/nitrites
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  • Artificial food coloring
  • Soy protein isolate

My theory is that kids get enough of these at birthday parties, holidays and eating out. They don’t need it in their daily lunches.

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