Many people have asked and pondered the details of how we eat, lol. We started at the beginning of the year with some food changes and experiments. We added lots of supplements and took out certain foods. We tried Gluten Free/Casein Free on a couple of the kids to see if we noticed a difference. We tried taking out all of the bad stuff on our own and I almost lost my mind standing in the isles of the stores reading every label and wondering if such and such was bad or not. And then we ended up joining the Feingold Program. It gave us a book that lists foods that are free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. It flags things with high fructose corn syrup, nitrates, and nitrites so you can decide if you want to remove them. We have removed all but the hfcs and are in the process of doing that right now.
We have seen a huge difference in our 5 year old son's behavior and it's given him more control over himself and that makes him happy too. And for the rest of the kids, it's just plain healthier.
The first time I went shopping with my food book it took 4 hours at Walmart and I only got a half of a cart full. Now I can fill up a couple of carts - did it last night - with tons of food that my kids love. I go through lots of flour and sugar because I make a lot of stuff from scratch.
It's really not as hard as it seems. I buy Whole Milk for the boys because "W" can use an extra pound or two and "J" is still little enough to like it. I buy Organic Skim Milk for the girls because "A" won't drink whole milk and "P" doesn't need the extra fat. I buy tons of it and freeze it. Just make sure it's all thawed and shook up before using it and be sure to dump some out of the Organic jugs before freezing because they'll overflow. I'll bet you can guess how I found that one out, lol. We buy Hormel all natural lunch meat by the tons at Walmart on sale and freeze it. We buy shredded cheese and the certain kind of tortillas that the kids can have and freeze them.
Usually the kids will either eat homemade Amish Friendship bread or cereal for breakfast. For lunch they'll have a tortilla or a bun (buns are so much easier than bread for them to handle) with meat and cheese. They'll have a veggie with sour cream or ranch dip, a piece of fruit and some milk. For a snack they'll have homemade cake or cookies, or chips, crackers, pudding, jello, marshmallows, etc. Or more Friendship bread since they LOVE it. For supper we have whatever - the kids LOVE homemade pizza or breakfast for supper, eggs with cheese, toast, sausage, hashbrowns, etc. Or they'll have chicken sandwiches, pasta, and of course the fruit, veggie and milk :o)
We don't use any #3, #6, or #7 plastic and don't reuse #1 (water bottles) or #2 (various containers). We are finishing up our canned goods and won't be buying any more of them since they are coated with #7 plastic inside. Buy frozen instead.
If I find something that the kids really love I'll just go online and buy a case of it from the manufacturer or Amazon.com. It's actually usually cheaper on Amazon because they buy in bulk and pass on the saving and they also have free shipping on most things. I dont' do it very often because I can usually make something similar and better for a fraction of the price.
I'm very frugal and will look online and print coupons for the things that I'm going to be buying. Just last night I saved $23.50 in coupons on food. Most of it was for $1 or $2 off items.
We don't eat in restaurants and since I homeschool, we don't have to worry about all the school food and snacks coming in. Not to mention the cheap milk with hormones in it that they dish out.
And last but not least. No, I don't make my kids eat foods that they don't like, lol. I make awesome foods that keep them coming back for more and if they don't like something I don't make them eat it. And yes, they do get candy :o) I make homemade marshmallows that taste like marshmallow fluff because they aren't so dry like store bought. And I buy them organic candy like, M&M type candies, gummy bears, and gum, and organic soda that kicks butt and is only .50 per can. And when they go to birthday parties they get to eat there. Although "W" usually starts stuttering, misbehaving, and channeling the fidgety, foggy brained little boy he used to be and "A" gets an upset tummy, for sometimes days :o( Usually "A" will pass because she doesn't want to get sick. All in all, it shows that all those additives are bad for them because if the stuff was ok for them they wouldn't get sick eating it now that they aren't used to it every day.