Raising Our Kids on a Healthy Diet Is Not Going to Ruin Them

In case you missed it there was a conundrum on my Facebook page yesterday – after I learned my daughter was buying items in the school cafeteria I was unaware of – that spawned more than 3,000 comments (on both posts in total). I don’t think I read every single one of the comments, but I did read most and noticed something very interesting.

We’ve all heard the warning, “If you are too restrictive with your kids’ food choices now, it will backfire later!”

There may be some truth to that and I do personally strive for a “healthy” (and guilt-free) balance when my own kids want to indulge, BUT what I did notice yesterday – that was different than usual and that I really liked – were many of the following comments that REALLY struck a chord with me.

It's important to teach healthy habits

Want to Save this Recipe?

Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox. Plus you'll get great new recipes from us every week!

Save Recipe

Powerful Reader Feedback

These are the stories I think a lot of us don’t hear enough and also serve as a GREAT reminder to keep instilling healthy habits in our kids (despite the naysayers many of us have in our lives)…

“I WISH my parents had ‘forced’ a real food or healthy lifestyle on me. IF they had i would not still be 50+lbs overweight (since jr high) and have such a warped relationship with food!”

“I wish my parents made me eat healthy whole foods when I was younger. It would have saved me a lifetime of health issues that have pretty much subsided since I changed what I put in to my body.”

“As a child I was taught good nutrition and given good choices and for that I’m thankful. I wasn’t given fruit loops and chicken nuggets. I wasn’t allowed to order off the kids menu I had what the adults were having —lobster and seafood! I’m grateful as an adult that I don’t really crave junk food–not to say I don’t indulge once in a while, I’m human right? I would have loved to have had all of the organic and vegetarian choices back then that we have now. Bravo to any parent starting their kids off on the healthy track!!!”

“As a 26 year old who has struggled with her weight since third grade, I wish my parents had introduced me to real food sooner. We ate at home, but corn was the only ‘vegetable’ ever to grace the table. As a parent you HAVE to introduce those foods and “force’ your children to learn how to nourish their bodies, or they won’t know how to do it themselves.”

“I wish my family had had better eating habits when I was growing up. I wish I had never learned to put sugar on cereal for example. We didn’t have a lot of junk food but I learned some bad habits. And didn’t develop enough really good ones. Now I’m 50 and gluten intolerant and overweight and who knows what other damage has been done?”

“I chose what I ate because my parents were absent during mealtimes. Mac and cheese. Cereal. White bread. Pizza. Now, I have PCOS, insulin resistance, and gluten intolerance and because of these, am struggling to get pregnant. I’m not obese OR inactive, but my body was made sick as a child. I am SO PROUD of all of you mothers that are taking charge of your and your family’s health. It is SO IMPORTANT. You are enabling your children to live long healthy lives, especially your daughters who will have babies of their own. I have control of my health now (just turned 21) but it took 5 years to figure out what was wrong with me. It was food. Now I’m fighting to get my fertility back and I will succeed!!”

“My husband and I both grew up eating healthy for the most part and even now at ages 24 and 25 we would much rather eat a healthy meal than junk food. How you raise your children to eat follows them into adulthood.”

“I only wish healthy food habits were ‘forced’ onto me as a child. Then I wouldn’t have had to spend the last 3 years completely changing my diet to avoid weight loss surgery (2 of my sisters have had this), avoid an autoimmune thyroid disease, remove anti depressants and anti inflammatories from my daily routine and really enjoy my life! Thankfully, I now know better and I pass this information on to my own children so they can avoid these issues too.”

“I was fed all natural foods from birth (and that was 1980 when it wasn’t even cool, lol) and of course I had my sneaky moments, but I am obsessed with eating healthy as an adult. People are absolutely more likely to eat healthy if they are raised to see that as ‘normal.'”

“I wish my parents would have provided me with whole foods. I have struggled all my life with weight….”

“I certainly wish I didn’t have to work so hard to overcome the UNhealthy eating habits my parents passed down to me.”

“I am teaching my children now, what I wish I would have known growing up. Fresh whole foods are better for your body than processed foods.”

“I grew up in a house where my Mom sprinkled wheat germ on my yogurt and substituted tofu for meat…as a child, I didn’t even know that a soda and chip aisle existed in the grocery store. I have such gratitude for that, and have passed that on to my children.”

“I grew up in a house without sugar cereal, little debbies, and chips. As a child I was not happy about it but now I am sooo grateful. Now my family eats a clean diet…its my job to educate and provide healthy options for my family”

“I wish my parents would have cared more to teach me better eating habits because changing them as an adult was extremely hard since I really had no idea of what real health and real foods were.”

“I wish my mother had taught me healthy eating habits as a child rather than using food as rewards and to soothe. It’s taken a long time to break that. You’re their parent not their friend! Teaching them to be healthy is a good thing. Anyone saying otherwise is crazy.”

“I grew up on junk because my mom allowed me to be picky and let us eat what we wanted, and I have had a weight problem. So now I am trying to do better by my children and some people think I’m being mean and should let them eat whatever they want (the oldest being only two years old!). It is hard to make changes when you are used to eating poorly, so I want to make changes for them now and plant the seed of good health and eat real food. I think it is a crying shame for anyone to be ridiculed and put down for that.”

“I only wish my mother had the knowledge of eating clean and healthy growing up. My whole life, I ate unhealthy. Processed food. Fast food. I didn’t know any different. And all I knew to cook for my husband was the processed food my mom taught me to make. It’s so hard to change my eating habits of 22 years.”

“I feel so fortunate that healthy eating habits were ‘forced’ upon me as a child. I thank my mom all the time for that b/c I believe I am a healthier adult b/c of it. And I am passing along the same healthy habits to my children.”

My Own Childhood

There was also one comment (that I just cannot find again to quote!), but it said something like,

“I was allowed to eat all the junk I wanted growing up and I still snuck candy and other treats behind my parents’ back.”

And actually now that I think about it I was that kid, too. We were provided homemade dinners complete with vegetables of course, but beyond that I do recall a childhood filled with plenty of packaged food options (including Doritos, Kraft Mac & Cheese, Golden Grahams, Little Debbie Snacks, Frozen Pizza, Snickers, etc.). And even so I’ll never forget how many of my grandmother’s chocolate chips cookies I would eat as a child (while no one was looking!) when we visited her house.

During the holidays her famous chocolate chip cookies would be out on a tray in the dining room, and every single time I passed by I would pop one in my mouth. Man, her cookies were good. It’s not that I wasn’t “allowed” treats by any stretch of the imagination (although I am sure my parents did have some limits!), but there I was still eating an embarrassing amount of cookies and I don’t think anyone knew except me. Even despite my sneaky ways as a child though, I’ve always had a healthy relationship with food. So long story short – junk food restrictions or not – children might sneak food and while the issue certainly shouldn’t be ignored, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to be set up for a lifetime of negative health consequences as a result. Just my two cents based on my own experience.

So now I am really curious – what was your childhood like from a food perspective and how did that shape you as an adult? It seems there is really no “one size fits all” answer here so I’d love to hear your stories as well.

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but 100 Days of Real Food will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!

About The Author

290 thoughts on “Raising Our Kids on a Healthy Diet Is Not Going to Ruin Them”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I am doing my best to introduce my kids to healthy food and try hard not to give them processed and kid-meal type foods. We mostly eat organic, home-cooked meals. But I grew up in a similar household to this and, unlike so many people commenting above, did not develop a healthy relationship with food. In fact, I’ve always blamed the restriction on junk food in our house for the fact that I have an overeating/junk food/weight problem. Recently I’ve started to wonder if there is just some kind of genetic component that is hard to beat based solely on environment and encouragement to eat healthy foods.

  2. Lindsay Untherbergus

    My experience growing up was very interesting because I ate a lot of processed foods, but my mom loved to cook and gave us healthy dinners every night. Since she worked I made my own breakfast and packed my own lunch… which meant I was eating processed cereal, white bread sandwiches, and chips every day. Also, at home I was allowed to snack on whatever I wanted, there were no restrictions. Luckily I have always loved healthy foods and had no problem eating my veggies at dinner. It wasn’t until I was about 18 that my mom and I started learning about processed foods and how we need to avoid them. Now both of us eat healthier than ever, and our diet is 90% real food. We love to cook healthy meals together, and I make real food for myself while I’m away at college. My brother is a different story, he eats processed junk all the time and at least one soda a day. He says he can’t break the habits he made as a child but that’s not true; he’s just not willing to put the effort in.

  3. We were required to eat our veggies for dinner and have a glass of milk for dinner. School lunches were packed by my mom and there was always a piece of fruit. But that was as far as the health food was forced. Kool aid was a common drink in our house, condensed soups, fruit by the foot and fruit roll ups (considered dessert, but we still had them), bags of chips were always in the house. I think part of it was budget. We were poor growing up. But I also think my mom didn’t really know any better or was never really taught how to cook. I grew up addicted to sugar and have worked hard to overcome that and I work hard to not have my son grow up that way. My husband was never required to eat veggies because his mom didn’t like the taste of veggies, so she never served them! My hubby had to work even harder to overcome his addiction to sugar and his dislike of veggies. He now eats veggies. He is still picky about how they are served so it’s hard to try new recipes, but I can’t really complain since he does actually eat his veggies! We try with our son. We’re not perfect. But we definitely try to eat mostly real food.

  4. I grew up with relatively healthy, home cooked meals. My grandma was also a great influence in having me taste vegetables from her garden. Despite this healthy eating, I was raised in a family that loved to bake! Which was fine and I love it to this day, however I notice a pattern that I continue to eat healthy meals but then splurge on sweets every day because that’s what I’m used to. I wish we had not eaten so many sweets back then, but the good meals my family made definitely carried over into adulthood.

    1. Hi there! I can relate completely and when I eat my daily sweet, it contains natural sugars (maple syrup, coconut sugar, honey, monk fruit extract) and also no gluten. I use a combo of gluten free flour, rice flour, tapioca starch and xantham gum. If I use chocolate chips, I choose dark chocolate. And I typically put some organice freeze dried berry high in antioxidants into my baked goods. I even use avocado oil instead of vegetable.. and grass fed butter. Talk about guilt free!!!

  5. I am in my 60’s. I grew up on real food / not necessarily organic. I found this site when I was looking for a recipe I used to cook for my daughters. One of then was allergic to corn derivatives. This was before I had heard of high fructose corn syrup.
    My parents, my other daughter, and I ate the same as the one with the food sensitivity. My in-laws kept trying to give me coupons to help with the budget. I repeatedly had to explain why hamburger helper & packs of Mac & cheese or ramen were not helpful. Toothpaste coupons were great.
    Today, the daughter with food problems still follows her diet, enjoys cooking a balanced diet, etc. the other daughter not so much.

  6. Debbie Handley

    I’m 56. Times were different during my childhood. My mother made dinner and that is what we 4 children in our family ate. No substitutions allowed period. There was no such thing as “chicken nuggets” served to children instead of what the adults had for dinner. My mother was a good cook and served us healthy homemade whole food. If you didn’t eat your dinner because you didn’t like it that was fine. Then you didn’t get anything until breakfast the next morning. No stress, but that was what happened.

    I believe because of this I grew up loving vegetables (the only ones I hate are okra and brussel sprouts) and loving to try new foods. I haven’t had a weight problem during my life except after a chronic illness as a side effect from the medication I had to take. Currently I’m a whole foods plant based vegan (of 2 years) and am back to my goal weight and feel incredible.

    Loving vegetables and whole foods made that transition super easy for me and I thank my mother for giving me such a great foundation of healthy foods in my childhood.

  7. I am a nutrition consultant. My son started kindergarten in 2014. As soon as he started, I started working toward getting sugar out of the classroom. This year (first grade), the school started a new policy that banned birthday food treats. I was so happy. But there were an angry few that attacked me personally. They watched my son eat at lunch and reported back to me. Especially one day when I packed him 1 tbsp of maple sugar to sprinkle on his waffles. Apparently, he ate the maple sugar plain and these moms had something to say about it. However, he also ate all his waffles. And yes, my son has snuck cookies or other treat foods behind our backs. I do worry sometimes of it backfiring. But, we are not opposed to sugar and he gets plenty of treats. He was able to indulge on Halloween before trading with the Switch Witch. I didn’t regulate at all this year and he only ate 6 pieces of candy total before he said he had enough. When he mentions having kids, he talks about feeding them healthy. I also wish I ate healthier as a child. I grew up on Fruit Loops, Frosted Flakes, TV Dinners, etc. And my body has paid the price. Despite eating real food for years, I am still in recovery. Is there a chance my son might go out of control when he leaves the house? Yes. But that could happen too if I let him eat whatever he wanted. He might not even know the real stuff existed. And it’s not just about feeding them real food. It’s also about teaching them how to shop for food and cook it. So while I second guess myself sometimes, I’m not caving. It’s best they get all the nutrients they can while their bodies are still developing. Keep up the good work!

  8. My childhood food was basics- processed flour, sugar, macaroni, canned veggies, potatoes, rice– my parents were not well and my mother had heart problems, diabetes and was obese. By the time I left home at 18 I was determined if at all possible to find a way to be healthy. It’s been a long process, but I’ve been successful and your site here is one I visit often. I now write a health blog- I sell nothing, just share things with others that I’ve learned. and I am very healthy. Should you like to see it, my blog address is https://talknshare.wordpress.com/eat-healthy/

  9. I am doing my best to introduce my kids to healthy food and try hard not to give t hem processed and kid-meal type foods. We mostly eat organic, home-cooked meals. But I grew up in a similar household to this and, unlike so many people commenting above, did not develop a healthy relationship with food. In fact, I’ve always blamed the restriction on junk food in our house for the fact that I have an overeating/junk food/weight problem. Recently I’ve started to wonder if there is just some kind of genetic component that is hard to beat based solely on environment and encouragement to eat healthy foods.

  10. Thank you for this post! My kids fight me about eating “real” foods, and my daughter tells me she gets junk food at middle school from her friends. At home I focus on real, homemade foods, but I let them eat what they want at friends houses or parties, and when we eat out. I teach them about nutrition and why processed food is harmful. My hope is that while they don’t always make good choices now when they are away from me, when they are older they will understand better and will have some cooking skills to be able to eat real foods. I have slpent most of my adult life learning to cook because I wasn’t taught it as a child.

    Sometimes I get discouraged by my kids (and sometimes husbands) attitutes towards all the cooking real foods i do. But this post has helped me realized I need to stick with it, that my attitudes will eventually rub off and keep them healthier in the long run. I began with real foods because I developed Non-Alcoholic Fatty LIver Disease, which I completely think is caused by processed foods. And this disease on the rise!! We need to teach our children wheather they are receptive or not!

    1. I can totally relate! Sometimes I think have I taught you nothing! Or they’re just doing the total opposite of what I’m trying to reach them. I grew up eating Whole Foods. We had salad often to the point where childhood friends say do you still eat salad with every meal? I’m grateful my mom taught us well because It gave me a good foundation. My oldest is a big sweet tooth and there’s been sneaking of sweets with him. I allow them to have soda when we go to a party or out to eat. I buy chips once in a while, healthier cereals and snacks. They’re newest thing is they say mom is a health nut. Lol I talk to them about the importance of eating healthy so we can be healthy, strong and minimize future issues as well as how food affects our brain and behavior.

  11. When I was young we still had a milkman delivering to our door! All our meals were “real” foods. The less than real things I remember were soda crackers and white, spongy bread. We had soda as a treat maybe four times a year. Of course we also played outside all the time. I only remember one child from my childhood who was obese. I also don’t remember any obsession with snacks and snack foods. I very easily watch football without stuffing my face with anything! Then came convenience and low calorie foods. Game over.

  12. My mother was ahead of her time! Back in the late 70s, my brother was diagnosed with ADHD. She realized on her own how his diet would improve his behavior, as this was before all of the research existed. My mother cut out caffeine, sugar, and food dyes from our diets. Processed foods were not allowed because of the preservatives and food dyes found in them. Of course, we were allowed treats occasionally (especially in the homes of friends and family). I am so grateful for the diet I had growing up. I am rarely sick, even when a virus infects the rest of my family, and I believe it’s due to the healthy foods I ate growing up. I am currently raising my daughters to eat whole foods as well, and hope they enjoy the same health I do when they are adults.

  13. my mom cooked meals at home growing up and we had to have veggies with dinner. My mom homeschooled us until high school, so I didn’t really have the option to “sneak” food at school. I had junk when I was at friends houses and I was aloud to buy snacks with my own money when I was older. I went through a fast food phase in high school and beyond, but once I had my first baby, I knew i wanted good health for her. I cook at home and we eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Me and my four adult siblings are all healthy and of healthy weight, and my mom deserves some credit. I should also add that even if you as parent don’t like a certain fruit or vegetable, introduce it to your kids anyway. I love that I like everything.

  14. My mom always cooked a balanced dinner, but we had Coke with our breakfast and dip with our chips. My dad always bought doughnuts and zebra cakes when he went to the grocery store, even though he was the healthy one and worked out. I was blessed with a high metabolism and danced, so I ate whatever I wanted and still looked great in a bikini (which seems fantastic, except that I never learned any willpower or how to say no to food). All that is to say it has taken me my entire adulthood to learn how to eat correctly and I’m still not at my ideal weight, which is 135 for my height. And I still struggle with my appetite, but that is improving since I’ve begun eliminating non-real foods from my diet. Our family celebrations centered around food. Holidays always came with a ton of candy. And road trips were an excuse to get fast food. Only now that I am a mom do I feel a deep need to provide good, nourishing food for my family. Its been a real struggle, but I’m getting a lot of inspiration from this blog :)

  15. My mum was divorced and married twice, worked full time and the only meal forced on us was dinner and every night it was meat beg and potato.. We weren’t made to eat breakfast or take lunch to school as she was gone to work before I even woke up, so I went all day until I got home and if she wasn’t home I would binge, I gained so much weight even though I walked 45 minutes from school everyday, the binging and then “you must finish everything on your plate at dinner made me a fat unhealthy girl whose unsure of how to make sure my own kids eat right, putting veges in front of my toddler in ANY form she won’t eat it…. Fruit she loves, potatoes n pasta she loves but putting good food on her plate makes me anxious (suffer from pnd n anxiety) I always wonder HOW?? how do I get u to eat well, how do I teach you to nourish your body, how do I make sure you have enough good energy to run around and not sugary.. When I myself was never taught and still today crave junk and ive just had my second baby 5 weeks ago.. So its harder at the moment also.. I feel let down by my childhood food choices, if I had a better knowledge then and still now, I would probably be a much better parent.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Kathleen. We know it can be tough….especially when you were not brought up to eat in healthy ways. I can say honestly that I believe that most of us in America were brought up on processed and convenient foods and we’ve had to teach ourselves to make better choices. Don’t give up. Take baby steps, adding healthier foods in bit by bit. It may take introducing new items several times before a child will accept it but do keep trying. These post might help as you move forward: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/07/08/top-10-feeding-mistakes-parents-make/, https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/12/07/picky-eater-vs-problem-feeder/, and https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/06/17/toddler-bites-from-weelicous/. Wishing you the best. Keep at it. ~Amy

  16. I have an Italian mother, and although there was always a ton of food in my house, all meals were both balanced and delicious. My mother did not concern herself with buying “organic” food (if that existed back then) but we always had plenty, if not too many, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, etc. We had Oreos and crackers, but those were treats to be consumed in moderation.

    I am so grateful that my mother taught us to love variety and showed us all how to cook (3 sons and 1 daughter). I find that others who have adult difficulties with nutrition often don’t even know where to begin. I feel for those individuals.

    Thank you mom!

  17. Firstly, I was a child who was bought up on wholesome food. But I was that kid who would sneak treats at the canteen. My mother tells me now that she wishes she knew.. She felt like a bad parent and didn’t know what was wrong as I was putting on weight and she couldn’t understand why.

    But that’s not the point I want to make.. It is petty sad to think that we are worried about whether kids are going to miss out on experiences in life cause 85% of the time they eat healthy. I am sorry but there is more to life and memories of your childhood are about the family time we spend together, not what was on our plates. I can barely remember what we ate for dinner as kids, but I sure do remember the holidays and playing with my brother and sister. Let’s think about it, yeah you remember fairy bread at a party, but that’s a sometimes food.. A treat.. I know my memories as a child are not based around food..

    If anything I have bad memories about food, being picked on for being over weight and different to the other kids.

  18. My mum always cooked when I was growing up (though she hated it, and still does), and we generally had meat & 3 veg for dinner. I am grateful to have learnt valuable cooking skills from her & to now love cooking healthily.
    When I was growing up, we were allowed snacks occasionally, but there was about two years (perhaps longer) that we’d have McDonalds every Friday (after swimming lessons). As an adult, I find the habit hard to kick & when I’m feeling lazy I will eat unhealthily.

    My friend “didn’t like” vegetables growing up, and therefore he was never served them by his mother. When he started eating them as an adult, he’d say “don’t tell my mother I’m eating this” and still get away with not eating them.
    I think that how we’re brought up has a profound affect on our eating habits.

  19. While I am pretty sure what I ate was out of necessity for a very small budget I am very thankful a lot of it was fresh from the garden. My parents grew a huge garden full of fresh food every summer. My mom had a limited knowledge of cooking and mostly taught herself what she did know. We didn’t always eat healthy food but more whole foods than junk food for the most part. I have learned a lot about food in the last few years and am raising my son on as many whole and organic foods as possible. He loves healthy food and will eat it even when his friends are eating junk. He reacts to food color so that helps our decision. It’s tough with school though because it seems somebody is always serving some kind of junk.

    I will say that one of my best friend’s mom controlled everything she and her sister ate and did. It really did backfire when they left home and started choosing their own food. However they did go back to healthy eating after learning how it effected their weight and how they felt. So I guess learning it was good if not the complete control over every single thing they ate.

  20. Well, mine is not so different from other latch-key kids of my generation. My mother was no good cook, and still isn’t When we did eat at home, which, when I was a child, was fairly often, it was always something out of a box or a can. I hardly ate vegetables because they came from a can and were (and still are) gross. I don’t recall often eating anything fresh, or ever getting any fresh fruits or vegetables at the grocery store. Not once. Unless I went to my grandparents, who always had a garden and canned and made preserves, I never ate a fresh vegetable. I think my mom rejected some of what her parents did, since that’s sort of what is expected now. I don’t have any health issues now from it, but when I got married I could only boil water. That’s it. Thankfully, it’s been 11 years and I have a much improved pallet and can cook up a mess. My kids eat very well, much better than their counterparts.

  21. My parents did not raise me on a healthy diet and pretty much let me eat whatever I wanted. I was a very picky eater so if I wanted fruit loops for dinner, that’s what I got. I didn’t learn about nutrition because my parents didnt know much about nutrition. In middle school, when I noticed I was bigger than my other friends (although not overweight) I developed an eating disorder and simply stopped eating! I lost a lot of weight and thought that was what you were supposed to do. It wasn’t until much later that I began truly learning and understanding what the word “calories” meant and that “multi-grain” does not necessarily mean “healthy”. It is a continual learning experience but a very big priority for me when I have children. Even if they do splurge, or are picky like me, education goes a long way in developing a healthy lifestyle and many of the things you have mentioned on your blog are out in my memory bank for when the time comes that I have children.

  22. I was raised on a healthy, whole food diet. But my father was a dictator about. He flatly refused to let us have anything different. So, as so often happens in those situations, when I grew up and had my own home, I fixed whatever I wanted! And fed my children whatever I wanted!
    That’s MY memory. They are all grown up with families of their own now, and their memories are very different! They say I never fixed anything ‘boxed’, that I made everything from scratch.
    I know now, most of what I eat is healthy, but I still love to bake…….and I try to make it healthy……but if it’s not, oh well. I think the body can handle a little ‘junk’ now and again.

  23. I grow up eating home cook dinner with lot of veggies, I spend a lot of time outside biking and claiming trees, sweets only on weekend and I as a grown up have very “unhealthy relationship with food”. I think we oversimplify the problem food/physical health, in my case it is all about emotional health.

  24. I grew up with in a family with a general good grasp of what healthy food was, a relaxed attitude toward splurging on unhealthy foods (for example, chips and soda were usually for birthdays or occasional treats), and often, not enough money to follow through on what we knew were the healthiest foods to eat.

    My mother stayed at home and made most of our food from scratch, but ramen noodles, instant potatoes and hot dogs formed the (inexpensive) backbone of a lot of ‘fix it yourself meals’ (while my father was at work) for my younger sister and I.

    I’m sometimes surprised to realize how much unhealthy food I did eat as a child, but I think my parents attitudes toward food (and life in general) really did give me the background to be excited to continue learning about what healthy food is, to be able to really enjoy my adventures in learning to cook a variety of healthy and yummy foods, and to be relaxed about splurging on unhealthy foods as long as most of my diet is as healthy as I can make it. (Though, I have to admit, my husband gets all the credit for making me *stay* relaxed about food in the face of way too much contradictory research about what we should be eating!)

  25. I was raised on all whole food. Nothing packaged or processed. Fresh produce and meats. Now I’m a mom in my late 30s and that’s how I cook. Why? What else is there? It is my habit. My pattern. My comfort. My mom still cooks this way – it’s just what we do. It’s work. A lot of work at times., but it’s real food. Really good food from a happy kitchen. Nurushjng a family to send them out into the world. It’s worth the work! I thank my Mom and hope one day my kids do too.

  26. I wish I was taught healthy foods growing up. All of our fruit and veggies were from a can, I never remember having fresh fruits and veggies. I have decided as an adult to change that for my kids. We eat a clean and healthy diet. I make most of our treats, but it doesn’t mean we never go out for icecream, we go to birthday party’s and eat pizza and drink soda. We go over to family members houses and eat what they cook. I also allow my kids to buy school lunch once a week. I am teaching them balance and that 90% of our time we should eat a healthy diet. I am proud though that my kids never ask for fast food. I know that they get it when they spend the night with grandparents. The grandparents don’t care much for my way of thinking. I just let it go. If they eat fast food 6 times a year, that’s better than eating it once or more a week.