3 Simple Shopping and Nutrition Tips for Parents
Updated: Aug 27, 2019
I have a confession to make… me, the hubby and our cute 2.5 year-old girl really enjoy (for not saying love) eating! However, as Christian parents, we understand that our bodies and those of our children are an important “vehicle” for doing what God called us to do. In other words, we want to be as healthy as possible so we can sustain and nourish our bodies in order to: be good stewards of the bodies God gave us, worship, witness and fulfill God’s purpose for our lives.
But practicing healthy eating habits is something that needs to be learned and applied from an early age. It also has to be reflected on the items we – as parents – put in our shopping carts and the foods we serve in our homes. And in order for us to do that, our shopping and eating practices are guided by the 3 simple shopping and nutrition tips below, which in turn influence the recipes (whether our own or from other sources) shared here on the Untrendy Parent Club.
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1. Use simple, whole and real ingredients
Real and whole ingredients are those naturally grown, unprocessed, and without additives or chemicals. In these times, whole and real ingredients will most likely be those that are organic because these are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, plus these have not been genetically modified. However, keep in mind that we’re just talking about ingredients (like rice, tomatoes, strawberries, etc.) and not packaged or processed food labeled organic.
As for how to identify what type of fruits or vegetables we’re buying, you can get more information by looking at those stickers and/or seals you find on fruits and vegetables.
Non-GMO Project seal: Products that have been evaluated by a third-party technical administrator and meet the Non-GMO Project’s Standard for GMO avoidance.
USDA Organic seal: Must be produced following the organic regulations and without the use of prohibited substances or excluded methods.
PLU (Price Look Up) codes: These codes are 4 or 5 digit numbers that appear on a small sticker applied to fresh produce. 4-digit codes that start with the numbers 3 or 4: Identify conventionally grown produce, which includes the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, chemical herbicides, etc. And these can also include GMO’s. 5-digit codes that start with 8: These codes will be assigned after the ones starting with 3 and 4 are exhausted. 5-digit codes that start with 9: Identify organic produce.
But don’t worry, it’s not like we need to buy everything organic. The goal is to reduce our exposure to pesticide residues and avoid GMO’s as much as possible. A good rule of thumb is to use EWG’s Dirty Dozen Guide and try to buy organic varieties of the items on that list.
2. Limit sugar and sugar substitutes
Aim to offer foods that have been naturally sweetened (with bananas or unsweetened applesauce, for example) instead of foods that have added sugars (like sugar and syrups) or sugar substitutes (like aspartame and sucralose), which are chemically produced and have no nutritional value.
3. Learn how to read food labels and understand what they mean
The goal here is to compare and choose foods that have the nutritional values little ones need. But it can be a daunting experience when roaming down the supermarket aisles. To simplify, keep in mind:
Don’t just trust the claims on the front of the packaging
Read the ingredients list
Check the nutritional facts