Thursday, September 4, 2014

Food economics

In my last blog....I know it’s been a long break…but there is a lot happening at my end! I hope to be more regular now! Ok my last blog! I had mentioned about healthy food habits and mentioned about the goodie bowl consisting mostly of dry fruits. Well to a certain extent most of the dried fruits are costly and in most families, it might not even feature on regular grocery lists, except when celebrations or festivities are round the corner. Having lived across geographies with baby A I realized that world over, the seemingly costly food, is actually not so. Am putting across my points, which have worked well for me. Hope all of you find it useful too!

1.       Organic fruits and vegetables: Organic comes at a higher price, any organic tag seems fancy! But is it really so? Consider buying fruits and vegetables from a regular grocery store, without labels about their GMO status, it’s like buying poison for your family in small quantities! Am not being dramatic, well it’s in a way true, its stuff designed to grow bigger, brighter and last longer. Well, our bodies are not designed to consume such stuff, am not even ready to call it real vegetables and fruits, because they are not! Buy organic and be sure that it’s the right fuel designed for your beautiful bodies.
2.       Dry fruits: If you keep a 6 month log of how much you spend on snacks and junk food and then compare the prices with dry fruits, you will realize that these nutrient dense dry fruits are so much more economical than your empty calorie snacks. Also be experimental about your dry fruits, they can be sun dried tomatoes, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds! All nutrient dense goodies, which your munchkins will happily eat, no need for vitamin chews, these are great natural alternatives to them!
3.       Full fat milk, ghee, and yogurt: Well all you weight watchers don’t panic! For children the good fat comes from these sources! The good fats are always good! Than sneaking in unknown oily foods, feed the belly with the real stuff and notice that you are not growing fat but fit! Never inculcate the fear of foods in children, if they grow up with reasonable preferences, respect them but never label foods unhealthy without researching them! The first three years of a child, means continuous nourishment from good fats for the myelin sheath of the brain. Also ghee aids digestion and regular bowel movement. You can also try ghee in milk as a mild laxative for children with irregular bowel movement.
4.       Greens everywhere: Green leafy vegetables can be fun, try growing your own leafy veggies on the kitchen counter, small garden patch or visit a farm nearby! Once the children discover fun in the whole process, they will be eager to explore and eat these vegetables! Running around on green grass, rolling down the small hillock all is fun! You can join them in the fun too! Welcome greens in your life and see how your kids and you remain in the pink of health! (Yikes! Word play gone too far! :P) but still a valid point!
5.       Creative sprouts: If city life offers you no green patches, well you can always have some fun sprouting around the house! All pulses are such fun to soak and watch them sprout! The mung beans, moth beans or horse gram! Those tiny sprouts will make your kids all excited am sure if you involve them in the whole process! All those living in the colder climes, worry not! Just soak the pulses longer and then transfer them to a glass bowl, cover them n place them overnight in the oven with just its lights on! That heat is enough for our lil buddies to sprout forth their delicious goodness!
6.       Organic sweetness: well move over muffins and pastries! We have the raw organic honey here! Some organic maple syrup on those waffles or crepes! Sweet potato chips, pumpkin porridge? Well just get more creative and seek sweetness from nature! Its way healthier than your regular sugar! Try molasses sugar, jaggery as replacement for sugar in your recipes and notice your guilt just slide away!

Well these are some fundamental changes for your grocery lists mommies and daddies! But what if the dainty organic stuff burns a hole in your pockets! No it won’t! This is how it works! Once you are replacing the unhealthy foods with healthier choices, you are nourishing your body for a better lifestyle. That means less visits to the doctor, lesser allergies and greater immunity. That means savings! Yeah have you ever considered the doctor visits and medication as grocery expenses! I mean just think of it from this point of view and realize that we end up eating medication instead of nourishing food! Every time our babies look little worn or weak, we insist that the doctor prescribe us dietary supplements and tonics instead of inculcating healthy eating habits in our children!
We have to look not at their current height, weight and sicknesses but way beyond into the future, where they have to lead hectic adult lives, if they inherit a healthy body, correct and balanced food nourishment base, am sure they will learn to make healthier food choices through their entire lives. That means all the effort spent in searching and buying local, organic food will become a lifelong investment in health and wellness for your family. Now can you put a price to that joy?
And finally I would suggest, don’t throw out all your grocery suspecting it to be bad, just use it up and selectively replace it with better choices, slowly the transition will be complete. After all we all are earning and working towards having a healthier and better life, so make some positive changes today!