My two boys (hereafter known as Tie-Dye and Toosht) have never eaten at a fast food restaurant. Yes, that's right. They have no idea what lies beneath the golden arches. They've never heard the term "Happy Meal."
DH and I have chosen to raise our children on the most natural foods possible. We learned the hard way, growing up eating junk food, that those things are addicting and very difficult to wean from later in life. We want our boys to have a better start than we had. We want them to know the pleasure and richness of natural flavors, untainted by additives and sugar. It was clear right off the bat that we wouldn't find what we were looking for in stores (at least not very often). If we wanted our boys to eat healthy foods, we'd have to make them ourselves.
Tie-Dye is almost four-years-old now, and we've learned that it's a challenge to raise a healthy family in this culture. What's really amazing is how much animosity and negative feedback we receive for eating differently than most people.
The way we eat has become more and more detailed and particular as we are constantly in the process of eliminating bad and substituting good, but here's the general idea:
Say NO to:
refined sugar (this, to us, includes evaporated cane juice)
hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
artificial colors or flavors
hormone or antibiotic laden meats or dairy
Say YES to:
cold-pressed and other healthy oils
whole grains and unbleached flours
natural sweeteners (stevia, agave, honey, brown rice syrup)
organic fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy (when we can afford them!)
About that last one... We are a young family on a low budget, so eating healthy is already quite a stretch for us. But we do try to buy organic foods whenever we can afford them. When we can't, we look for the best options and wash our non-organic produce thoroughly.
Are we extreme? Yes, I think we are. And you'll see as you read that it's not always easy to eat this way. But is it worth it? Yes, I think it is! Someday my children will grow up and go out into the world with the freedom to choose their food, but I want them to have a solid foundation from the start!