Recently a friend of mine posted an article that made me think a lot about what message I want to convey on the Real Food – Real Family blog and Facebook page.  So I decided to take some time to think about my goals and share them with you.

First, I want you to know that I do not believe what you feed your family is the most important choice you make each day.  My family’s spiritual health is much more important to me than anything else.  Making sure my kids are kind and loving and respectful are more important than whether or not they ate a vegetable today.  Enjoying life and staying sane are just as important as what I feed my family for dinner each night.  Each of us has to find that healthy balance for our own family.  What I do may not work for you and what you do may not work for me!

Comparison quote

I want Real Food – Real Family to be a positive and encouraging place.  No guilt or comparison allowed.  Ok, now onto my goals for this page:

Goals:

1.  My biggest goal is to encourage families to cook and eat more at home.  I really do believe there are a lot of people that would like to decrease how much they eat out or depend on processed foods.  Some people just don’t know where to start and my hope is that my blog can help with that.
2.  I also want to help families be better informed about what is in processed and fast food.  There are a lot of easy changes that you can make to your family’s diet that don’t cost any more or take any more time than you are already spending now.  Some people just might need or want more information.  I want people to know that there are not necessarily “right” or “wrong” choices when it comes to food but maybe there are “better” choices.  Here’s an example:  what if you have enough money in your budget to buy one type of organic produce.  It would help you to know that apples top the list of the dirty dozen (the produce with the heaviest pesticide load.)  Does that mean conventional apples are bad?  Of course not.  They would be a much better choice than fruit snacks.  But if you can afford it, organic apples are better.
3.  I want to encourage others to help their kids learn to enjoy a wide variety of foods and create life-long healthy eating habits.  There is no question that there has been a rise in chronic diseases linked to diet.  I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want better for their kids.
4.  I hope to provide a wide variety of recipes, from the simple to the more elaborate, using mostly real/whole food ingredients.  Some of them will be my original recipes and some of them I’ll share from other sources.
5.  Eventually I want to share more about how families can stay active and fit.
6.  Finally, I want to create a place to connect with others who enjoy an active lifestyle, cooking and eating at home and/or those that are wanting to move in that direction.  I can learn from you just as you can learn from me.

What I don’t want:

1.  I don’t want people to feel like they are choosing the “wrong” or “unhealthy” choice if they do something different than me or anyone else who writes about food.  When I write about the ingredients in a box of Jiffy or store bought muffins it’s not because I think it’s wrong to buy those things.  I’m writing about them because someone might want a healthier alternative.  There are times when I’m running short on time or I haven’t planned ahead and I make the less healthy/more convenient choice.  But there are many more times when I have planned and I do have the time to make the healthier choice and it’s nice to have the knowledge I need to do that.
2.  I don’t want to create worry or fear.  If you are reading my posts and feel like there is no way you can do the same things I do and it’s causing you to worry, STOP!  Go do something you love to do and just feel good that you are doing your best.  I spend a lot of time in the kitchen because I ENJOY it.  If you don’t enjoy it, that’s ok.  Make the changes you can and feel good about those changes and don’t worry about the rest.
3.  I don’t want everyone to feel like they have to make the same food choices as others. I follow several food blogs that are much more restrictive than the way I eat.  Some are grain and dairy free while others are vegan.  I’ve read all about why you should soak nuts before eating them, why I need to decrease my dairy, why gluten is harmful, etc.  I may not do these things now but I do try to learn from a variety of sources and make my own informed decisions.  There are several new ideas I’d like to put into practice at some point but I’m still learning too.  On the flip side, you might read things here you disagree with and that’s ok.  You have to make the choices that are comfortable for you!

I have that song, “We’re All In This Together,” running through my head right now.  Probably because I hear it every morning through the school speakers when I walk my son to school.  Seriously, though, we are all in this together.  I really hope to be a helpful resource for families wanting to make healthier choices.  If you have topics you want to hear more about, let me know.  I’ll add them to the list!

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