Many years ago I started learning how to make things from scratch that I had previously used seasoning packets, canned soup, and baking mixes for. It was more because I was desperate than because I was particularly health conscience. But learning more about making those things helped me to become more health conscience. At the time, I had a hyper toddler. And I do mean HYPER. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't throw that word around much. I balked at the doctors that had declared my older two hyperactive, but once I got to number four, I wanted to lock every doctor that had told me Kay and Ri were hyper in a room with Beenie for 5 minutes. I kid you not. She was (and occasionally still is) something else. So I started looking into food additives, colorings, and preservatives, and decided that I needed to change how we ate. Shortly after that, with my fifth pregnancy, I suffered an unusual amount of swelling and began doing even more research into eating better. I've learned a lot.
I have to confess, we aren't super health food eaters, as you can tell by my caramel sauce recipe, but we do try to eat a balanced diet, add in lots of probiotic rich foods, limit eating out, and use very little pre-prepared food. I also sneak healthy stuff in on them as often as I can. One of the things I learned early on was that you can't just go cold turkey with the junk, or even less than healthy food and expect your kids to enjoy your new-found enthusiasm for healthy eating. You can't expect that from your hubby either. So what I did was to start slipping whole wheat flour into our baked goods a little at a time, until more and more of the total amount of flour was whole wheat. I encourage eating fresh fruits and veggies often. I also slip things like finely grated veggies into a number of dishes to up the nutritional value without so much resistance at the dinner table. It has worked great.
In fact, it has worked much better than I ever thought it would. Not long ago Bree wanted to make bread but we didn't have any whole wheat flour, and I didn't have time to grind any. I told her she would just have to make white bread unless she wanted to go grind the grain herself. She didn't, so her bread was made with ordinary, unbleached, all purpose flour. She did a great job, as she always does, but two bites into it she made a face and turned to me. "Ugh. You've warped me Mom." "How's that?", I answer. "This bread is okay, but it just doesn't have as much flavor without the whole wheat. It's kind of bland. Do you think you can grind some wheat so I can make some more bread tomorrow?" The other girls concurred with her and wanted me to grind some grain for bread. They were happy as clams a couple of days later when I did.
YES!! - Victory!! I've warped my kids.