In the beginning, switching to organic/natural foods can be a challenge. You have to first convince yourself to make this huge change and then trying to convince those you live with can be hard. With my husband, I tried explaining what organic is and why I think we should switch. He basically said that if I do the shopping and cooking, he will try it and if he likes it then great. I told him we would eat most of the same kinds of foods, just less of the bad stuff that’s in them. We watched a couple of the different food documentaries together like Food, Inc. and Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead. We tried many different replacements for things he likes and some were winners, but some weren’t. We just tried new things here and there but it was a slow transition. Plus, you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on things and then have to toss them. Introducing one new item a week is a good rule. He didn’t like that the cost of the items is a lot more but that went down over time and now it is the ‘norm’ for us.
With my kids (my daughter was 7 and my son was 3 at the time), I tried explaining everything in a way they would understand. I just simply told them that the food we had been eating has bad stuff in it and we are going to try this other food that is better for us. I first tried to buy things that are similar to what they are used to. We bought organic pop-tarts, organic cinnamon toast crunch, fruit strips instead of fruit snacks, organic oreo cookies, cheddar bunnies instead of goldfish crackers, etc. Then I tried to incorporate new things in each week. We tried almond chocolate milk and they love it! They were excited to try new things and to go shopping with me to help pick them out. We don’t buy so many of those items now. It was just what we did in transition and now they are considered a special treat.
It wasn’t always easy. There were times where my daughter would get mad and say, “Why does everything have to be organic? Can we go back to the way we were eating now?” But she would get over it and move on. Then there were other times where she would ask other people if something was organic before she ate it. Kids really pick-up what you are teaching them. After Kailey had an MRI (see my post about her dental problems, behavioral problems, & seizures), they gave her some goldfish crackers and apple juice and she asked the nurse if it was organic. I started laughing and told her she didn’t need to worry about that today. We do still have some of the things we used to but it’s only once in a while. All in moderation. Change can be scary at first but we just made small changes here and there until everything was switched over. It’s about finding what you like. I still think it’s exciting going to the store and finding something new. It makes shopping exciting and that’s something we definitely needed. I used to hate grocery shopping. Tyler is usually with me when shopping and he grumbles about it, but I always let him pick out something special. A certain kind of organic cereal, cookies, etc.
We have come a long way. My husband went from thinking I’m nuts to now eating all organic and he is very interested in gardening! The kids still have their moments where they want something bad and sometimes I let them. I don’t want them growing up worrying TOO much about food. Just enough to know that this is what’s up with food and this is what we eat but it’s okay to splurge now and then. And maybe someday, organic will just be the ‘norm’. The other stuff is what isn’t normal. It has so many bad things added to it. We just want to eat real food. Organic was normal to our grandparents or great-grandparents, but they didn’t call it organic. They just called it food. I think we can get back to that place. There are big changes happening and the word is getting around.
To read more about making the switch and see a picture of our first organic shopping trip, click here.