You can find the other Parts here: Excitotoxins, BPA and Money
I have never added brown sugar to my kid's hot cereal, and we eat a lot of hot cereal.
Ever since she was a wee little one, I have mushed banana into her cereal (potassium!), sprinkled cinnamon (great health benefits!), and drizzled blackstrap molasses (manganese and iron!). With all this, how could she not love it? And she does!
Now don't get me wrong, I grew up loving brown sugar on my oatmeal and my ten grain, but I haven't sprinkled it on in over four years. At first, when I switched to cinnamon and molasses I definitely missed the lovely brown sugar sweetness. But that soon faded, and more and more I appreciated the rich flavor of the molasses, and the knowledge that I was getting much more nutritional bang for my buck. And I loved knowing that my kid wasn't overloading on refined sugar.
What I don't understand is how I could have been so smart about this (yep, I'm going to pat my back a little), and so clueless about food additives? There I am at home, being so careful about what I'm adding to my family's food, and then I march into the grocery store and fill the cart with a bunch of junk.
And I've been a pretty careful label reader. Just not careful, and knowledgeable, enough.
So I'm changing that, but it isn't exactly simple. If you're looking for me in the grocery store, I'm the one vaguely wandering around with a confused expression on my face, retracing my steps around and around the produce and dairy section. I'm actually a bit concerned I might appear as though I'm under the influence of something... but I haven't been asked to leave yet. The problem is this:
I cook us a hot breakfast every morning (the exception being when we have fruit and yogurt), and I cook us dinner every night. What I hadn't quite clued into was how many recipes call for cans of this, or a jar of that, or bouillon, etc. All those recipes are no good to me now, until I rework them to account for extra prep time for cooking my own beans, making my own hummus, chopping tomatoes, seasoning my own rice, making my own broth, sauce, etc.
I'm not complaining. None of these things are very hard, but they are a game changer, and I'm feeling the distinct need for some time spent browsing recipe books in the library. In the meantime, I've spent way too long in the grocery store, but have managed to feed my family Sauteed Veggies & Chicken over Rice with homemade Peanut Sauce, Chicken soup with Rice and Quinoa (made with leftovers from first dinner), Mushroom & Barley Soup with Spinach, and Radish Soup (my daughter's creation, and surprisingly good! I'll get it posted eventually).
A lot of soup! There have got to be some other whole food recipes I can handle, free of BPA and potential excitotoxins... this week I'm going to find them.