Do the four food groups in your house consist of chicken nuggets, pizza, frozen waffles, and macaroni and cheese? Are you looking for new ways to introduce non-processed, "real", grown-in-the-ground fruits, vegetables, and whole grains? Then you might want to consider taking the 10 Days of Real Food Pledge!
In 2010, Jason and Lisa Leake were inspired by an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show to become more aware of the food they were preparing, eating, and feeding their two children. They made a commitment to change the way they eat and started a "100 days of real food challenge". After blogging about the challenge on 100 Days of Real Food.com, as they've done several times, they now encourage everyday American families to start small and take their 10 day challenge.
According to their website, 1,200 people all around the world have taken the 10 day challenge. Based on their own experience, the Leakes offer real, tangible benefits someone can expect from completing the challenge. They include:
• A first-hand, eye opening experience of how to identify the real food in our world.
• At least one improved health benefit such as having more energy, losing weight, improving regularity, or just feeling healthier overall.
• The realization that some of those pre-packaged processed "food-like substances" don’t even taste that good compared to real food.
• The opportunity to teach your children (if you have them), by example, the healthiest way to eat and enjoy the food Mother Nature has given us.
• The new knowledge of how and why to avoid processed foods, hopefully convincing you to make life changes.
The Leakes also send everyone who takes the pledge a congratulatory letter and a silicone wristband debossed with "10 Days of Real Food". On their website, they say, "every time we food shop or eat a meal we are voting for either processed food-like substances or real food. If all of us make the right choices then together we can make a real difference which will help change our country’s food system for the better."
Shenia Kirkland, blogger for 1 Peachy Mama, mom of two, and an active juicer who has always tried to limit processed foods from her and her family’s diets. In fact, her daughters are vegetarians and she is a pescetarian (a vegetarian who eats seafood). In a Facebook post, she said her effort is starting to pay off and that her oldest daughter is even teaching extended family members about eating "clean". She wrote, "My six year old had a sit-down conversation with my Aunt about the importance of recycling and eating fruits and vegetables (rather than foods from a box." Ms. Kirkland is one of many moms trying to get back to the home-grown foods from decades past.
Whether you take the 100 day challenge or the 10 day challenge or just become more aware of the food you feed your family, letting kids see, taste, and smell "real" food can expose them to a new way of looking at mealtime.
100 Days of Real Food Challenge
Facebook posts from Shenia Kirkland
Edited by Jody Smith