Seven Steps to Safer, Healthier Food

safer-healthier-foodWhen it comes to the health of our family, we make it a point that we are giving them the right food to nourish themselves well. Wise consumers know that they should never settle with substandard items and should always go for high quality, nutrient-enriched foods that’ll keep everyone in the right mood. On the one hand, 2012 reports show that more about 37.5% of adult Americans are obese while the increase of obesity in children has increased from 7% in 1980 to almost 12% in 2010. Now, you would never want your family and yourself to be included in this statistics, would you? Let’s face the fact that obesity and being overweight kills. Read this: American Journal of Public Health published on August 2012 that at least 1 in every 5 obese people in America dies from the disorder. It is high time that we should take action against this disorder, protect our loved ones, and start switching to safer and healthier foods thru these ways:

Choose only organic foods – This is, and will always be the first step to have safer and healthier foods at the table each and every day. What are organic foods, by the way? Basically, as its name suggests, organic foods are those that are grown as naturally as possible. Lesser or zero chemicals were used during its growth and zero antibiotics were introduced to the body of the animal before it was slaughtered. Unfortunately, unless you are growing your own vegetable and fruit garden and rearing your own farm animals, it might be impossible to consume 100% organic foods all day. Don’t fret; here’s a short list of some fruits and veggies that are quite impossible to grow organically: bell peppers, apples, peaches, pears, potatoes, spinach, and strawberries. When buying these pieces in the market, make sure to go for organic vendors and local produce only.

Another con of buying organic foods is the fact that they’re mostly pricier compared to inorganic choices. The main reason for this issue is the fact that farmers provide extra effort and time to these produce before they send them out to the market to make that they’re producing organic or they’ll be fined when assigned organizations find out that they’re luring the public. Nevertheless, here are the ways on how you can buy organic foods at a budget. Shop at a local farmer’s market, which is a great way of being able to choose tons of different locally-grown products at good rates since you get them straight from the famers. But before buying there directly, ask for discounts if you are buying in bulk and be sure to ask a lot of questions the farmers in a friendly manner. Build rapport with them and they’ll definitely tell you how to get have the best buy. Joining a cooperative is another tip to find organic products at cheap rates. It is a business owned by its members and it’s usually set locally. Most of its products are local and organic, and all you have to do is to make sure you pay for dues on time to continue enjoying your benefits as a coop member. Buy in season. What other way to buy produce at cheap rates than to buy in season because fruits and veggies that grow in its season come in vast number, so vendor would compete with one another in prices since the choices are aplenty. Can’t find any reliable local farmer that grows organic pieces? Head online. There are many ways to kill a cat, and so are hunting for local harvest. However, be very sure that the site you’re buying online is legit and safe. Finally, grow your own. There’s no other way to ensure yourself and your family of organic produce than to grow them on your own.

Skip on contaminated foods – Avoid serving dirty and unwashed foods on the table. Make sure that meat, veggies, and fishes are cooked according to its desired heat. Avoid letting your kids enjoy half-cooked eggs as these could contain E. coli. Some raw and improperly washed foods can cause hepatitis and this is also true to raw meat and fishes.

Skip the fast food – Whether we like it or not, hamburgers are really delish especially to kids. But, indulgence to fast foods should only be done once in a while. Pizzas, fries , burgers, and other ready to eat foods at your favorite fast food restaurants from McDonald’s to Wendy’s are loaded with unhealthy fats, which could contribute greatly to overweight and obesity. Apart from that, we couldn’t really tell where they got their meat and veggies. It’s better safe than sorry. Meanwhile, you can still avoid your kids from feeling deprived from fast food by cooking these menus on your own. Check out online and you’ll find loads of sites that’ll give you tips on how to make organic and healthy burgers, fries, or pizzas on your own. Of course, extra time and patience are very important in this option.

Ban preservatives at home, in school, and at work – Canned goods, plastic bottled water, bottled and canned juices, and bagged chips – name and everything that you see in a row in every grocery store are all preserved, unless you spot some foods that are made by some of the most renowned companies that patronize organic food manufacturing and non-GMO products like Amy’s Organics, Amy’s Kitchen, Applegate Farms, Earth Balance, Eden Food Organics, Earth’s Best, Organic Valley, Nature’s Path, and Stonyfield Organics. On the one hand, if you crave for juice or if you like your kids to have juices for lunch, grab oranges or apples from your local market and juice them at home – cheap, fresh, and zero-preservatives.

Teach your kids to love nutritious foods – While some kids love to eat veggies and fruits, some just don’t find them too tasty. Kids don’t normally know which ones nutritious and which ones have trans fat, and all they care about is the taste as pizza definitely tastes better than an eggplant salad. However, if you start teaching them at very young age, say, while they’re still fetus until they’re born, they’ll definitely be accustomed to the taste of veggies and fruits that they no longer find these yucky. It is important that they themselves would love nutritious foods, so you won’t have to worry whether or not they’re eating goods when they’re away. Also, be a role model. Show them that eating these colorful food options are undeniably delicious. Try to incorporate veggies to their meals as much as possible without pushing it to them. Say, if they like meatballs, you can include carrots and peas in it. You can always explore for healthier kiddie options online, too.

Stuff healthy lunches and snacks for kids to school or for hubby in the office – Avoid worrying even when they’re not at home by putting healthy food options in their lunch boxes. You could create a healthy menu plan everyday to avoid monotony in their food.

Get help from appliances – When it comes to nutritious food options, blenders, juicers, and other kitchen equipment are always the best partners. Whip a healthy smoothie; create a juice of veggies and fruits; make a delicious menu with your oven; and some more. The sky’s the limit when it comes to exploring healthy and safe foods for your family.