I feel like I feed my child pretty healthily … until I read mommy blogs. Then I feel like I am a bad, bad, mom who must not love her kid enough to keep them from the evils of sugar and fried Chick-fil-A nuggets.
But I DO love my kid. Of course I want her to grow up craving healthy foods. But healthy foods to me are simple: avocados, beans, bananas, watermelon, zucchini . . . occasionally an organic Ella’s packet or Ella’s snack bar. We don’t eat kale at our house, I can’t stand the idea of juicing, and we, like most American families, simply can’t afford to go all organic. I buy organic frozen blueberries, insist on organic apples (which she doesn’t eat yet), choose organic lettuce, and I try to get organic beef and organic chicken when it’s on sale, but almost everything else we eat is not organic.
As I sit here drinking my non-organic Illy Issimo Latte Macchiato that contains non-organic milk and *gasp* table sugar, I don’t regret my choice. I enjoy it as a daily treat. I am thankful for it. It’s one of the few things that I, who have pancreatic insufficiency, severe reflux, and no gallbladder, can enjoy.
Maybe that’s part of the issue. I have suffered so much and have already had to live without many things other people enjoy . . . it’s not a fun existence. Because I’ve had to go without, I don’t like the idea of denying my kid the occasional treat of Chick fil A or healthy ice cream cone (I happen to think simple ice cream—milk, cream, sugar, salt, is healthy). My kid loves Trader Joe’s organic graham crackers, too, which, *gasp* have sugar in them. I want her to enjoy dairy, wheat, and anything else she isn’t allergic to . . . (I do realize allergies are a legitimate reason many people/families have HAD to focus on food choices—I myself have had to do this—research, learn, trial and error etc.. Those situations are not what I am talking about here.).
But really, the issue is, I don’t want my kid growing up thinking too much about food. I don’t want her to analyze what she eats all of the time. If she decides she loves raw foods and kombucha, I’m down with that. But I don’t want her to think of food as something so important that it becomes the focus of her little life.
There’s a passage in Matthew that helped me get through a tough time back in high school, when I was far too focused on food and exercise. I still read it as a reminder when I get anxious about provision or wondering if I’m eating or feeding my child the “right” things.
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? . . . Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:25-33
The key to living healthily is seeking first the Kingdom. If I can teach my child to pursue Christ above all else, “everything else” will be fall into place. That “everything else” includes guidance in food choices. Yes, I truly believe that even a child can be guided by the Holy Spirit in these areas. I want to teach my child that food is good . . . but Jesus is amazing. If I do this, I trust he will help her grow into a woman who makes good choices and doesn’t let her physical passions rule over her . . .
Lord, in this age where we are bombarded with all sorts of information on health and wellness, let us remember to seek you above all else. Give us wisdom in these areas, but keep us focused on what is far more important. Help us trust that “everything else” will fall into place if we seek you first.