New Year's Evolution - FamilyEducation

New Year's Evolution

January 03,2011
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

It is merely the third day of 2011 and I venture to guess that some New Year’s resolutions have already been broken.  But fear not!  Just because resolutions, especially those related to healthy eating, generally are broken in short order, I have something positive to share with you for the start of 2011.  Instead of trying to stand firm to a resolution, try an evolution of your family’s eating habits this year.  

Resolutions, heck even revolutions, can be ways to improve yourself, but if you’ve tried before and failed, small changes can add up to a big benefit in your personal and family’s health.  Why not take an incremental approach to improving your family’s diet this year?  Not ready yet?  That’s okay...because really, these small changes can be made any day of the year.  If you aren’t a fan of the whole New Year’s resolutions idea, take a “today is the first day of the rest of your life approach” to step-by-step change.

During the coming weeks I’ll be sharing 11 new ways in ‘11 to redo family favorite recipes.  I chose simple, kid- and family-friendly recipes because my hope is that they are some of your family’s go-to recipes, recipes that generally aren’t thought of as healthful.  But these same recipes, when tweaked and updated, with popular ingredients, can be just as family-friendly, in a new, healthful way.

So look for upcoming recipes for new healthier versions of macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, fried chicken, tacos, pizza, lasagna, even pancakes, chips (yes, I wrote chips; they can be healthful), dips, popcorn and more.  To start, I share some inspiration to encourage you on your quest to have your family eat more healthfully.  The Wall Street Journal reported in late November of two studies that link childhood eating habits to long-term overall health.

I share this article with you not to discourage, but encourage you.  Note that the second study found that as little as one fruit or vegetable a day promoted life-long healthfulness in children.  This figure is far below the recommended 5-9 fruit or vegetable servings per day (please aim for this, not just one time a day!), but it shows that even small positive steps in diet can aid in promoting good health.

So take heart, small changes will affect a healthy lifestyle.  I’ll be back with two new recipes this week to get you started on your way!

SPC