So I’m on a new bandwagon. I love testing and trialing bandwagons all the time and like dragging my husband along with me for the journey (he loves it! NOT!). As you’ve probably noticed by many of my feeds, I’ve been on the fructose free bandwagon for just over two years now. I’m not hard core about it. We eat fruit but I’ve cut out refined sugars where possible. I’ve never wanted the girls to be the deprived children at birthday parties gorging on sweets because they’ve never seen them before. What I did want for them is to be sugar aware.
I have managed to cut out a lot of hidden sugars you don’t normally expect in foods, particularly savoury foods. I’ve also managed to alter our taste buds and as a family we do prefer less sweetness. I do look at all labeling to reduce any hidden sugars and as result, make a lot of what we eat from scratch. I no longer bake with sugar and use a combination of rice malt syrup and glucose for all cakes and muffins quite successfully. The girls’ awareness of sugars is what I was aiming for really, and they now tend to self-regulate even if they have the opportunity to eat something sweet. They won’t say no to a treat but they won’t take 10! We don’t drink soft drinks or store bought juices and stick to water mainly. The biggest culprits I found were breakfast cereals, sauces and dips. But we now stick to porridge, I make my own jams (I know! how mumsy is that!) which is totally easy (put a bag of frozen berries in a pot, a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds, a vanilla pod and a tablespoon of glucose powder, let it boil and that’s it!) and I make my own dips (pesto, beetroot hummus, hummus and salsa are our family favourites).
So what the latest bandwagon I’ve jumped on?
I am now a crusader for fighting the war on waste! OMG! I’ve been watching the ABC documentary and am stunned at how bad we have been. As a family of six, we leave a huge waste trail behind us which is why I thought we needed to do something about it. Because I do make a lot of what we eat from scratch, we don’t have much in the way of processed foods but I still need to buy ingredients and just about everything comes in a plastic bag – rice, pasta, chickpeas, lentils, glucose. I’ve slowly transitioned all my pantry into glass jars so the next step really is making the time to walk up to our local produce store which sells everything in tubs from which you can take from. I’ve been doing this with our peanut butter and rice malt syrup but I need to do this with my other bulk items. I haven’t calculated the cost of doing so. I imagine it may cost more but it is worth the experiment.
The other challenge school really forced me to consider was nude food. I had no idea what nude food meant but at our school it means no rubbish including cling wrap. So my other great tip for Mama’s with kids is buy a yumbox. This lunch box is definitely my fav new purchase for my three girls. (Shop at https://www.biome.com.au/784-yumbox ) My girls are huge eaters but also grazers so now they can graze at lunch times on their favourite food items and don’t need to worry about food smells mixing up or food getting soggy. It also fits the ‘nude food’ policy. There is no rubbish. The yumbox seals everything perfectly so you don’t get soggy sandwiches like my mother insisted I eat when I was at school.
Cling wrap is probably one of the worst and non essential items I’ve replaced. I’ve tried and tested Bee Green Wraps (beeswax paper http://www.beegreenwraps.com.au/) and can say that after six months of regular usage, they hold up. I use them daily and wash in warm water daily and they haven’t lost their stretch. I haven’t purchased any cling wrap in this time which amazes me. I thought it was something I couldn’t live without.
My other basic tip which I’m implementing about 80% of the time is having my re-useable bags always in the car so I have no excuses to use plastic. July 1 we will be charged for plastic bags (finally!) so I’m thinking by then I should have it up to ALWAYS having re-useable bags in my car.
It’s baby steps in living a clean healthy life but its steps in the right direction.