Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Quest for Healthier Food

Not too long ago I wrote about trying to "clean up" the food that we eat.  I've been doing a lot of reading lately, as I know a lot of what we eat, while advertised as healthier, is not.  As I mentioned last time, I have begun to pay more attention to products that contain GMO's.  There is a non-profit organization called The Non-GMO Project and I have been reading the information on their website to learn more about it.  I also follow a website called 100 Days of Real Food and have begun to really read the ingredient lists on the labels of food.     

Over the past week, I began to seek out more organic products in my local supermarkets.  I spent some time looking in the Health Market at Hy-Vee one day and at SuperTarget another.  While eating organic is more expensive, I was pleased to find that if I really put my mind to it, I could incorporate many things into our grocery budget.  While Hy-Vee has a much larger selection, SuperTarget had many products that I was looking for at a cheaper price.  Score for this mama! 

 I also have to carefully watch the allergy information to avoid any tree nut and peanut cross-contamination.  This has always been a problem for cereal and granola bars, but I found a brand that provided options in both of these categories.  I bought Chewy Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Raisin granola bars, as well as some Cinnamon Crunch and Fruitful O's cereal by Cascadian Farm.  I found these at Target (and had never noticed them before!).  While the cereal is more expensive than what we would normally purchase, if we cut back on serving size (instead of a monster portion) and pair it with fresh fruit or a homemade muffin, we shouldn't see a large increase in our budget for cereal.  The kids tried them out over the weekend and loved them!

I am also trying to greatly reduce and ultimately avoid artificial food dyes.  We have a long way to go in this department as it's in many more products than you would ever imagine, but I am starting down that road.  We have swapped our store brand or Kraft macaroni and cheese for Annie's Homegrown.  Switching cereal will also help with this.  We don't eat a lot of fruit snacks, but Annie's Homegrown also makes these.  I have created a Pinterest board to try out some recipes for the favorite kid snacks that we rarely buy anymore.  We are going to try many of these recipes this summer and hopefully some will be successful.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but it's a start.  I would like to find a source of meat and chicken that is healthier than what we can purchase at the supermarket, as well as eggs.  Purchasing these products at the store is quite expensive, so I am on the hunt for an alternative.  Target has a decent selection of organic produce at fairly reasonable prices and Hy-Vee also has a good selection.  

I hope that by reducing the amount of chemicals and genetically altered food into our bodies, we'll see an improvement in our health and maybe, just maybe, even reduce some of the allergies in our home.  I will learn as I go and share any tips I find in case this is something you would like to change in your family as well!  

In case you are curious, this is what I purchased organic this week and where I found it: 

Horizon Organic butter (Target)
Horizon Organic Lactose Free Milk (Target)
Stoneyfield Farm French Vanilla Yogurt (Target)
Stoneyfield Farm Strawberry Yogurt Squeezers (Target)
Cascadian Farm Cereals (Target)
Cascadian Farm Granola Bars (Target)
Earthbound Farm Carrots (Target)

Annie's Homegrown Macaroni and Cheese (Hy-Vee or Target)
Hy-Vee Organic Blue Corn Chips and White Corn Chips
Organic Valley Milk (Hy-Vee)
Gala Apples (Hy-Vee)


  1. have you tried the 100 days of food meal planner? I'm always looking for recipes and snack idea's. I think snacks are the hardest because I need something quick.

  2. Betsy, I have not tried it. Generally for snacks, we have been trying to stick to fresh or dried fruit, fresh veggies, cheese, yogurt, homemade muffins, or granola bars. I make a batch of muffins or granola bars and then freeze many of them to just pull out when I need one. If you give it a try, let me know how it works out!