Celebrating food

fresh raspberries and blueberries

Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Let’s Talk About Food

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about their struggles and successes with healthy eating. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


We’ve been asked “Let’s Talk About Food: Do you try to eat locally? Organically? Do you have a whole foods diet? What are your struggles and successes?”

We’re an eclectic bunch here at Chez Green with someone who, after 20 years of being vegetarian has started to eat fish, an ardent  meat eater who switches to an all raw green diet during the summer and a bunny rabbit who has a penchant for some of nature’s finest healers – dandelions and mint!

Food as medicine

I very much advocate a ‘let food be thy medicine’ approach to life. Many of the answers to our health issues can be found through our diet. As a nutritional counsellor I’ve seen, first hand, the difference a change in diet can make to acute and chronic health conditions such as arthritis, fatigue, children’s behavioural challenges and weight.

As a family we prioritise good food. We will travel to an organic farm shop because it’s far superior than a local shop. This has ethical implications on travel and carbon footprint of course, but that’s for another time!

Organic food

We’re not religious about what we eat, but we aim for the 80/20 rule. A little of what you fancy does no harm as long as the majority of what you eat is good quality, whole foods. We prioritise the spending of money on food above all else. We don’t go out to places that cost money, we don’t smoke, go to the cinema, but we do eat good food.

With a child it’s been an interesting journey. Little Miss Green was breastfed for two years and weaned on pureed apples from our own trees that I gathered and bottled when pregnant.

I had images of me pureeing my own foods in the kitchen for her, but the reality was I got through more than my fair share of bottled, organic baby food. Yes I regret it a little, but her health is my barometer of what I am doing.  If your finances are constrained, you can discover 6 ways to help you eat organic on a budget.

Local Food

We eat about 40% local food and I’d like to increase this. Our farm shop pulls as much food as it can from its own farm and we have a wonderful fruit farm 2 miles away. In addition we grow a few things such as herbs, salad, tomatoes, potatoes and kale. I would, however like to grow much more food and eat more in tune with the seasons.

Whole foods

I cook every day for my family; mainly from scratch. I’m the Queen of leftovers – turning the odd spoon of rice into something wonderful (even through I say so myself!) but I do reach for tins and convenience foods too. If I’m tired, stressed or we have 10 minutes to get out of the door I will use tinned soups or baked beans on toast, but like all things in life there are some choices and brands that are better than none. Fortunately it’s becoming easier to find organic and free range ‘convenience’ foods that have minimal additives and nasties in them.


I think the hardest thing is sticking to a healthy diet with a child. They see things in shops, are lured by shiny packaging, want to be like their friends and once they are growing up and would rather be outside with friends than inside with boring Mum, they want food, fast, so they can get back out to the serious business of playing.

I find the best way around this is to gradually educate your child about the importance of eating good food. Growing your own helps too; even if it’s just some salad leaves in a pot. I never ‘hide’ food, I have mixed feelings about this, but now my daughter is older she can be encouraged to make her own choices. For example she is encouraged to eat 2 pieces of fruit for breakfast, but they can be as she chooses. We’ve talked about getting her ‘5 a day’ of fresh fruit and vegetables and she’ll often tot these up in her head to see if she’s had them. If she has, crisps and chocolate are on the menu and she’s learning to self regulate.


I guess the success comes from my daughter’s health. I don’t think I’ve come across a more robust, strong and healthy child! She rarely gets ill and if she does, she burns up like a fire and is much better the next day – the sure sign of a well functioning immune system. My daughter has a love of food, is slender, full of energy and loves nothing more than home cooking. She tells me that when she leaves home she is still coming home to eat – so I must be doing something right 😉

If you’re interested in what an ‘average’ day looks like for me, regarding food, take a look at my sample menu and have a look inside my typical shopping basket!


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated July 13 with all the carnival links.)


  1. Lauren @ Hobo Mama on July 13, 2010 at 10:53 am

    I’m also learning to prioritize spending money on good food. It sends a pang to the frugal part of my soul, but it’s so important in terms of promoting the planet’s health — and, as you point out, your own.

    I think your daughter’s attitude to food sounds marvelous. I hope my son is that aware as he grows.

  2. Little Green Blog » Celebrating food Eating on July 13, 2010 at 10:57 am

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  3. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama on July 13, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    I recognize that food choices can impact our health/quality of life, I just wish I could figure out a way to get it through my mom’s head. She eats horribly, and I am saddened that she won’t live as many years as she could because of her eating habits 🙁

  4. […] Celebrating Food — Mrs Green at Little Green Blog believes in food as medicine and thinks it’s worth paying more to keep healthy. (@myzerowaste) […]

  5. Beanma on July 13, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Wow, I’m impressed with your two years of nursing, weaning to homemade jarred apples and the foresight you had when you were pregnant! Would love to read more about that.

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  8. Luschka @ Diary of a First Child on July 14, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I love your post! I think we have similar views on many things – we too prioritise money for GOOD food, much more than going out and so on. I must say, the one thing that is different is that my daughter, at nine months eats pretty much anything and I am really grateful to baby led weaning for that (i.e. we’ve never done purees). Look forward to reading more of your blog!

  9. Zoey @ Good Goog on July 14, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    I’m seriously impressed! I also had visions of making all baby food from scratch but work-related demands meant that I often went with organic store-bought stuff.

  10. TwinToddlersDad on July 15, 2010 at 1:13 am

    Great article. You have packed so much of practical information here.

    Indeed, the sign of good health is not just a “normal” height or weight, but also the strength of the immune system and the energy level. Unless there is an underlying medical condition, a mix of healthy eating, rest and play is the key to a child’s good health. Congratulations on accomplishing that with your daughter.

    I can totally relate to the struggles you mention in feeding children. We experience that with our 4 yo twins everyday. I think getting them interested in growing, making and enjoying food is a promising idea. We recently started a small vegetable garden in our backyard. Let us see how it goes!

    Happy eating!

  11. Wendy on July 22, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Thank you for this site – I have gained a lot of insight and inspiration from it. I do my best to provide good food for my family, but struggle with healthy lunches for teens – as that is a time they are away from me at school and follow the trends of their peers more often than not. I do what I can and thank you again for all of the great information here!

  12. Andrea!!! on July 23, 2010 at 2:34 am

    I too love that you weened you little one on apples you jarred when pregnant! I hope my daughter will also want to come home to eat when she is grown!!

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