In this week's guest post, Jocelyn describes what she has learned from our Go For Whole Grains lesson. You can find this free lesson under the Healthy Families category on wichealth.org.
Carbohydrates: the word that can put fear into many of us due to the way our society relates to bread and grain products. Every day we are bombarded by ads, commercials, and articles outlining the latest fad. These sources give us a blueprint that shows how we can “live our best life.” Often times that life includes little to no carbs.
I was raised in the fad diet, diet pill, and diet shake generation. I watched my mother struggle with weight and I was there for the huge Atkins boom and the anti-carb movement. As a child who spent a lot of time with her grandarents, growing up on a pretty steady diet of Faygo Red Pop and Cheetos, why does this matter? It matters because now that I am a mother of two young boys, I have to reevaluate a life’s worth of carbohydrate education and figure out how to feed my children in a proper healthy manner.
My relationship with carbs can be described as complex and frustrating. Gone are the carefree Cheeto years, only to be replaced with a distrust for anything carbohydrate. It gets even more complicated when you add in the fact that I have had bariatric surgery. I have been learning how to avoid carbs and sugar in my life, but now I have to figure out a way to give my children the nutrition they need without feeling like I am compromising their health.
As someone who has studied the human body I know that carbohydrates are essential. But, I also know that not all carbs are created equal. The WIC education I received really helped me distinguish between the various types of whole wheat products available so I know what products are the best for my children. I can honestly say that even though I fancy myself savvy when it comes to groceries, I did not know that something labeled ‘whole grain’ might not be.
By completing this lesson, as well as looking at the recipes available, I have been able to increase the amount of whole grains my children eat by ensuring that they are eating whole grain bread, buying snacks without refined grain, and educating myself on the benefits of having an appropriate amount of whole grain in one’s diet.
Some of my sons’ favorite meals include homemade oat pancakes or waffles with turkey sausage and banana, taco salad made with a turkey burger, and peanut butter sandwiches with grapes and yogurt. I thought it was going to be a struggle to get a five and a half-year-old and a one and a half-year-old to eat the same thing but now that I am not so afraid to feed them carbs and grain, they tend to eat more at mealtime, without fussing. Although I might not be able to join in on snack time, I am relieved and thankful that I can go forward pursuing recipes and making new foods for my boys.
I look forward to creating many more things and leaving the carb fear at the door. Along with the Red Pop and Cheetos.
This blog was written by one of our guest WIC mom bloggers, Jocelyn from Michigan.
I am the mother to two little boys trying to navigate around all of the monster trucks and mud. I have a passion for Christmas and a love for music and reading. I am on a health journey and I am learning all I can to make educated choices for my family.
Thanks for the guest post, Jocelyn!