I go crazy trying to juggle meal planning for two grown sons, one 84-year-old picky mother-in-law, and a husband. So I admire your efforts with five kids.
When my sons were younger, they seemed to live on snack food. I had the frig stuffed with cut-up things in containers and baggies that were easy for them to nibble on. They went to an elementary school where almost everyone brown bagged, so it was easier to influence what they ate away from home. My younger son actually was misdiagnosed as having celiac disease for five years, so I got used to making gluten free breads, cakes, cookies, etc. for him -- but there still was a lot of processed food.
Now, I make my own meal plans and just add extra simply processed foods for them. So they do eat bread, just 100% whole grain, and not huge quantities of it. Just eliminating the processed, sugary foods in the household has helped tremendously. My younger son has been learning to cook a lot of stir fry veggie-based dishes and Indian food. Even my mother-in-law has gotten used to fruit-only jellies and preserves, and fruit for dessert.
Good luck, and let us know how it's working out for you.
I am a mom of five kids who keep me very busy. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia earlier this year and my rhuematologist has told me to cut out sugar, fruit, potatoes, white flour & white rice to bring the candida under control. I was having a hard time doing this on my own and happened to find "The Blood Sugar Solution" at Target. I bought it and planned to implement the program with the start of summer. I was successful for a week and a half, but a family reunion and other traveling derailed me. I am ready to start up again and was glad to find this Spark Team.
I'm finding this change especially difficult with children. I'd like to bring them on board, because I believe they need it just as much as I do. They are fine with the dinners I have made, but Breakfast and Lunch have been a challenge. They really don't want to give up the gluten.
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