Sometimes the grocery store can be a scary place, especially for my husband.
It's not because he has a hard time finding fairly easy food items which are always located in the back of the store such as MiLk..But more so because he has a minor panic attack every time I come home with groceries and hand him the bill...
He usually cries.
And no, it's not because I finally broke down and bought him that stupid box of strawberry poop tarts he's been asking me for, but the real reason being I spent $$$$$ to get back at him more making me buy them.
Poop Tarts=Mucho Dinero Hombre.
But besides wondering if you should really break down and buy a bag of juicy grapes for 2.99 a pound, stocking up your pantry and fridge can be a nightmare, especially when you are trying to stock up on healthy AND tasty ingredients...
That everyone will eat...
And that everyone will like.
I'm sure many of you have come home with a bag of vegetables, only for it to go to waste in a matter of a few days because no one touched them, and the animal crackers taste so much better than carrot sticks, and gosh darn by golly if there was a tub of ranch dressing maybe eating those carrot sticks would go down a lot easier .
Well my friends, today your in luck. I've made a few lists of foods to stock your fridge and pantry that every family should have on hand for healthy, natural, and hearty meals for the children. You don't have to have everything, this is just a basic guide line of different varieties of food to have.
My next post we will be talking about what ages will be eating what foods, as well as some recipes so don't worry if you don't know what some of these foods are and how to prepare them. Through out the week be sure to try and talk about everything I can!
Okay, let's begin shall we!
*Side note: Whether you are a meat and dairy eater, vegetarian, vegan, or have certain allergies, you can modify the list according to your families lifestyle and diet.*
There are so many vegetables out there with a wide variety of benefits for kids and thier growing bodies. A lot of kids, and even adults, have strong dislikes for these bad boys, so they can be somewhat of a struggle to get your kiddos to eat. I'll go further into picky eating on another day and ways to get kids to eat their veggies, but for now focus on picking out, or even growing veggies as a family. It's best to shop at farmers markets where produce can be somewhat cheaper, your supporting local farmers, it's not sprayed with pesticides, and it's a fun family outing! Always buy what is in season, and if possible organic or not sprayed with chemicals.
-Greens: This can be spinach, kale, swiss chard, lettuce greens, etc...
-Potatoes: Sweet, red, white etc. Potatoes last forever, and are great for pureeing.
- Squash(yellow, acorn,butternut, spaghetti) and Zucchini : Easily shredded and pureed, great for adding into baked goods
-Carrots and parsnips: Great dippers for yummy sauces
-Tomatoes and Cucumbers: for mini sandwhiches, dippers, etc.
-Bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower
*There are definitely a lot of vegetables out there, and you don't have to have every single one in your fridge. Although, it's always best to have a wide variety to have on hand when you need them. Some of these make great purees that can be frozen and used at a different time in the future.
From natural sweeteners, to perfect snacks and sweet cravings, and perfect puree for little ones, fruits are all around amazing. A long with veggies, they are best to be purchased at a famers market, or at least buy them organic when they are in season.
-Apricots, plums, prunes
With the right kind, grains can be a hearty wholesome carb that keep you full and give you energy, protein, and good amount of fiber. Make sure you switch up your grains, and just don't stick with brown rice. There are a lot of tasty grains out there that want to be loved too! :-) (Most of these grains and be ground into fine cereals for your little baby too!)
-Whole wheat pastas
-Whole wheat, grain breads. (Ezekial is my favorite)
-Flours: Whole wheat pastry, spelt, almond, coconut flour, garbanzo flour, etc..*You don't have to stock up on every type of flour. Buy one to try, and when that one is done, try another flour. Start with whole wheat pastry since it's pretty similar to AP flour when cooking, then later on experiment with other grains.*
Holy Canoli! I love beans!! :-) Amazing source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, etc.!! Great for adding into foods, pureeing for little ones, and quick snacks for toddlers when seasoned deliciously! Have a variety in your pantry to throw into any meal! Also, if you buy dried beans, they are WAY cheaper than buying canned!
- Split peas
If you can't have dairy, there are some great alternatives to use. Even though some of us in out household aren't allergic to dairy, we still mainly eat/drink non dairy foods. Everything in balance. Also, always buy animal dairy products organic, due to less added preservatives.
-Full Fat cottage cheese
-Full fat milk (for young babies)
-Tofu-hard and silken (Not dairy, but a great substitute)
-Non dairy milks: soy, almond, coconut, hemp, rice, etc. *We buy a variety of non dairy milks and switch it up each week, that we get a nice balance of different essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins that each milk offers.
-Non dairy yogurts or plain yogurts
-Full fat cheese or non dairy cheese
If you don't eat meat than you can skip this section. If you do, then make sure to buy meat organic, local, and eat it sparingly.
-Lean meats, fresh from the deli
-Avoid bacon, sausages, packaged deli meats, etc..Get lunch meats from the deli where it's freshly cut.
-Nuts and nut butters
-Mild seasonings like cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin etc...
-Honey, Maple Syrup, Agave
-Onion, lemons, limes, and garlic to taste
-Salt and pepper for taste
Wait! What about packaged/boxed/frozen foods?
I'm a mom...and I'm not crazy. (Despite popular belief..)
If I could make every single meal every day by hand, well then by golly miss Molly I'm freaking amazing! But then, sometimes dishes wouldn't get done, I wouldn't get to snuggle with my hubby for a movie, and well, I wouldn't always be able to shower. I understand life is crazy, and with kids it get's crazier. Some days you don't have time to make something homemade, and that is understandable. If needed, buy organic, natural products. Make sure you know what each of the ingredients are listed on the box. And when in doubt, add pureed veggies to things like mac n' cheese!
I hope this post helped somewhat! If I forgot anything, please feel free to add it into the comment section below! Stay tuned for the next post where we will finally get into some recipes!! :-)