Hi, I’m Elizabeth! As a mom of five, I’m always looking for ways to help my family eat healthy, delicious food without spending a fortune.
I’d love to share some of the things I’ve learned in my decade+ of cooking for a large family.
My cooking philosophy: Incremental changes for healthier eating. Keep experimenting and keep tasting new foods!
I began my baking and cooking journey as a teenager. As part of a large family on a limited budget, we always did a lot of cooking together. My mom was always on a mission to increase the health factor of her family’s diet. She is a firm believer in healthy eating as the most important factor in overall health.
Now that I have a large family of my own, I’ve 100% bought into my mom’s mission to help my family stay healthy through a nutritious diet. Overall, we eat healthy and, in general, have few health concerns. I can’t take all the credit for it, but healthy habits do pay off. Thanks, mom!
I’ve also learned along the way that healthy eating doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, home cooking and baking is more budget-friendly than purchasing pre-made foods AND it’s generally healthier.
For example, we almost never buy bread. We make our own sandwich bread, sourdough bread, baguettes, bagels, waffles, etc. This is a huge budget savings, and the breads come with none of the additives found in packaged bread. There’s a time cost, but it’s worth it.
I like to think I have a well-balanced approach to life, and this applies to healthy eating. I like to take a moderate approach to incrementally increasing the health factor of the dishes and items I prepare. Plus I need to in order to bring the rest of the family along with me.
I would happily eat everything whole wheat, but they don’t agree. So we usually compromise. Part whole wheat, part white flour. I take it as a win that there’s some whole wheat, and no additives or preservatives.
A big area I work on increasing the healthy factor is with sugar. We don’t eat a lot of desserts, but when I do bake sweet treats, I’m always looking for ways to replace white sugar with natural sweeteners like honey, or sucanat, or maple syrup. Again, I take the moderate approach, because sometimes a recipe just won’t work as well without white sugar. If it’s a once-in-awhile treat, I’m okay with that.
As a family, we talk a lot about healthy eating, and I hope to inspire my kids to a lifetime of healthy food choices, just as my mom did for me. I also hope to inspire my kids to be adventurous eaters and adventurous cooks, by taking them along with me on kitchen experiments.
All five of them love to help in the kitchen, but five at a time in the kitchen is just a bit too chaotic for me to maintain sanity. The best way I’ve found to teach kitchen skills to my flock is to have one or two helping out at a time. It might be mixing up the pizza dough, or chopping veggies for the stir-fry. Getting everyone involved in making food is the best way I know of to get my kids started on a life of healthy eating.
That and gardening. Growing our own summer veggies is another excellent way to encourage the kids to love eating fresh, healthy food. That and all the other skills and character development that come along with it. But that’s another journey!
Thanks for joining me on this journey of delicious, healthful cooking. I invite you to taste the difference that small changes can make.
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! (Ps. 34:8)