God’s Design for Food: How to Fuel Your Family Without Feeling Overwhelmed
It’s a new year and a time for new beginnings, new routines, new commitments, and new resolutions. I imagine many of you have been thinking about how you want to be healthier in the upcoming year. Maybe you’ve set a goal to eat less junk food, or to exercise more.
But what does it even mean to “eat healthy” these days? There are so many conflicting viewpoints and opinions. It’s often overwhelming.
You may wonder what “eating healthy” has to do with raising boys… well, we all need to eat, right? And sometimes we get so overwhelmed with all the other responsibilities of parenting, that preparing healthy meals falls to the bottom of our priority list. And if any of you have pre-teen and teenage boys in the house, you know that they eat A LOT. We want to make healthy choices for our families that will help our boys develop strong character AS WELL AS strong bodies. And as Christians, what should our attitude be towards food? What is God’s design for food?
Conflicting Information About Nutrition
There is so much conflicting information bombarding us all the time … Some experts will tell you that you should only eat organic vegetables, pasture-raised eggs and grass-fed meat. Some will tell you only low fat foods are good for you while others will tell you that full-fat foods are the best. Some say all carbs are bad, while others say carbs are totally fine BUT you really should ONLY eat plant-based foods. Some nutritionists will tell you whole grains are good for you, and others will tell you all grains are bad. And beans too for that matter. And apples have too much sugar. And tomatoes are too red, and lima beans are too mushy, and asparagus is too stringy…
Whew! I’m feeling overwhelmed just thinking about all of it.
And then of course there’s all the fad diets… Whole 30, Keto, Low carb, High fat, sugar free, Gluten free, dairy free, all natural, etc. (By the way, I’ve tried them all).
And someone will judge you no matter what you choose.
As moms, we’re not only pressured to make decisions about our own nutrition, but we also need to make choices about the nutritional needs of our kids. How can we feed our kids a healthy diet that’s not overwhelming and doesn’t take all day to butcher the fattened calf?
So… mommas, if you’re listening today and you’re feeling like you want to make some changes to your health and nutrition, but you’re not even sure where to start, listen in on today’s interview.
We have a special guest on the show who is an expert at family nutrition. Danielle Glesne is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Licensed Dietitian, and a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. She is a mom of two boys and has a passion for helping parents and children fall in love with new foods. Nothing brings her more joy than seeing kids enjoy nutritious whole foods.
Below is a basic outline of the topcis Danielle and I discussed. For the full interview, listen to the podcast episode, Redeeming the Chaos Episode 86.
What is God’s Design for Food?
God created food and he declared that it was good. But many Christians do not have a healthy relationship with food. What is God’s design for food, according to the Bible?
- Food was given to us as a blessing and a gift.
- All good gifts have limitations and boundaries.
- God gave us food for fellowship with him and with others (feasts are used to commemorate God’s goodness and help us remember his blessings and provision).
- God designed food for pleasure and purpose (we need to be intentional about what we put into our bodies).
What are some of the lies our culture tells us about food?
Anything that steals from God’s design for food is a lie. A few of the lies include:
1). Organic means healthy – just because it’s organic doesn’t mean it’s actually healthy
2). Carbs are bad for you – carbs provide energy and fuel – everything God created was good!
What are some basic principles of nutrition that nearly everyone agrees with?
- Eat more fruits & vegetables
- Watch for too much added sugar.
- Minimally processed is best – Mediterranean diet has lower rates of disease.
Moms: Beware of the Comparison Trap
Medical studies prove that people with significant amounts of excess weight are at risk for more health concerns… heart disease, diabetes, joint issues, and even cancer. How can moms balance maintaining a healthy weight, while not falling victim to the pressure of our culture that our value is based on our appearance? (and the comparison trap)
- You could eat the same and exercise the same as someone else, and your bodies would still look completely different.
- Focus on what you can control (eating healthy, exercising), rather than on what you can’t control (the shape of your body, a number on a scale).
- You are more than a number on a scale.
How can I make healthy food choices for my family?
How can moms make healthy food choices the whole family will enjoy, without spending all day in the kitchen?
- Plan ahead
- Use recipes
- Use time, repetition, and variety – your tastebuds need multiple exposures to a new flavor
Advice for Moms of Picky Eaters
- Understanding parents roles vs child roles
- Parent decides what, when, and where.
- Child decides if and how much.
- Don’t let meal times turn into a power struggle.
How can we help our kids have a healthy relationship with sugar?
One thing most nutritionists agree on is the danger of high amounts of processed sugar. But sugar is in EVERYTHING. How can we help our kids have a healthy relationship with sugar?
- You don’t have to eliminate desserts altogether!
- Moderation is key.
- There are no “bad foods”, only “sometimes foods.”