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Balanced Eating

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My husband and I love road trips. When we took off in the car before our daughter was born, we would buy our favorite two food groups (sugar and salt) at gas stations and be on our merry way. Once we had a child, wanting to be responsible parents, we decided we would buy healthy car food before leaving and not purchase snacks from gas stations. For two years we would buy healthy food (apples, grapes, nuts, seeds, rice crackers and like that) to eat in the car.

But the habit of snacking from gas stations was strong. We would still buy sugar and salty as we traveled and gobble those up. When we got home we would throw out the healthy stuff out because it had gone hard or soft or bad and was uneatable.

Eventually though, as our daughter grew teeth and grew older, we began to incorporate the healthy food with the junk food and eat it on the sly so that she wouldn't notice. It was another year or two before she clued into what the crinkly sound of packaging meant. Happily by then, we had a good start on being weaned from car trip chips and candy and onto the healthy stuff for real. Except when she was asleep. Then we would eat junk food as we put in long days, eight to ten hours, of driving. Eventually this night time snacking would disappear as well.

During our drives, we began to appreciate box stores where someone could go in and buy a bottle of exotic juice (orange and mango) and fresh raspberries and some small cheese wheels for a decent price. Just because we weren't grabbing stuff from convenience stores didn't mean we couldn't find food we liked that helped us feel good. Certain changes take a long time but gradually the desire to grow a healthy child and the pain of wasting good food worked its magic on us. And I mean, it was a long time, like five to ten years before I could finally say we had a decent diet. So I like to encourage other parents working with food issues not to give up on themselves if change doesn't always happen as quickly as we think it should.

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Juanita lives in the Canadian Rockies and has been a mother for nearly forty years. She has three children with a 22 year age spread between the oldest and the youngest. During this time Juanita has also worked with youth in a variety of capacities including as a rehabilitation worker in the public school system and as program director and facilitator for a local youth group centre.


Magic and mysteries have been a life-long pre-occupation of Juanita's and she has published one book Almanac of the Infamous on the unexplained and unsolved. She also is known for her mystery entertainment parties (mysteryfactory.com) for children and grown-ups. Staying in touch with a playful spirit and miraculous possibility is something that she feels is vital to passing on to our children and retaining as adults.

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Guest Wednesday, 20 September 2017