Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Elizabeth Street


5 Ways to Wrest Your Family's Health Back After the Holidays

Jan 03, 2014

5 Ways to Wrest Your Family's Health Back After the Holidays

In news sure to cheer families around the nation, Cheerios announced that it will no longer include GMOs in the beloved breakfast cereal. General Foods, the 73-year-old company that owns Cheerios, announced yesterday that the original variety will be tweaked after facing complaints from consumers and activist groups, reports the Wall Street Journal. 

Robyn O'Brien, mother of four and author of The Unhealthy Truth, took to her Twitter feed yesterday to cheer (sorry, we had to): "Thank you for listening to moms and dumping GMOs from your cereal." As we all breathe a collective sigh of relief over our breakfast tables, some of us still face nagging doubts about what's in the rest of our food supply. We worry daily about our kids' allergies, intolerances, and what's actually lurking in the food we buy. We know that since the '90s, when additives were added to our food supply to make production more profitable, the rate of hospitalizations due to food allergies has sky rocketed by 265 percent. 

Short of wringing our hands, what can we do? O'Brien has five tips for starting the journey of wresting our family's health out of the hands of corporate America. 

1. Find a friend. It's easier and way more fun to navigate this changing landscape of food with someone. We love sites like 100 Days of Real Food, which offers step-by-step plans and recipes (and budgeting guidelines!) for eliminating the processed junk from your family's diet.

2. Don't make perfect the enemy of the good. Small steps are all it takes. Set manageable goals for yourself--remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. A few of our favorite sites to help you get started: Just Label It, Healthy Child, Healthy World and 100 Days of Real Food

3. Start a book club (The Unhealthy Truth, The Omnivore's Dilemma), host a movie night (Food, Inc.; The Future of Food). Increase awareness in your social circle and watch it spread like ripples in a pond. If you can inform just one friend, do it! Or better yet, sit back and let the experts inform them through these books and movies. 

4. Host a speakers series at your child's school with nutritionists and pediatricians. Parents want the best for their children, and more often than not, they are just uninformed about what's going on in the food industry. 

5. Vote with your shopping cart. Everything you purchase sends a message to companies. 

For more ways to eat organic on a budget, check out this post. 

By Christina Anderson

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