In October of 2010, I heard the words “you’re pregnant with triplets”. Surprisingly, I never freaked out.
Never went into shock.
Never had a panic attack.
I instantly went into preparation mode.
Part of that preparation included doing everything possible to make the babies healthy and keep them “cookin’” for as long as physically possible. Once I got over the first trimester of non-stop nausea, I began eating healthier than my pre-pregnancy self: lots of fruits and vegetables and lean protein. It wasn’t a perfectly balanced diet (I hadn’t even heard of a real food philosophy at the time), but I didn’t use my pregnancy as an excuse to eat junk.
I truly believe that my sensible pregnancy diet contributed to the triplets’ wonderful birth weights: 6 lbs. 1 oz, 5 lbs. 2 oz., and 5 lbs. 1 oz. (let me do the math for you…that’s over 16 pounds of human!). They also had a clean bill of health and I ended up only gaining a reasonable and sensible 39 pounds during the 37 weeks of pregnancy. No, I don’t round up to 40. It was 39.
I didn’t breastfeed the triplets because I just didn’t think it was possible. I also feared that I would constantly be pumping or feeding to keep up with demand. My husband and I needed all the help we could get at that blur of a stage in our lives, and I was willing to take it in the form of a convenient little baby bottle and many feeding volunteers. Knowing what I know now about real food, I wish I had at least given it a shot. Because it doesn’t get any more real at that point in life than breast milk.
We did, however, make all of our own baby food from scratch when they were old enough to eat solids. That’s when I had a light bulb moment about real food: maybe we should ALL be eating better.
So, in the Fall of 2011, our family took the plunge to take baby steps to make a real food commitment (an explanation of how we define “real food” will be posted soon). My husband and I knew how hard we had worked to keep the triplets healthy during pregnancy and didn’t want to throw that all away by feeding them processed junk now that they were here with us.
We also knew that they would follow our lead on nutrition, so we had to walk the walk…not just talk the talk. Telling your kids to eat their whole wheat fig cookies would be a little tough to do while wiping Oreo crumbs from your face. Yes, it would be a tasty argument to have, but not very effective.
I would be lying if I said the transition for me and my husband was easy. It wasn’t. We acquired a taste for whole wheat bread and pasta instead of white. We said goodbye to many of the pre-packaged convenience foods we once relied on. The transition took time and effort, but eventually became our norm. I shudder when I think about some of the food we used to eat (keep an eye out for a future blog post/walk down memory lane).
That’s when I had another light bulb moment: by starting our kids on a real food lifestyle, they’ll never have to transition from junk food to real food. They’ll never know anything other than real food and hopefully their palates will develop so well that they’ll down right reject junk.
Our kids’ three plates have been our family’s motivation to eat right, eat well, and eat real.
I invite you to join us on our ongoing journey. Read about our struggles and our victories. We’re not perfect. I’m not a nutritionist or registered dietitian. But that’s why you will be able to relate to our story. I’m just a mom who wants to do everything in my power to make sure my kids grow up healthy. I know you want the same for your family, too.