As a special needs mom with 4 kids, convenience plays a huge role in my daily routine. I had about a three year block of time (2012-2015) that I had boxed up our cloth diapers and reusable bags and start feeding the kids foods with ingredient lists that looked like an essay written in a foreign language.

I was in survival mode at the time for very justifiable reasons. My natural preferences were put on hold and I don’t feel like I let anyone down by the choices I made. I share this because there is so much unwarranted pressure that is thrown on moms on a daily basis and it’s not okay.

My two cents? Trust your gut. You do what you feel is best for your family and then slam the door on all the unsolicited advice. That’s what has worked best for me anyway.

Soon after the storms of that chaotic season passed and the clouds lifted I realized my kids were eating way too much junk food. It was time to make some serious changes.

I knew cutting everything cold turkey would probably not be wise. My guess was that someone would crack under the unrealistic demands and run away. Chances are I might be that someone. So I decided to just tackle one vice at a time. Here were our top ten sugary offenders.

1. Juice

2. Chocolate chip muffins and cookies

3. Chocolate milk

4. Fruit snacks

5. Sugary cereals

6. Egos/poptarts

7. Gogurt

8. Granola bars

9. Break and bake cookies

10. Jelly*

We completely eliminated one thing a month and never reintroduced them into our home. Now, this excludes parties, going to a friends house, or a happy meal grandma bought. I am not afraid to let them have it as a treat, but I’m not buying this stuff and keeping it in stock anymore.

The project began January 2015 and we ended in September 2015 and haven’t looked back for almost two years. Ultimately I tried replacing each item with something healthy rather than some junk food loop hole. What I thought was impossible (like how could my kids ever forgive me if I take away juice for good) ended up completely manageable. Meltdowns are inevitable and I still have a 3 year old who hates all things healthy, but I think he’ll get there eventually. My older two went through similar picky eating stages.

Tomorrow I’ll explain the how and why of our little 10 month food project. I’ll also include details about the shocking amounts of sugar American children are consuming on a daily basis.


This post is part of the series “Captain of the Kitchen” where I spend 31 days blogging about how I run this ship called The Kitchen. Click the image to see more.



*I included Jelly, but I actually didn’t illuminate that until recently.