Being Grateful For Access to Clean Food

i am grateful for every single organic, sustainable farmer

its early on thanksgiving morning, i’m watching the sun rise out the office window. i’m grateful to see the sky, we’ve been under cold wed rainy skies for days.  i forget how much i enjoy seeing the sky, the contrast between the clouds, the expanse of blue, and the sun being sunny.  i’m still wearing my pink glasses to make working on a screen less damaging to my neurology. sun rises and sun sets are always extra glorious through rose colored glasses!

i am grateful for the beauty of our universe. thank you for being so dang pretty universe!

the nawara farmers, i thank you

access to clean local food

i’ve been sourcing local food for my family for many years now.  in that time we’ve come to know quite a few of the men and women that grow our food and harvest the animals we eat.  i’ve come to learn how they toil, long hours, for not that much financial reward.

this makes me feel a bit throwupy.

we eat likes kings because of these men and women.  because of them, we have access to good, clean, non-toxic food.  it is high time these great souls were more highly valued in our community. they are our nourishers, our healers. but for their labor of love, we eaters would have no choice but to eat the frankenfood the big ag and big food companies produce. blech!

they protect the soil, coax vegetable nourishment out of crazy weather, provide animals a clean diet, raise and butcher animals humanely.  they do so with love, because they are called to serve this way, because they could hardly imagine doing anything else.  they remain connected to the earth, to the land, they understand how the elements give and take. farmers remind us eaters that there is no food fairy.  food does not magically appear at the grocery store.

while they don’t get much financial reward, they do get the reward of being the best stewards of the earth, and feeding their community with grace and love.

in my opinion these men and women, their families are royalty.  farmer kings and farmer queens, farmer princes, princesses.

i sure hope they continue to have enough paying customers who understand the real value of the food they produce to keep them in business. even when my budget is tight, i still find the dollars it takes to feed us real food.

small farms have oodles of obstacles to staying in business.  somehow, over the ages, some farms do manage to stay solvent, they keep practicing their genius, growing our food, mentoring the next generation of farmers.  thank you farmers.

how many farmers do you have?

have you had the pleasure yet, of getting to know the men and women who nourish your family? do you do your part to keeping these businesses alive?  do you thank these souls for their gifts to your family?

cathy, from sullivan’s happy heart farms, grower of the veg we ferment, and the eggs we breakfast on.

find a farmer’s market

we are now regulars at the farm stand near the heights.  when i first started shopping at farmer’s markets it felt like an inconvenience.  the “store” was only open a few hours on saturday morning. saturdays are always busy, there are big breakfasts to make, sports games to attend, slow relaxed mornings to accomplish, pushing off getting dressed as long as possible.  it was not my favorite time of day to go run errands.

4 years later, getting to the market is a whole different experience.  i know all the vendors.  their families.  i know the other regulars.  i want to see them every week.  i want to lollygag, taking my time to make my weekly selections.  i like knowing that anything my kids see there is free of chemicals.  i can keep saying yes to anything their tastebuds desire, as long as my pocket book allows.   i miss the market now when saturday mornings schedules don’t allow for the cross town trip.

most of all i like that my kids see that humans are behind food production.  they know that farmers create the food we eat.  they see that there is an alternative to the frankenfood they see all the time at big box grocery stores, school, at kid events.

i grew up knowing the difference between real food and packaged food, so it was a no brainer when it came time to feed my little ones, that i would choose real food.  i sleep better at night knowing that when my boys turn into adults and fathers it is very likely they will make the same decision to continue feeding themselves and their loved ones real food.

farmer’s marketing is a very good habit to start.  if you aren’t familiar with the markets in your area, you can find a grower, or market with the local harvest search tool.

i know we are going into a season where in many regions markets are closing for winter.  i’m just planing the seed for you all to start your habit when spring veggies are available.

happy thanksgiving everyone!  if you have a few moments, click through and leave a comment.  write your words of gratitude to the farmers in your life.

enjoy your day of family and harvest,

jenna aka food with kid appeal

matt the woodcarver, spreading his passion for his craft to the next generation. i thank you.

p.s. i like to do most of my christmas shopping at the market too.  because knowing the human that made the gift you give is pretty amazing. and farmer’s market traffic is 42938477% better than mall traffic.  in case you were wondering.

It is NOT normal if your kid gags or pukes when he’s offered new food


A child who gags at dinner.  Do you care.  An awful lot?

My heart is heavy you guys.  Four times in a week I’ve heard from a mama who has a gagging child.

OMG I can’t take it anymore. Mine is almost 8 and he still does this. WHY oh WHY? When does it end? Or does it?

Children who gag when new foods are introduced are big huge red flags.  Is this happening in your house?  I hope you are paying attention.  I know.  You’d rather bury your head in the sand.  Hope the kid outgrows it.

Dear mama,


Don’t do that!

your kid’s health appreciates it!


jenna, aka food with kid appeal


but the pediatrician said when he’s hungry he’ll eat

I’m not saying that some children aren’t engaged in power struggles with their parents, but if your child consistently can’t tolerate more than a few foods, and further, upon introduction of new foods, all new foods, gags or vomits, your child is in serious distress.  It’s my opinion that’s it’s not just emotional distress.  It’s my opinion that your child has some major digestive distress that causes his appetite to be so low, that he never really feels like eating.

Can you imagine that mama?  Never feeling like eating?  Like every meal was when you were full of fever with the worst flu ever, or a terrible migraine, or right after your dog died.  You get the picture.  Humans occasionally suffer from appetite loss.  But when humans are in constant appetite loss, what drives them to eat?

The other possibility is that the digestive distress has actually caused physical damage to the parts of the body that are involved in chewing and swallowing.  If your child favors purees well into toddlerhood (or beyond) this is a good sign that the child has anatomy issues that need to be addressed.

if your pediatrician insists that it’s a “mother feeding” problem and not a “kid health” problem after months and months of no improvement it is time to find a second, third, fouth opinion.

Just give it a shot.  If you withhold food for a meal or two, when kiddo gags and doesn’t eat, and he’s STILL not motivated to eat, I wager you have more on your hands than a power struggle.

mama, you are NOT crazy

If you have been dealing with a gagging-at-meals child for months, or worse, years, and everyone tells you that it’s simple, just do this or do that, then you probably feel like the worst mother of the year.

Ok.  Just knock that off.

Dig deep.  Use your mama instincts.  They’re there. You are NOT the worst mother of the year.  There is an actual real problem going on with your child and you KNOW that’s the truth.  The problem is that you’ve never solved this problem before and neither has anyone you’ve counseled for solutions, like your pedi, or your mother, or your sister.

Those folks have had their fare share of dinner time shenanigans and they might have solutions to those problems, but your kiddo’s problem is DIFFERENT. So it requires a different solution.

I’m here to tell you that you’re a good mama.  You’re still heavy hearted about this issue of feeding your child. You know something is. Um.  Not.  Right.

You’re still looking for solutions even though every solution you’ve heard of so far, and implemented, isn’t working.  Deep breath mama!

so now what?

Well, here’s the hard part.  There aren’t that many health care practicioners who are aware of the link between digestive distress and extreme feeding issues.  Your challenge now is to either find a medical practicioner who can help you, or figure it out on your own by doing research.  There is plenty of literature on line to look at, so start googling. Once you have some clues (hint: search leaky gut, gut dsybiosis, gut permeability), see if you can find a practicioner who is familiar with the treatment of these issues.

how do I find a practicioner?

  • Check in yahoo groups to see if your city has an “organic” or “raw milk” group.  people who are into either one of these things are more likely to use medical professionals who understand the link between nourishment and well being.
  • Check to see if your city has a holistic mom’s group.  Network with other moms. These mamas are likely to have referrals for you.
  • Visit the whole foods or local natural foods store in your area.  See if there are any referrals on the bulletin board or ask staff who they use.
  • Visit a farmer’s market.  Ask the farmers who they recommend.

why can’t i just bury my head?

Because if your child doesn’t eat real nourishing food, his brain and body are starved.  Starved brains don’t learn to potential.  Starved bodies to perform to potential.  Starved organs decline in childhood.  These things shorten life, worse, create disease.  Ack!

you can do this, yes you can

Ok. So.  I agree. This is a hairy problem.  It sucks that it’s not easy to solve.  Don’t fret.  This is happening in kitchens all over the country.  That’s a bad thing, but it also means that you and your child are NOT alone.  There is not some freak of nature thing happening to your child.  There is a resolution.  I can’t tell you what, exactly the resolution is.  But i can tell you that if you just keep at it, you will arrive at your destination.

Which is a child.  That can eat food.  Without gagging.

Believe it mama.  It can happen.

Spill it

What’s your story?  Leave a comment telling us your sob or success story.  I’m here to learn!  See what others have had to say (scroll down to the comments section).