Hi, I’m Carey. Welcome!
Welcome to my website about cutting out processed foods and teaching your children to eat Real food. I know that making the commitment to a Real Food lifestyle is not easy. It’s always good to know that you are not doing it alone.
About our Family
I am a Mom. I have four gorgeous kids, a crazy plumber husband (good thing he’s cute) and a small petting zoo in our back yard. If you are reading this, then I assume that you, like myself, are looking to clean up your families’ diet. I know raising kids is tricky in a world where temptation just ‘go with the flow’ to eat processed foods is everywhere. It’s tricky but doable. And definitely worth the effort.
Since 2014 our family has been eating Clean. What this means is that we choose Real food over processed food whenever we can. Food to me is more than just food on our plate. It’s about being aware of where the ingredients came from and what our choices mean to our health and our World. You can read more here on Why we eat Clean.
Changing what we ate started affecting other areas in our life. In 2015 we packed up everything, including our four children, one dog, two cats and seven guinea pigs (we set some sort of record here) and moved to countryside New Zealand.
We didn’t have jobs or a home lined up. It was a complete and total leap of faith! We made this move because we felt that we weren’t living the life we were supposed to live with our family. It was also one of the scariest things my husband and I have ever done.
Our family is busy, loud and loving. To sum it all up – we love each other, camping, home, the beach and animals.
How is all Started.
Our family didn’t always eat Real Food.
We began eating Clean when my youngest child was already 6 years old. Until then, I had never even read a food ingredient label.
We were like many families. Our kitchen was stocked with brightly packaged, highly processed foods that were an everyday part of our diet. My children were fussy eaters and we were lucky if we ate 1 or 2 serves of vegetables in an entire day. I bought food because I knew my children liked it, not because it was good for them.
I thought that what I was feeding my children was healthy. I chose the “100% natural flavor” and “Vitamin enriched” products in the supermarket. We drank fruit juice instead of Soda. I opted for the “healthier” cereals and muesli bars. I always bought low fat milk and fruit yogurt with real fruit (ha). Never once considering that my choices were being influenced by misleading food industry labels.
And because we made these “healthy” eating choices, I never felt guilty about the bag of crisps, sugar biscuits or all too regular processed treats I added to my shopping trolley.
The Turning Point
The benefits of cutting out processed foods and introducing Real food choices are massive. I wish I could say that our path towards eating Real food was sparked by an ethical decision. But it wasn’t. It was prompted by pure selfish motivation.
After my fourth child was born, I was unhappy with my body. I wanted to get into shape and stumbled across the Clean Eating Diet. Yes. Diet. I thought that Clean Eating could help me lose weight. And it did. Within a week, I was feeling great.
I was also reading food labels for the first time and finding out more and more about where our food comes from.
Then it happened.
One night, sitting around the dinner table with my family, it hit me. My plate was loaded with fresh green vegetables and real food. My children were eating oven ready chicken nuggets, mashed potato, instant gravy and a tiny teaspoon sized portion of frozen peas. They were all trusting that the food I had put in front of them was good for them.
I knew what I was eating but I hadn’t bothered to check the ingredients in the food that I was feeding my children. I’m not proud of this. And to be honest, it had been happening for years.
Did I wake up the next morning a great Cook with a pantry full of real food, homemade bread and veggie loving children?
No. I didn’t.
We had to make some big changes. Not everyone was on board with it and I didn’t have a clue on how to get started.
It wasn’t easy in the beginning. We were very much reliant on processed foods. We cleared out the worst foods in our kitchen and slowly overhauled the food we ate working on a Good/Better/Best strategy to replace the bad stuff with real food. I had to learn how to cook, shop and meal plan. For the first time we became conscious of where our food was coming from.
Looking back, there are things I could have done better to make the change a little easier. If you are making the transition to Real Foods, the number one tip I can give you is this Don’t try and do it all in a day. Start by giving the meals you already feed your family a makeover – just using Real food ingredients. Slowly introduce one new meal or ingredient at time to get your family used to Real food.
What this website is about
I started a little blog called ‘Clean Eating With Kids’ in 2014, about a month after we started to cut out processed foods in our home. There were so many ingredients my children just weren’t used to eating so to make the move to Real Food a little easier, I started putting together some recipes that were family friendly and that I knew I could fit into busy mornings or weeknights.
Clean Eating with Kids began as my personal online recipe book where I filed our family’s favorite real food recipes. I didn’t think anyone else would even read it. But they did. The more I shared, the more I discovered that there were thousands of Moms concerned about the food they were feeding their families.
The changes happening in my kitchen led to me wanting to make bigger changes in our life and home. Each week I share simple real food recipes and tips for simplifying the time spent in the kitchen and around the home.
Thank you for sharing the journey with me.
The best way to stay connected is through my free email newsletter, which offers a weekly dose of encouragement as well as links to all my latest blog posts and family friendly recipes.
You can also find me on Facebook and more recently on Instagram (which I am just learning to master – my teenage daughter is giving me tips on this).
Of course, if you’d rather contact me directly, you send me an email me at Carey@cleaneatingwithkids.com – I’d love to hear from you!