From the very first Suppers meeting I attended, I’ve made it a point of relaying the information I learned to my husband and two kids. I especially wanted to make them understand that a lot of the processed foods we eat are very unhealthy and addictive. At our meeting we had reviewed a book that describes how sugar affects people’s brains, so I impressed on them how drug-like junk food is. After about the fifth meeting, my seven-year-old daughter, Katie, decided to confide in me about how she was feeling in school. She said that she would secretly eat some of her snack before lunch because she felt very hungry and she had a headache. She also felt guilty about doing this. Katie’s schedule is as follows: she gets picked up by the bus at 8:30 a.m., has lunch at 11:15, and snack at 2:30 p.m.
I read about the breakfast challenge and decided to try it on Katie and my five-year-old daughter, Sarah. The timing was perfect; my seven-year-old was already giving me important feedback that matched what we were learning at Suppers. I told Katie that we were eating food for breakfast that couldn’t carry us all the way to lunchtime. I asked her if she would participate in an experiment to test different breakfasts and see if we feel well all morning. I told both my kids that we’d start with turkey chili for a few days and see how we feel.
The first day of the breakfast challenge was Saturday. I thought Saturday was a good day to start because they had a 45-minute swimming lesson before lunch. If they could stay satisfied until lunch then the chili was a good breakfast for them. We ate the chili at 9 a.m. and they still felt OK by noon. We ate chili on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Each day I would ask Katie if she was hungry before lunch or if she had a headache. Each day she would say that she felt good, had no headache, and didn’t have to eat some of her snack before lunch. We never even tried the other options on the Suppers breakfast challenge, we hit it right on the first day. My children just don’t do well on cereal at the beginning of the day. They need a meal.
We were lucky to have such a good experience with our first experiment. The next thing I plan to tackle is healthier snacks. This will be a different kind of challenge because my kids spend a lot of time with their cousins, who have terrible eating habits. So far the girls have managed to stick with the fruit and veggies I provide even when their cousins are having chips and cookies. I’m so glad we made these changes while they are still young enough to influence!
I’m very grateful for what I’m learning at The Suppers Programs. Without this knowledge, I would not have been able to educate my family and Katie would not have thought to tell me about her headaches at school.
Lora’s Breakfast Chili
2 lbs ground turkey
2 cans kidney beans, or other preferred beans
1 jar salsa that contains no sugar
1 jar tomato sauce that contains no sugar
Up to 4 cups low-starch vegetables like peppers or cabbage, chopped
1 TBS chili powder, if desired
Salt to taste, if permitted
Place enough olive oil in a soup pot to coat the bottom. On medium heat, brown the ground turkey. Add drained kidney or preferred beans. Add salsa, tomato sauce, and chopped vegetables. Depending on the amount of liquid in the salsa, you may need a little water. Add salt to taste, if it is not restricted for you. Simmer until the water steams off and it is the desired consistency, about 1/2 hour.