Last week I had the pleasure of hearing Robyn O'Brien speak at a lunch hosted by Stonyfield -- coincidentally enough, on the same day my post about nine small acts that can lead to big change went live on Stonyfield's blog. Given that small acts were top of mind for me, and following O'Brien sharing that prior to her transition to organic living she was as a neon-colored-yogurt/chemical-laden-chicken-nugget-slinging mom, I asked her about her family's first food steps. She shared the following excellent advice:
1. Be OK with gradual change. O'Brien admitted that it was daunting to look in her pantry following her food industry revelations. She decided to shift gradually -- her first priority was to switch to rBGH-free dairy. She then replaced foods with artificial coloring, and followed by eliminating high fructose corn syrup from her family's diet.
2. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. My therapist has shared this quote with me in the past (not easy for perfectionist types to stomach...) and O'Brien referenced the quote in relation to food change. The reality is that it's very difficult to control kids' food intake 100% of the time and she recommended just doing the best you can. For example, at home O'Brien's kids eat organic but she knows that at birthday parties and other events, there probably will be HFCS-laden candy and non-organics and they roll with it.
3. Move forward with a friend. I absolutely love this piece of advice, which is to find a friend to join you on the family food detoxifying journey. In my mind, it's similar to having a gym or walking buddy -- you hold each other accountable and help each other along.
I hope my 9 + Robyn's 3 tips above offer helpful fodder for small ways to implement change in your family food system. If you have other great tips, feel free to share below or over at the Stonyfield blog!