I feel I’m in a constant battle with my kids, their peers, their school, marketing, holidays, and myself. This battle is won most days as I stand strong for what I believe in, which is nourishing my family in the best possible way I know how. I have carved this path of health for our family over the past 4 years and I fight every day to stay on it even when there are tears, tantrums, and judgmental surroundings. But you know what? There is something else I’m in a constant battle over every day. My children have not had the same experiences, classes, and research I have had when it comes to health. I am bringing a 4-year nursing degree, 13 years of nursing experience, and 4 years of Integrative/Functional Health studies to the table and they bring a 2nd grade and Kindergarten education to the table. How can I possibly expect them to pick a green smoothie over an Oreo when they haven’t had the same life experiences I have had. You know what? I absolutely cannot expect this of them. My true battle is managing that delicate line between nutritious food and non-nutritious food with my family. My family battles with this fine line each birthday, holiday, dinners out, rewards at school, and weekend dinners with friends that bring in the all-too-often processed, sugary treat.
Here is the thing, I want my kids to grow up strong, smart, independent, happy, and most of all healthy. I want them to come from a home rich in tradition and beautiful memories. I want them to learn about food like a hearty soup or gorgeous salad and how those foods can sustain and heal the human body and soul. I want them to honor taste, to enjoy food, and to never deny themselves the privilege of a homemade dark chocolate tart.
So, the Holiday season at the Jones house if full of happiness, health, and tradition. Christmas songs begin just a little before Thanksgiving! We transform the inside and outside of our house the day after Thanksgiving into a Christmas Wonderland. The first weekend in December is set aside for Christmas baking. My kids love fudge, thumbprint cookies, peppermint patties, pecan brittle, dark chocolate cake, and Crème de Menthe Bars. Alas, here is where the fine line comes in. Our fudge and thumb print cookies come from Danielle Walker’s newest book, “Celebrations,” and are made with no processed sugar or gluten flours. These special treats are made with nut flours, organic maple syrup, and raw honey. Our pecan brittle and peppermint patties come from Elana’s Pantry and have coconut oil, raw honey, and delicate spices in them. And then my dark chocolate cake and Crème de Menthe bars are old traditions made with sugar that my kids look forward to year after year. My kids will never miss a Christmas without making “Grandma’s Cut-Out Cookies with their beloved Grandmother in Iowa because we have balance and because we love tradition, taste, delicacies, Christmas, and our health. As my kids get older and more independent I want them to believe in food and health, and to sustain their bodies in the way they did when they were growing up… I also want them to bring Mom’s Crème de Menthe bars to their first holiday party!
(If you would like the full recipe, just let me know!)