Healthy eating is a goal most parents have for their kids, but often, inconvenience and expense get in the way of their good intentions. Recently, registered dietician Joelle Lefevre and her sister, Mindy Dorff, started an on-line business called Yum Yum Snacks that makes organic eating easier for families on the go.
The one-stop virtual grocery store features organic food (with an emphasis on snacks) and meal accessories. There is also an allergy section for parents who have children with food allergies and intolerances. All of the food available on the site is free of high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, hydrogenated/trans fat, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), artificial colors and artificial flavors.
Lefevre admits that eating organically is more expensive. In some cases -- such as meat -- organic food is 100 percent more costly than non-organic eats. However, Lefevre feels it's possible if parents make a commitment to eating well.
"When it comes to our children, as parents we spend hundreds of dollars on activities, clothes, games, education and so on, but what we need to do is take a portion of that money and invest it into our children's health," she says.
Organic food is pricier because it costs farmers more to cultivate fields and feed livestock to meet organic standards. It's also a supply and demand issue. Lower demand for organic food drives prices higher to cover costs. As people become more educated, and organic eating becomes more popular, prices will inevitably come down.
For now, Lefevre has a few suggestions for parents who want to eat healthier, but are on a fixed food budget.
Cut back on junk and fast food. It takes time to maintain health, and if parents create time to make a meal plan and a grocery list of healthy snack items, it's less likely they will resort to drive-thrus and frozen pizzas.
"Take the time to get back to eating fresh and whole foods that aren't so processed," says Lefevre.
Buy organic sale items. Buying just the organic foods that are on sale at your neighborhood grocery store will barely, if at all, increase your grocery bill. Most regular grocery stores now offer a small organic section, and are always promoting certain organic items.
Commit to buying organic milk. Organic milk is hormone-free and higher in omega-3 fats, which are important for brain development in young children.
All of Yum Yum Snacks' products are taste-tested by Lefevre, Dorff and their kids. The sisters and their families live in the Oconomowoc/Delafield area.
"Meal and snack times should be healthy, but also tasty and fun. We are just two Midwest moms trying to make a difference when it comes to feeding children," she says.
Yum Yum Snack's Web site is yumyumsnacks.com.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.