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A Mom Of Five Shares Tips For Budget-Friendly Whole-Food Meals

Autumn Michaelis, mom of five boys, knows it can be challenging to cook healthy meals the whole family will love. Michaelis says whole-foods-based budget family meals can also be beneficial and worth the effort.

Last month, Michaelis released Whole Food For Your Whole Family: 100+ Simple, Budget-Friendly Meals. Gluten-free, dairy-free, kid-approved, and budget-friendly, these recipes are quick, simple, and budget-friendly. In addition, a whole section of the cookbook is dedicated to lunchbox ideas based on whole foods.

Michaelis, who runs the blog and Instagram account, ‘Whole Food For 7,’ says she wishes this cookbook had been available five years ago. “This is for people who want to change their families.”

Michaelis’ family didn’t always eat like this. For years, family meals looked like packaged foods with added sugar that most Americans consume.

She recalls, “My kids started seeing my example and asking questions. Why do you not eat this way?’ I knew my kids deserved better.”

The change can seem overwhelming to Michaelis. She says, “My boys had a very narrow palate, and I probably empowered it, unfortunately, so I get the idea of, ‘How can I change the way my family eats when my kids barely eat these mainstream foods?'”

Make It Happen

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Throughout the years, Michaelis struggled with Where do I start and how do I maintain? She says, “I kept saying, ‘We’ll do it when school gets out or while traveling.'” The hardest part is sticking with the decision.

Engage Kids In The Planning Process

Engage your children in the process, so they do not think the change is forced. She formed a trial timeline with her family for the new eating habits. Everyone looked through cookbooks and Pinterest for recipes and foods they would eat or try.

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This motivation drove her cookbook: She wanted families to have choices, from garlic steak bites to pineapple whip.

Check Out The Changes

Michaelis polled her children individually to avoid influence from their siblings after their family’s initial trial period. All were pleased with the changes.

Michaelis said, “I heard everything from, ‘Mom, my skin looks amazing,’ from my 13-year-old who was struggling with acne to, ‘Mom, I’m finally sleeping through the night.'”

Michaelis says the energy in our family changed. “That one thing changed everything.”