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If you try to feed your foster care family a nutritious diet, you’ve probably come across talk about clean eating. However, you might not be sure what the words mean exactly. Don’t feel bad. There is no official definition of clean eating, and different people have different interpretations.

In general, clean eating usually focuses on consuming natural whole foods. It’s usually a good thing, as long as it doesn’t go to extremes. Use this quick guide to understanding the pros and cons of clean eating.

A Quick Guide to Clean Eating for Your Foster Care Family

Pros of Clean Eating for Foster Care Families:

Whole foods are a smart choice, and they’re central to the concept of clean eating. These are foods that are in their natural state or minimally processed, like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nuts and seeds. Clean eating also emphasizes preparing food yourself. Home cooking helps you to control the ingredients, and usually winds up using less sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, as compared to restaurant meals and takeout.

Cons of Clean Eating for Foster Care Families:

However, clean eating can backfire if you become too rigid. For example, you might label some foods as bad and start avoiding whole food groups, like dairy products. A diet that is too restrictive may be missing essential nutrients that are important for growing children. You also need to distinguish between ultraprocessed foods that are usually empty calories, and healthy foods that may have minimal processing. For example, a healthy diet can usually include frozen vegetables and breakfast cereal fortified with extra vitamins. Cost can also be an issue. While some whole foods like beans and oats are often good values, clean eating can be more expensive than junk food. As always, your foster care agency can help you find the information and resources you need to deal with healthy eating and other daily needs.

Are you interested in foster care or adoption in the Wichita Falls and Abilene areas of Texas? Contact us at 2Ingage. We’re a nonprofit agency serving vulnerable children and families.