“I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” – Jesus

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This post is for those who have felt guilty for:

Not feeding their children organic foods…

or gluten-free…

or only farm-raised, cage-free, antibiotic free meat and eggs….

or veggies right from your backyard garden.

Instead, you occasionally feed your children…

processed food…

food that comes in a box with more than 5 ingredients….

Genetically Modified (GMO) corn, soy, ….

gluten…Yes…gluten…

chicken from the grocery store that’s frozen…

veggies and fruit that are not organic because you can’t afford those other ones….

fast food because you have worked hard all day meeting all your children’s other needs that you didn’t have time to make dinner from scratch….

ice cream for dinner.

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Can I tell you a secret… I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, and I confess to feed my children all the big ‘No-No’s” above.  And I have felt Mom Guilt over not feeding only organic foods and only farm-raised, cage-free, antibiotic free chicken and eggs. I don’t have a garden, and I don’t buy ANY organic fruits and vegetables. Yep. Gasp.

But then I stop and think about what I do feed my children, why I feed my children what I do, and am reminded that there is something more important that they need than food itself.  And I don’t feel guilty anymore.  Want to stop the guilt? Let’s see what Jesus has to say about food:

“Meanwhile [Jesus’] disciples urged him, ‘Rabbi, eat something.’ But he said to them
I have food to eat that you know nothing about.’
Then his disciples said to each other, ‘Could someone have brought him food?’ Jesus said,
My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.  ~ John 4:31-34

This conversation between Jesus and the disciples came immediately after Jesus met with the woman at the well in John 4. It was hot, and they were hungry. The disciples urged Jesus to eat before traveling on again to Galilee. I can relate to this as a dietitian; I teach my clients how to meal plan and to be prepared so they can make conscious choices in the case of the unknown. And as a mom, I make sure that my kids are nourished and fed before heading out the door because  who wants to hear a child wining over and over again, “I’m hungry!”

However, Jesus had another lesson to teach about spiritual nourishment right after talking about giving living water to the woman at the well. Jesus’ food has more nutrition and substance to fill our bodies than any physical food we can eat. Yes, any food, including the cage-free, antibiotic free chicken or organic veggies. We tend to put too much hope in these “natural” foods. The food industry has made us convinced that our children WILL be healthier, and live longer and happier lives.  Some sacrifice financially to pay for the organic. Or drive a little farther to Whole Foods. Or even chase around their own chickens!  I think that’s awesome!  However, for me and my family right now, we CANNOT do these things. I have learned to be content rather guilty and focus on what I CAN do to feed my family the best I can, and trust that God will provide all our needs, including our health.

Yet, I’m not putting my hope in physical food. I want to give my children the food that Jesus provides that cannot be found in this world, or even my own backyard. Jesus found nourishment, fulfillment, and joy from doing the will of His Father, God, and completing the work that His Father sent Him to earth to do: to seek and save the lost, you and me.

Therefore, instead of stressing about which product MIGHT give my child more nutrients, my main focus should be to ensure that my children are spiritually fed: teaching them about the Bread of Life, Jesus.  However, I am quickly learning that I cannot do this if I am spiritually dehydrated. I become spiritually dehydrated if I am being fed on the theories and views of the world, Hollywood, government, TV, Facebook, mommy blogs. What goes in will come out. Colossians 2:8 says, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” This food is toxic and destroying. I will not be doing the will of God and completing the work He has called me to do if I am held captive to the worldviews in this day and age, including what the food industry, the newest food fad, even health professionals try to stuff down my throat if it is leading me to be obsessed and worried.

Instead, spiritual satisfaction and fulfillment comes from eating the food that Jesus offers.  I need to be daily reading, studying, memorizing God’s Word and hitting my knees in prayer. However, it doesn’t stop there. I need to then take the next step of applying the Word and living it out into my daily life. My children are watching. And if my phone looks more interesting, then I’m feeding them the junk of this world.

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What I am feeding my children spiritually is more important than what I’m feeding them physically. However, that doesn’t give us a free pass to eat what we want. God has provided us physical food to give energy and nutrients for our bodies to function properly. Your children need to eat to live. However, they also become what they eat.  If you feed your kids junk, their bodies will become junk, sluggish, obese, fatigued. You will kill them slowly.  Or more likely, faster. These next generations of kids are dying sooner than their parents because of being hit with obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.  “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) I believe that we cannot be glorifying God and doing the work He sent us to do if we are sick and can help it or…if we are dead!

What are you physically and spiritually eating today?  What are you feeding your children?  My hope is that you remove any guilt with what you feed your children physically, and start focusing more on what you feed your children spiritually. After all, my prayer is that Kherington and Damon are passionate about Jesus and experience joy only found in Him, rather than become the healthiest and “happiest” kids without an eternal hope in Jesus.

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Varvelicious Videos are Up!

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I hope you have read about the exciting news of my family’s new YouTube Channel, called Varvel Insider. As I said here, my dream is coming true of combining my knowledge of nutrition with Brett’s skills in filmmaking.

Varvelicious is up and running with 2 new video posts.

The first is on getting your kids to eat fruits and veggies.  Watch the video here: Fruits & Veggies

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The second is my thoughts on Fad Diets.  You see them advertised all over social media, and it truly is frustrating to know what works and what doesn’t.  Listen to my advice on what to look out for: Fad Diets

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I don’t have a lot to say in this post, other than go check out my 2 videos!!!  And while you are over there on Varvel Insider’s page, don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE.

Is there a specific nutrition topic or question you would like to know?  Comment below or on the YouTube video page!   I’m writing the next video scripts now!

Hope you enjoy the videos. My goal is to help give “nutrition advice for your body and your soul.”

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{From Where I Stand} A Favorite Fall Recipe

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On Monday night, I had a Jamberry Nails party.  If you haven’t heard of it before, you need to check them out!  Better yet, go to my friend Roxanne’s website here and I can get hostess credit if you make an order through Friday, October 3rd! 🙂

So I needed something quick and delicious for a party snack. I tried this pumpkin dip last year and we loved it!!!  Dip apple slices and graham crackers.  I have to admit we even eat it by the spoonful!

There are only four ingredients:

IMG_0172And I put Kherington to work!  Starting this summer she has been very interested in helping me cook. Even thought it takes a little longer to prepare dinner, I love that she wants to help me. She comes into the kitchen, pulls over the chair and stands up right next to me saying, “I want to help Mommy!”   For all the other Mommy’s out there with toddlers, this is a great time to start teaching about food and healthy eating choices!   Don’t shoo them out the kitchen or put in a movie like I used to do {guilty}!

Pouring the 4-serving Vanilla JELL-O pudding packet with the can of pumpkin.

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Kherington loves to smell everything. She’s smelling the 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice.

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Scooping in the 1 tub of Cool Whip. Oops..missed the bowl!

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She had to stop and take a lick of the Cool Whip!!!

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Once mixed, of course we had to taste test!!

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Mmmm. Kherington and Mommy approved!

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When finished, don’t forget to lick the spoon! No raw eggs here!

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For another Fall favorite recipe, see what Stephanie is cookin’ up here!