Monday, November 8, 2010

Let's Talk Food

Inspired by a discussion began on The Itchy Homeschooler, I thought it would be a fun challenge to introduce the topic of healthy eating, or even just plain food, real food. In her post, Marlis talks about how out of the ordinary it has become to see a shopping cart filled with fruits, vegetables, beans and meat these days. In fact, it was so exceptional, that an elderly lady complimented her husband on his healthy habits. (My husband would have said she was flirting with him, had he been in his shoes, but then again, he's French.)

We have the same problem at the check-out that other people mentioned in the above post; the cashiers never know the names of our "exotic" vegetables like leeks, swiss chard or belgian endive. So why are we buying such weird food anyway? Do our kids eat this stuff? Sit down with a cup of tea (or red wine if it's past five), and enjoy the food adventure that is about to begin. If you eat real food or are on the road to doing so again, join in the discussion and share your thoughts. It may not sound easy, but it is worth every second of your time for the way you'll feel and the state of your future health.

When we lived in France, we ate French food, of course. Well, after I learned to cook, that is. Before that, we ate pasta, omelettes and Chinese food because that's all we knew how to make. I went to the farmer's market twice a week to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and meat and picked up things like flour, milk, yogurt and spices at the supermarket. I bought rice, soy sauce, bean sprouts and fresh litchis at the Chinese grocery shop.

When we moved to the States, childhood favorite convenience food came naturally to fill in the holes in my noon menu. We would have canned soup, fish sticks, frozen pizza, peanut butter and even hot dogs during the week days. A number of years ago, I came to the conclusion that we needed to stop all preservatives, which meant no more processed food of any kind. Ugh, "so much more cooking", is what it felt like. However, once we chose to walk that path, it became habit, just normal instead of drudgery. So much is in your attitude. We became healthier and our budget a little leaner. We continue to refine our diet, removing much of the sugar, eat a lot less grains, less dairy and more vegetables. Saturday is still pizza night and I still bake, just less often.

In this spirit, I thought I would offer easy recipes for those just starting out cooking for themselves and for those in search of a new meal idea, aren't we all? Please share your own meal ideas, my menu is starting to look old!

A word on planning; this is what works for my family. Please take the ideas that work for you and leave the rest. We have five children and little time to think about what to cook twice a day, so it works to have a weekly menu on the side of the fridge that we cook from. We use that menu to write a list each week for the grocery store. We usually pick up milk and produce another time during the week.

As for the children, there are a few things that help to form or reform their eating habits. Example is one. If both parents are on the same page, i.e. no one is advocating, buying or making extra food, it makes it easier. The other is household content. If your house does not CONTAIN any other food, they might eventually give up and eat the healthy food that is available, then again...some kids are very stubborn and very creative, you'll have to rise to the challenge of being equally creative, but not necessarily stubborn.

The first recipe is in the next post.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so looking forward to this series of posts! We've been trying to eat green lately, and we've been ordering Bountiful Baskets every week, too. Our family is loving the changes!


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