During my Single-Dom years and dating I was surprised to hear that a lot females I met, couldn't cook.
Now, let me point out here, I didn't ask.
It appeared to be a default-voluntary comment as soon as they found out what I did for a job. I guess some sort of reactionary thinking that it was a prerequisite I was looking for in a partner.
Far from it. I enjoy cooking and would happily cook for them.
But nevertheless, this is how I came to the conclusion that many of these single Mum's I met, said they chose to eat from containers and jars and never really cooked from scratch.
A few of the things I heard about their family cooking regime was
- My kids have always been picky eaters
- Oh my kids don't ever want vegetables
- My youngest only eats pasta and sauce
- The only veggies I get into the kids is on a pizza
- As a single parent I....(insert reason here)
This confirmed the thinking I've always had about the state of our food industry and our behaviors surrounding it.
As a dedicated parent, I would unequivocally and without any doubt or thought at all, lay my life down for my kids. I would say most parents would too.
But far too often those loving, caring committed parents, those same parents who would put their own life on the line - turn around and constantly feed their kids crap - crap that could cause irreversible long term damage.
Just because of their acquired tastes.
Our delicate biochemistry needs a variety of different nutrients in order for them to starve illness and disease. I'm not the food police and say 'Don't have dessert at night', but just have better choices.
Now...some would argue being a Nutritionist that I don't feed my kids as well as perhaps I should...and I think it's okay to have a treat meal once a week, just not every night.
But I also ensure that they are well nourished through correct supplementation and good food but I don't allow a complaining 12 year old to manipulate me around her preferred eating habits.
I can make my point this way.
There's an story of a man walking to the shops. He passes a house with an old man sitting on his front porch on a rocking chair. Next to the old man was his dog. The dog was sitting down next to his owner and was howling.
The man didn't think too much of it and carries on walking.
About 30 minutes later the man walks past again and the dog is still howling.
He decides to stop and calls out to the old man on the rocking chair 'Excuse me Sir, I can't help but notice your dog sounds very distressed. Why is he howling'
The old man replies replies 'He's sitting on a nail'
The man responds 'Why doesn't he move'
the old man says...'He's not uncomfortable enough'
Will Kids Starve Or Be Malnourished?
When kids are uncomfortable enough they will eat whatever is in front of them. Kids won't starve and die if they don't like dinner one night because the veggies aren't covered in cheese sauce or served on top of a pizza.
Like the howling dog story. When they are hungry enough, they will eat. They will devour veggies too.
Creating good habits around cooking for children isn't that challenging.
It may seem a little draconian 'Tough Love' like thinking but when you see the diabetes levels rising globally, one has to wonder...is my child's eating habits leading them to disease?
1 in 4 children are overweight in NZ and the building blocks of health starts when they are young.
Consequently, we are building a nation of children constructed from the food industry's deceptively and, at times, deceitfully marketed high salt, loads of sugar and tossing of fat offerings of convenience.
How is that beneficial? How's that building strong Weet-Bix kids? You get my drift about food marketing right?
Heard It All Before.
I've heard all the excuses about feeding kids. Lack of time, money, finicky eaters, school sports and activities. But really when we look at our advertising and marketing of food brands, it's not so much about parents concerns over their well-being, a lot comes down to knowledge and education and just plain common decency surrounding food and our behaviours towards it.
We, as a society have been conned into believing that eating from packets and jars and all things 'convenient' is the norm, therefore it must be okay.
Well, it's not okay. It's killing us slowly. Literally.
It's fueling an entirely new generation of 'convenient eaters'. Our kids aren't growing up with knowledge on How to Cook from Scratch. They are growing up knowing they can eat whatever they like if they tantrum enough and can open a cardboard box, pour it in a bowl and nuke the living be-jeezers out of it is called 'Dinner', or 'Breakfast'.
We need to champion 'produce' and not 'products'. If you are having challenges with your kids eating veggies. Take them shopping.
** You'll need a bit of time here for this to work.
But start educating them yourself about what to look for in a vegetable or fruit. 'Banana has to have green tips and not be brown speckled in colour' and the 'lettuce must be crisp and cold' and 'tomatoes firm' but 'not green'.
Give them jobs around the supermarket - then give them jobs in the kitchen. Provide them with a few different recipes to choose from that are healthy and easy to cook (plenty on google) and ask them to help.
By involving kids in cooking they are 45% more likely to eat that dinner because they prepared it themselves.
Read up on my blog about Sugar if you would like to know more about hidden sugars.
Stand Your Ground
By not backing down to your children's preferred eating requirements means they are more likely to 'still complain' about dinners but are more than likely to eat better food when it's put in front of them - when they are uncomfortable enough (hungry)
By researching on Google about creative childrens eating will save you money and time when it comes to food prep.
Or you can simply Subscribe to us and you'll get fed the information about food and healthy eating for families.
Don't wait for the food industry to change. It probably won't. Learn how to involve your kids into the food prep and cook from scratch.
It'll take time to work but it'll be worth it.
There is an overwhelming volume of evidence about food and nutrients today. We can not get all our full spectrum of nutrients from food alone so to maximise our nutrients, our kids (as well as you) need to supplement. One brand I choose to stick next to is NZ's only Pharmaceutical Grade product.
USANA NZ. USANA Health Sciences
Follow on with the Links and Read Further information on
USANA Usanimals Multi for 2 to 12 year olds
USANA BiOmega Jnr. Fish Oil for Kids.
These are USANA Essentials. The essential nutrients needed to grow and develop strong growing bodies.
So if your kids aren't the healthiest of eaters, at least you know you're picking up the short fall and getting them topped up with optimal levels of nutrients daily.
For Adults. Try USANA CellSentials
Try this for Kids - Avocado IceCream
So just to prove I'm not such a party-pooper when it comes to food...here's a typical treat with a little bit of sweetness and essentials fats.
- 2 ripe Avocados
- Juice of 2 Lemons
- 3 Eggs, Separated
- 3 Tablespoons of Honey
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
- 1.5 cups Cream, Whipped.
* Mash avocado flesh with lemon juice.
* Stir in egg yolks, honey and vanilla over a low heat until creamy.
* Beat Egg whites until stiff
* Fold avocado mixture, egg custard, egg whites and whipped cream together, cover and freeze.
Any questions, please just ask.