What To Eat?

I grew up eating home cooked meals. I remember early mornings before school my mom used to make us porridge – until we begged her for Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes. She gave in with regards to the cereal, but she never did when it came to lunch, snacks and dinner time.

School lunches were sandwiches and an apple, orange or banana. Jam sandwiches. Cheese sandwiches. Peanut butter sandwiches. The odd avocado sandwich. My lunch box did not contain the snacks which are put into lunch boxes today (Goldfish crackers, factory-wrapped cookies, granola bars). When we noisily entered home after school each day, we always claimed we were starving. My mom offered a sandwich, a fruit from the bowl on the dining table, or if we were lucky a biscuit from the batch she had baked that day. I remember my sister opening the fridge to search for leftovers from the previous evening – leftovers she would eat cold or warm up on the stove.

And then there was dinner. Made from scratch. We used to help cutting onions (why did I always get that job, I wondered), peeling carrots, chopping vegetables. Never did my mom buy frozen food from the supermarket and warm it up in the oven. Lentils, macaroni, stew and rice, split pea soup and dumplings, spaghetti bolognese, ratatouille, pork chops and vegetables. I remember sitting in the kitchen with my mother, helping out or doing homework, while she made the evening meal.

Now that I have my own family, I cook from scratch too. Fresh produce is bought, chopped and cooked for our main meal. Each day I cut up fruit for my family so that they can eat this juicy sweet treat. For school lunches my children either get fried rice, pasta if we had it the night before, or sandwiches. For a snack they get some apple, grapes or a few baby carrots. Occasionally they get a packet of Goldfish (crackers in the shape of fish).

Why do I go to all this trouble when it is so much easier to get fast food, or the frozen meals that are found in the supermarket fridges? I do so to avoid the chemical preservatives and sweeteners that are added to these foods. If I do buy a packaged food in the supermarket, I look at the ingredients and often put it back. At times I do give into temptation and buy that box of biscuits. However I do try to keep the following slogan in mind:

eat fresh food

By trying to focus on eating fresh food, I am hoping to give my body the nutrients it needs – and not the toxins it should avoid.

Do you live by the above slogan?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

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30 thoughts on “What To Eat?

    1. I have now gone back to eating porridge. The unfortunate thing is one of my girls has decided she does not like it. Hopefully I will change her mind one day.

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  1. I always cook from scratch! I grew up with that and never ever gave it up! in fact, i make a strong point in the house not to get crap from the supermarket. all produce comes from the farmer’s market and is in season. during winters i prefer frozen veggies . but no pre-packaged meals.

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    1. Thank you Amy. I don’t bake too much either and really should get back to it as the shop bought cookies are too sweet – and have many other additives in them.

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  2. My mom always cooked us breakfast too. Sometimes it was porridge, and other days, it would be boiled eggs or omelettes. I cringe when i see my DiL giving her kids toasted frozen waffles with syrup, but I have to zip my lip. 🙂

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  3. Yes the poster says it all. We are working hard to keep processed foods out of the house. But it is a challenge (the younger son loves Goldfish!). I do keep organic low sodium Good Food Simple frozen burritos for quick snacks/meals. They are reserved for those times when we don’t cook because of time constraints. I have noticed that processed food just don’t have a “real” taste. With plant based or even grass fed animal foods, the flavors “pop”.

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    1. I agree. Taste does seem to have disappeared from processed foods – which makes sense as they have taken some things out and added sugars and chemicals. One can only hope that our example at home encourages our children to eat healthy most of the time – and that when they are older they will continue to do so.

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  4. we always cook from scratch too, and so do three sons and their families … how can people wonder where the obesity epidemic is coming from when manufacturers lure people with fat/salt/sugar laden rubbish? love your slogan, that is catchy! we are thinking of reading the book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us for bookclub next month … apparently the manufacturers call consumers ‘users’ as in addicted!

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  5. Lovely post once again Colline! 😀
    We love cooking from scratch too and surprising how cheap it can be as well and yes, healthy too. We love Oats for breakfast but I do love my Corn Flakes and what is better than fresh veggies and fruit? Thanks for sharing hon. 😀 *hugs*

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      1. Oh absolutely hon! Especially with the prices of things nowadays! They must think we all work for the government here in South Africa. 😆

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  6. I apologize, I’m a sinner: I once ate a packet of Goldfish (crackers in the shape of fish)…
    (and my cat a real goldfish out of our aquarium… – so she eats healthy at least)

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  7. My job was to peel and section grapefruit for our salads. It was a tedious job, but tasted good. I still try to eat healthy but don’t always succeed.

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  8. Hey TBM, sectioning grapefruit was my job, too!

    Dadirri7, I would go so far as to add that the combo of fat/sugar/salt is highly addicting. If you cut all foods manufactured with this particular combination of additives, especially those with high fructose corn syrup and replace this with wholesome unadulterated foods, an amazing thing happens. Your authentic sense of hunger returns. And your satisfaction with nutritious food returns without lingering food cravings which means that when you’re hungry you’ll probably reach for a banana or apple instead of a bag of chips!
    A co-student of mine a number of years ago researched this. She listed all the manufactured and prepared foods according to how much sugar/fat/salt was found on the nutrition label. Then she decided to use herself as a lab rat and eat foods lowest in these ingredients. She was amazed that she began losing weight. She was also shocked at how much sugar and salt was pumped into foods.

    And, Colline, I has many recipes for making porridge delightful with added nutritional value. Porridge is one of my fav breakfasts! If you like I can send a favorite your way.

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  9. Food truly “feeds” the body – well or not well. I am so lazy with it though – very basic, not adventurous and often too tired. The only reason I cook every day is because of my son – seriously.

    Yet, I really appreciated your post. Got me rethinking for us.

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