Hasn’t the world of healthy eating become boring lately. With all the emphasis on particular ingredients, exacting methods of preparation and overwhelming ground rules, there’s just not much space left for food to be fun.
Remember the good old days, when you could tuck into a piece of Sara-Lee cheesecake and just enjoy it? Not any more.
These days it has to be a homemade raw cheesecake, made with organic ingredients that you’ve sourced ethically then churned and milled yourself. And the results are yummy, but the method so onerous that some of the enjoyment seems to slip away.
Cooking has become the latest way to prove your superiority, your discipline, your martyrdom. Despite our luck at being surrounded by so much plenty, we apparently need to abstain. Food seems to have become the latest guilt stick with which we are supposed to constantly beat ourselves.
And beat ourselves up, we will. Because, let’s be honest – who has the time to live with such holiness? It’s just not possible in my real world.
For each post I read about some an essential health concoction that I MUST make for my kids to thrive, my guilt increases as I inevitably end up in the supermarket buying the Friday night fish fingers (not every week – just the crazy busy ones). And I’ve kind of had enough of it.
For a thought provoking read, grab a copy of “The Gluten Lie”. I don’t agree with all of it, but it is an interesting reminder of how food messaging has twisted. There is now so much fear and guilt around this whole topic. We’ve lost perspective entirely, as we get caught up in the specifics of tiny nutrients – as if particular enzymes or antioxidants are the key to a happy life.
Just enough omega 3 and all your woes will be gone. You’ll get that job, have nicer children, be sexier.
And of course it’s not true.
When I started this blog, my focus was to find recipes that got fussy kids eating vegetables and enjoying healthy food. And as the years have gone by, it sort of hasn’t been ENOUGH anymore. But what about fermenting vegies? Or activating nuts? Am I considering salicylates? What about protein supplements? And how dare I use a teaspoon of sugar to make something more kid-friendly? Don’t I love my children? Don’t I want the best for them and my family? Don’t I want happiness?
But it turns out that I am quite happy. Focusing on positive and inclusive attitudes to eating has changed two formerly-fussy kids into ones who now enjoy a huge range of good food. We eat with glee. We relish life and all it’s bounty. Basic healthy eating and home cooking gives us the energy to walk on the beach, swim in the ocean, huddle together in cafe booths (enjoying whatever treat we want). We talk. We fight. We piss each other off. We achieve stuff as individuals and as a family. We get stuck into life with as positive an attitude as we can. Because food isn’t the only way to happiness in our household – balance is.
And even as the wellness movement dominates the food world, the fact remains that only one in 20 Australians eat enough vegies, so it seems to be a shame that the basic, simple message to eat right, has been hijacked. In our quest for individual health perfection, we’re losing bigger health war.
For me, healthy eating has become too complicated. And it just doesn’t need to be. Just eat lots of delicious food, full of good stuff. Every day. With joy and gratitude.
Here’s five basic recipes that introduce a bunch of vegetables that can start your kids onto a lifetime of happy (and guilt free) eating… (click the pics to visit the recipe)