Any parent will tell you they experience guilt and this shows up a lot around food. The achievement of feeding our families is being undermined by ‘guilt marketing’. You feel guilty your kids aren’t eating enough whole foods or they’re eating too much processed food or you can’t afford organic ingredients. In the midst of my depression this overwhelming and often misleading information started to weaken my already fragile sense of achievement. Then one day I was making omelettes with Evelynne and Henry and thought about the powerful skills and life-lessons they were learning at my less-than-perfect table.
I asked myself three questions:
1) Are family mealtimes a happy and safe place where my kids can talk to us?
2) Do they learn life-skills when they help me shop for and prepare food?
3) Do they have a healthy relationship with food and eating?
Regardless of what we were eating I could say yes to all three questions. This was a huge turning point for me. Rather than beating myself up for sometimes serving up beans on toast I focused on the fact that Evelynne put the bread in the toaster and Henry stirred the beans and we ate that meal together and they knew that they were loved.
Millions of families in the UK don’t have the money, time or skills to cook whole food meals every single day. This doesn’t mean they are excluded from giving their children a healthy relationship with food.One Tough Cooker
Millions of families in the UK don’t have the money, time or skills to cook whole food meals every single day. This doesn’t mean they are excluded from giving their children a healthy relationship with food but it’s easy to feel that way when you wake up one morning and see fish fingers being demonized in the national press. As with most of life, BALANCE is the key. We have got to stop fearmongering about food and talk about the mental, physical, social and economic benefits of shopping for, preparing and eating food. Eating healthy foods is absolutely a vital part of feeding our families but we’re in danger of forgetting all the other things that benefit our bodies and minds when we cook and eat together. Your fish fingers, chips and beans shared over stories of your day has no less emotional worth than a fat-free, organic, wholegrain dish.