There will be a new focus for this blog:
Easy ways to eat a little healthier…
I have had increasing concerns about the additives in a lot of the foods that the boys are eating and I think it is time to start eating wiser. More and more reports about negative health links to foods are cropping on a regular basis that I feel I can no longer ignore their health risks to my boys.
For instance, my boys love their sausages, but “children who eat more than 12 hot dogs a month develop childhood leukemia more than nine times as often as normally expected“.
The concern isn’t just leukemia. Processed meats, like sausages, have also been linked with pancreatic cancer, early death, and brain tumours.
- Do sausages cause cancer? – Body and Soul
- Are sausages bad for you? – the Guardian
- Processed meat “early death” link – BBC
The risk can be as bad as being a smoker so it seemed ironic to allow my boys to continue eating sausages when I’m anti-smoking.
My boys also like chicken nuggets – especially the ones from McDonald’s. A video scrutinising McNuggets under a microscope convinced me to ban it. If you aren’t convinced, then check these out:
- What’s really in a McDonald’s Chicken McNugget? – The Healthy Boy
- What’s really in Chicken McNuggets? – Food Matters
What about other chicken nuggets? Unless it’s chopped up chicken dipped in batter, you can be sure you’re also getting all those unsavoury additional ingredients.
Okay, so if we can’t eat the nuggets from McDonald’s, what about the burgers? Well, it would appear that Jamie Oliver didn’t have anything nice to say about it – “Basically, we’re taking a product that would be sold at the cheapest form for dogs and after this process we can give it to human”.
Why would you feed this stuff to kids? That’s the question I have been asking myself a lot lately. I used to think that feeding fried foods to the boys was not a healthy decision but I didn’t think it could be that bad if we did it on occasion. Now I am beginning to realise that the danger is less about how we eat our food and more about what we put in it.
The aim is not to eliminate everything bad from my boys’ diets – it would be nice if we could but I’m realistic enough to know our family could not sustain that. So what we are trying to do is to be a little more discerning with our food choices.
For instance, even sliced bread these days have come into question. I remember when I was still in school, my brother left his sandwich in his school bag for a week. When he remembered to take it out, it looked like someone’s science experiment! These days, the mass-produced, commercial breads we buy off the supermarket shelves last so long that I have never seen any go moldy despite keeping it well beyond its used-by date. I’m no expert on food additives but that doesn’t sound good to me… When you look at the label, they contain all sorts of funny ingredients beyond the expected stuff you would use to make bread. If you want to know how bad they can be for you, take a look at the following two articles:
Just to be clear, this is not a health blog – you will still see recipes for desserts and sweets. What we’re trying to do is to go back to basics and resist the temptation to buy easy to eat, ready made stuff. Wherever possible, we’ll make our own snacks and treats so we can minimise the artificial food additives that our children are consuming.
Who am I?
I am not an authority but I have some background in health science and I did study nutrition as a subject in Uni. I should also add that I am not a chef – I have no formal training beyond high school home economics. I’m lazy and hate to cook anything that requires too much effort to prepare but I do care about my children’s health and I want to make sure they consume less chemicals. From time to time I might try to make them eat a little healthier, but I’ll largely settle for them reducing their consumption of artificial flavours, food preservatives, conditioners, and what not.
What will you read on this blog?
From here on forwards, we’ll be writing mostly about:
- making our own food
- making healthier choices when purchasing “ready made” food
- eating a “little” healthier
I don’t believe in extreme or radical diets because my premise is that if you cannot envision yourself eating that way for the rest of your life, chances are, it’s not a diet you will stick to for long. If you can’t stick to it, then it’s really pointless to start it. In addition, if it is going to be too hard to get the ingredients, or if it is going to require more effort to prepare it than you are willing to put in, then it’s not likely to work either. Given my laziness and limited cooking experience, you can be assured that the recipes here will be reproducible by non-chefs.
This blog began as my wedding blog so if you scroll back far enough, you’ll read about my wedding, chinese traditions and other miscellaneous ramblings.