I have a super love-hate relationship with food.
All of us need food; for energy, for nutrients, or for comfort. How nice if we can eat all the nice and yummy foods all to our hearts content. But the problem with food is that it adds bulk, and yummy foods tend to create all the health problems. “You are what you eat” cannot describe this better enough.
As a SAHM now, I tried to take it upon myself to prepare home-cooked meals for Dear1, Baby1 and Baby2. They say home-cooked foods are healthier as you know what you put into the food. I say, provided you choose to put only wholly organic, wholly unseasoned, and wholly unprocessed foods onto your plates. Theoretically, this sounds like an awesome healthy plan; practically, you’ve got no idea how tedious this is!
99% of whole foods taste bland without any seasonings. “Is the food nice?” is a very subjective question, and nowadays I find it meaningless to ask this question. If the food is nice, it’s probably because of the ample amount of seasonings used to bring out the flavour; if the food is not nice, it tends to be healthier because less seasonings are used but most people will shun and go “bleh”. The most depressing role of a SAHM is when you spend efforts to cook up a healthy meal, only to get rated “thumbs down” by Baby1 and Baby2 for blandness. You only deal with 3 customers day-in-day-out everyday, and only Dear1 is supportive of natural sweetness, so that’s pretty demoralising KPIs. Letting the kids eat their favourite wonton mee from the market everyday sounds like a more sure-proof way to get them to finish their meals fast, everyday.
To get the kids to appreciate food (or the efforts used in preparing food), we’ve recently started to get them to say thanks at the dining table. The one thing that I like about Korean culture is, they always say thanks. Thanks to the person who spent efforts to prepare the food, and being appreciative of the food (I mean, how fortunate that we get food, what’s more yummy food on the table; think about the poor people in third world countries). The kids are just getting the hang of this. Hopefully this makes them appreciate food + effort more, and don’t waste food.
Recently I’ve also started to teach Baby1 to cook too. Since young, she likes to play with cooking toys, so instead of playing, let’s do some real cooking! It’s heartening to see how eager she wants to do all the hands-on work, and the pride on her face when we say thanks to her (only) when she single-handedly prepared her first ever roast pork long bean rice for dinner. She’s fascinated watching MasterChef Junior too, but I’m not entirely prepared for her to be one yet; can I trust her to handle all the sharp cutting, hot oils and pans, electrical appliances, as well as food hygiene?
You are what you eat. I know, I should cook more at home, cos it’s really hard to achieve the healthy plate when you eat out. It’s so convenient to dabao, especially when food is literally available right across the road. Hawker food tends to be loaded with more carbo and flavourings, so home-cook can better achieve that healthy plate of half fruits and vegetables, one quarter proteins, and one quarter carbo. PM also says we need to tackle the problem of diabetes, so I guess we really need to change our mindset of eating bowlfuls of rice/ noodles, and exercise more.