This is the typical conversation most mornings and sometimes at weekends during snack time, between my wife and my 4 year old daughter.
“Mum, I’m hungry.” “What would you like to eat?” “Egg sandwich.”
She wants a fried egg, cooked in a small dab of virgin olive oil over moderate heat with a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper in a sandwich of freshly baked wholegrain homemade bread. I introduced her to eggs when she was a toddler. Eggs are easy to chew and should be part of a daily diet given to any child of one year old or older. I remember when my daughter as a toddler would eat the egg white first and then pop the whole yolk of a hard-boiled egg straight into her mouth. I still remember when I was a child and my mother used to give me a hard-boiled egg whenever I was hungry. What happened to the good old fashioned days when eggs were given as snacks?
Today, we live in an addiction-prone society. Of all the addictions out there, one of the most deadly is one that is most often overlooked: Junk food. We feed our kids junk food everyday without realising it. We are all guilty of doing this. It is easier to pull out a bag of crisps when a child is hungry rather than have them suffer pangs of hunger. This practice is acceptable for the rare occasions but the problem with our society is that we use this kind of junk food as a common everyday snack.
Did you also know that processed food is junk food? The first image that comes to mind for most people when they hear the term “processed food” is a wrapped burger and a sleeve of fries served over a counter at a fast food joint. But the truth is the very food you have in your cabinets is processed if it’s boxed, bagged, canned or jarred, frozen or dehydrated and has a list of ingredients on the label. Processed foods have been altered from their natural state for “safety” and convenience reasons. Processed foods are more convenient, it’s so much easier to bake a cake by opening up a box, pouring out a dry mix, and adding an egg and some oil than starting from scratch. Instead of making a dish with fresh ingredients, why not pick up a ready-made meal from the store? Isn’t it easier to just pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes? No pots and pans, no mess! But processed food are laced with colours, those are often inedible, carcinogenic and harmful to the body. Studies have found that food colouring can cause hyperactivity and lapses of concentration in children. Chocolates, colas, flavoured drinks and snack are full of artificial colouring. These are not the only additives in processed foods. Don’t forget the refined salt, sugar, preservatives, flavour enhancers and other so called “beneficial supplements”. Children are especially vulnerable to these unnatural ingredients. Poor …