Read about being a mother of 12 as our resident 'Supermom' shares her wise parenting advice.
Visions of frost-bitten pizzas dance in my head
If you're like me, you always seem to find yourself gravitating toward the frozen section of your supermarket, to see what new and tempting offerings are on display. Visions of frost-bitten pizzas and breaded fish sticks dance in my head as I contemplate the contents of my wallet and do a few quick calculations. My kids love all that stuff, and I like the ease with which they allow me to toss off a meal; but I know that no matter what claims appear on their labels, these convenience foods are cheating my family in many ways.
Convenience foods rob us of nutrition: Fat and carbohydrates substitute for fresh vegetables, whole grains, and protein. Brown rice, beans, and vegetables are cheap and nutritious. Frozen food stuffs suffer from a deficit of nutrition.
I've been robbed
Convenience foods rob our wallets: Convenience foods cost more than the same dish, prepared by you. Also, for what it costs to buy a couple packages of frozen whatever, you can prepare several home-cooked meals.
Becoming a culture vulture
Convenience foods rob our kids of their ability to judge food on its merits alone: Kids learn to prefer convenience foods for a variety of reasons, some of which have nothing to do with the actual food. For example, perhaps they have been bombarded by a televised advertising campaign for this product, featuring a beloved cartoon character. Also, eating convenience foods will not train your children to appreciate fine cuisine. Learning to appreciate fine food is as important as teaching your child the rudiments of art and music. If you serve your kid Hamburger Helper on a regular basis, don't expect him to become a culture vulture.
Convenience foods rob our children of their ability to appreciate what you've produced by the sweat of your brow and with much love for them. Farmer's wives always took pride in presenting a groaning board, piled high with home-cooked, hearty food made from produce grown right at home. What does it teach our children to witness us as we procure food from the frozen section of the supermarket, whipping out a wallet to pay for something we stick in the microwave for a couple of minutes?
On the other hand, if you keep convenience foods in their rightful place, as a once in a great while treat, on a day that has been more than a little bit hectic, you don't have to feel your pulse; you're doing just fine.