When I saw this Australian advert that is part of a public service announcement (PSA), which forms part of a campaign to put a stop to the increasing incidence of childhood obesity, shows a mother drawing prepared heroin into a syringe and tying a tourniquet around her son’s arm before they bite into burgers. It ends with the tag line: ‘You wouldn’t inject your children with junk. So why are you feeding it to them?’ - I was rocked to my socks. It really made me think about the number of children who are fed really junk food on a daily basis and never get the benefit of good home made food.
There are excuses about busy working parents who feel that so long as they feed their children, no matter what it might be, they have done their duty as good parents. While the occasional "treat" from your local fast food drive through might be fine, it still does not substitute nutritiously balanced meals.
But junk food is not only food that you might get at Mac Donald's or KFC, it's also those ready meals which are sold in supermarkets. Many of these meals might look like "home made goodness", but when you see the ingredient list you'll be shocked to see that they have alarmingly high levels of salt and preservatives - "junk", none of which you would want to eat yourself, never mind feed to your precious child.
I have found a book by Michael Pollan, which I haven't read but am planning on buying. In this book Food Rules : An Eaters Manual, he states some helpful things to keep in mind when choosing good food from junk food.
Rules like :
- #13: Eat only foods that will eventually rot.
- #19: If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.
- #20 It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car.
- The best rule for me is : " Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.".
Next time you feel you just don't have the time - try this delicious Tandoori Chicken and see how how rewarding it is to feed your family something wholesome.
2 Pieces of Chicken per person (more if you have BIG eaters)
¼ cup of Plain Yoghurt per serving
Juice of ½ Lemon
1 Teaspoon Crushed Garlic
1 Teaspoon Crushed Ginger
1 Teaspoon of Dried Chili Flakes
1 Teaspoon of Cumin
1 Teaspoon of Dried Coriander
¼ Teaspoon of Paprika
¼ Teaspoon of Cloves
A good grinding of Black Pepper and Salt
Place all the ingredients in a ziplock bag and marinade for as long as you have - anything up to 24 hours is fine.
Pre-heat your oven to 220ºC.
Place the chicken in a roasting dish and roast for about 60 minutes, turning once.
Check it is cooked.
Serve with chips, salad, naan, bread or anything else you like, to make a good nutritiously balanced meal.