How many meals a week do you prepare, cook and serve your family each week, month and year? 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, equals 21 meals a week. We eat out on Friday evenings, so that number here is 20 meals a week, and then 1000 meals a year because invariably there are at least 2 weeks in there that I'm not or the Daddy is not preparing a meal. My kids haven't seen a food pyramid, but they know that each time they eat, a veggie, meat/protein, bread/cereal and milk are required. They know that My Grams would always run for relish when the plate wasn't colorful enough. We don't always get those necessary servings per meal, but when averaged out over 1000 meals a year, and who knows how many snacks, they are establishing healthy eating habits. I don't always serve fresh cooked meals, and there are WAY too many packaged items in our pantry, but they do know how to identify each vegetable, and that we rotate between rice, potatoes, pasta and cous cous as our starch servings. My parents are always discouraged that we serve only skim milk (farmers who owned a milk cow and served fresh milk while I was a kid). We drink at least one 16 oz bottle of filtered water a day AND I don't buy chips, cookies or keep ice cream on hand.
"You must be rich that you travel so much," people say. "Nope" - I think. It's 1000 meals a year prepared at home; healthy consumption of water each day; sleep and rest and unhurried playtime. No antibiotics in how many years? I can't count. Sure, we have cavities when we visit the dentist, but then again, you can get cavities if you are born with less enamel on your teeth than others. Exercise and competition are part of having 3 children withing 18 months. They all want the same thing at the same time and can't agree to take turns. But, we sit and eat our meals as a family at the table and work hard at being full, full to overfilling with good stuff whether it's in our spoons (what we eat), our ears (what we hear) or our eyes (what we see). These are choices we make (less for the mommy and daddy and more for the growing children), decisions agreed upon and a legacy learned.
Note to self: remember what http://www.ted.com/talks/jamie_oliver.html Jamie Oliver said about eating habits and health in the USA and the world, and what he learned while working with a village of people in West Virginia. Remember what his recent tv show demonstrated about using my garden for many meals and organically fed meat sources to build us. Remember that he first demonstrated how useful my "magi mix" could make my food preparation efforts less painful than years of peeling, chopping and needing.