Take a look back to your childhood. What kind of foods did your mother/primary food giver cook for you and how do you feel it has affected your eating habits now if at all?
Personally, because of money problems, my mother made spaghetti about four nights a week and other nights she'd have a steaming plate of fried chicken cutlets, or meatloaf with a heap of mashed potatoes. This was mostly because my father was a pickyeater and would refuse alot of healthier foods.
Eventually, she got too busy to cook all together and bought frozen foods for me and my siblings to cook at our leisure.
Now that I'm out of my parent's house and married I find that I cook alot of fried and fatty foods and I feel strangely vulnerable if these foods are not present in my cabinet.
I was actully thinking about this the other day. my mom always cooked in lard. she fried everything that could be fried, and on the nights she didnt cook for us, we had either KFC or pizza. I think even our veggies, if we had any were fried. Even to this day, when she comes to visit, i wont let her cook for my children.
i know make sure my kids eat healthy, but they do get a treat ever second week, of some kind of resturant food ever second week.
My mom cooked mostly vegetarian foods, and a lot of hot dishes made with tomatoes, ground beef, and noodles. We had experimental dishes that didn't work out (lasagna with bean sprouts), and a few that were good (tofu cheesecake). As a result, I make a lot of vegetable-based dishes.
I didn't know what pot roast was until I moved out of the house. For a long time, I indulged in these "new" foods -- steak, pot roast, sausage, etc. I incorporate these foods into my diet, but I have cut back quite a bit.
I feel very fortunate that my parents always made healthy food for me (and still do, since I'm living at home over the summer ). When I was younger I was definitely a picky eater, and hated my dad's stirfrys and other "healthy" dishes, but now I actually prefer them to anything else! haha. We never have potato chips or a lot of junk food in the house - ice cream sometimes, but not every single week. I can only imagine how much more I would weigh if my parents had not made sure that I learned the right eating habits; it would make it that much harder to change my lifestyle now.
Another good thing is that they give me a great example to follow when I am a parent, and show that it is possible to keep your kids healthy without being too strict all the time. We NEVER went to fast food places (unless it was on a car trip and there was nowhere else to go) and I don't regret it at all now, though as a child would see how my friends' parents took them to McDonald's or Taco Bell a lot more frequently.
I think that the hardest thing is striking a balance between time, cost, and calories, all while not depriving your children - otherwise they will be tempted to binge on fattier foods.
I actually had a conversation with my mom about this over the weekend. My mom is a terrible cook. Horrible. The only thing she ever cooked was meatloaf, which no one would eat, we called it Alpo because it looked like she took a few cans of dog food, squirted it with ketchup, and stuck it in the oven. Mostly she "cooked" take out - pizza, fried chicken, etc. She never asked us to eat anything new, or anything we didn't think we'd like.
Then she married my stepfather, who is a very good cook. He insisted there be at least two veggies on the table at dinner, and we started eating foods we'd not seen in my first 12 years of life. Hello, broccoli!
In high school, I gave up meat and started learning to cook for myself. My pantry is filled with food that I like - and it's all good for me. Since my stepdad came into the picture, my issue has never been WHAT I eat, rather HOW MUCH.
Thank God for the food intervention from him, otherwise I'd probably still be eating junk and not knowing there was anything else out there!
My childhood sounds a lot like Bacili's....the only thing my mom cooked was pancakes and they were usually runny in the middle! Most suppers were Banquet chicken, tv dinners, smokey links and pot pies, most meals were served with white bread and oleo...yuck! I never had brocolli or any fresh vegetable until I went away to college!
The only disability in life is a bad attitude.
My mom HATED cooking, and my dad was often too busy to cook much (he worked 10+ hour days, whereas my mom only worked 8 hour days so she could have more time with me), but they were both good at it.
My mom had a few dishes that she liked to cook... pasta of course, since it's easy (she made big batches of AWESOME homemade sauce and meatballs), a lot of dishes that consisted of chicken or pork baked with some sort of sauce on it, a few casseroles, and decent macaroni and cheese. Mostly easy/quick stuff. She did slowly introduce more and more whole grain products as I grew up. Vegetables were always boiled or steamed (they put butter or cheese or whatever on theirs but I liked mine plain as a kid) and there was sort of a small list of veggies we all liked so we just rotated between them (it was usually green beans, spinach, or broccoli!).
I didn't really start cooking until recently, and I think it was because I assumed I'd hate it, too, like my mom. Turns out I kinda like it! I think the other bad habit I picked up from my parents is the typical American dependence on meat... I'm cooking a lot more meatless meals these days, or meals with just a tiny bit of meat, but it was a big change from growing up in a house where the meals all seemed to be built around meat!
My dad always made really balanced meals, with lots of veggies. He was usually the one to cook the meats he had hunted or fished for, and he did most of the grilling (my mom wasn't a fan of being outside). These days his cooking is heavily influenced by Central American cuisine (he lives in Honduras several months out of the year) and still pretty healthy. I try to cook like my dad as much as possible!
I was somewhat overweight at a young age, because I ate too much, not because it was unhealthy food. Most of my REALLY bad cooking/eating habits were picked up during my teenage years (when I was allowed to pretty much eat what I wanted) or once I was out on my own. But, that's also when I became more adventurous in what I'd eat, and started liking a lot more vegetables.
Hmm. There were always a couple "veggie" sides, and this was quite intentional. But, that was generally corn, lima beans, or canned green beans.
I don't think we typically had dessert every night, and fast food (or eating out at all) was infrequent. We had "sugar cereal" for breakfast once a week. You know, Lucky Charms or something.
Friday nights were frequently one particular meal - rice with milk (like cereal) and bran muffins. Obviously, that's a meal I don't do anymore
Meals I can remember having often: hamburgers, spaghetti, goulash, chicken/rice casserole, a veggie meat/mushroom sauce deal, a breaded & fried veggie meat and tartar sauce deal, haystacks (Fritos, beans/beef, lettuce, cheese, etc), grill cheese sandwiches and cream of tomato soup.
What a trip down memory lane.
I can't say I really do any of those meals anymore.
Started 4/14/08 LINK TO PROGRESS PICS 1/1/2009
"It is impossible to live pleasurably without living wisely, well, and justly, and it is impossible to live wisely, well, and justly without living pleasurably" Epicurus
Crazy cat, my childhood was very similar as far as eating went. Lots of spaghetti, meatloaf, baked chicken w/ skin and mashed potatoes. Sunday meals were always a treat though... some kind of roast or steak or something. My mom always made us eat a veggie with supper, so that's good. But my mom was always very heavy handed thing like butter and cream and gravy. Portion size was always a problem too. I think the worst of it was, however, that there was ALWAYS a dessert. She baked once a week... so cake, and cookies and dessert breads were always hanging around.
Don't get me wrong, I loved my mother's cooking. She's a fabulous cook, and when I visit, I very much look forward to eating her food, haha. However, it's exactly that now... a treat. When I used to eat like that every day.. that's why I got so big in the first place. I also took those habits with me when I first got married, and it took a while to break those habits. My mom used to always feed anyone who walked through the door... I think she kinda used food as a concrete expression of love. Unfortunately, that food=love mentality doesn't translate very well when trying to eat healthier.
Like many of you my mom was a terrible cook. Luckily my grandmother raised me and she was a great cook. She cooked every meal we ate, except for Sundays when we went out for lunch. I grew up in the south, so dinners were country classics like chicken and rice, lima beans with ham, fried okra, cube steak with gravy, fried chicken, pork chops with squash and onions and every meal came with homemade buttermilk biscuits.
We had a garden so every meal also came with fresh corn, slices cucumbers in vinegar, tomatoes with salt and pepper. I do feel lucky that I grew up eating lots of veggies and learned to love many of them raw.
As I have gotten older I have tried to go back to that style of eating minus the homemade biscuits and fried foods. I cook more now and try to incorporate lots of fresh produce.
My mom cooked a lot and even more so baked on holidays.
We ate plenty of veggies, although sometimes sprinkled with cheese, rice or potatoes and meat. Basically a meal was considered a meat, a veggie and a starch. Tortillas were generally always at the table and beans were often part of a meal even if meat was already an option.
Fried foods were generally not part of any meal although I think I remember my mom making fried chicken once when I was younger. My mom shares a love of bread and a bread binge wasn't frequent but I can remember a few in my childhood.
You can't out-exercise poor eating habits.
My mom's meals were almost always lean protein, vegetables, starch like rice or potato, and ALWAYS a green salad. Dad was a butcher and had lost a lot of weight eating in moderation and was very conscious of the problems immigrants had when they came to the US and were confronted with so much food, leading to health problems. The salad was always red leaf lettuce with other veggies sliced in and an oil and vinegar dressing. The veggies were generally lightly boiled, though occasionally in a white sauce. If I had eaten reasonable portions at meals and not been a secret snack eater I would have been just fine....... Sweets were her downfall too, and she always baked, so that is where the problems arose.
Oh yeah, we ate lots of salads too, almost every dinner. Carl's Jr and later Soup Exchange/Soup plantation used to be some of our favorite places to eat due to the salads. Although when i was young, I was a bit too liberal with the ranch dressing.
You can't out-exercise poor eating habits.
My mom cooked all the time, but it was generally unhealthy stuff.
She still cooks the same now. She often makes what I call "big chunks of meat with carrots and potatoes," Broccoli or cauliflower was always served covered in cheese. If we didn't have that it was canned vegetables as a side. Spaghetti, fried chicken, meatloaf, pizza, polish sausage... macaroni and cheese from a box with a few slices of extra cheese added. Always white bread. Sugar cereal for breakfast. Always had cookies and ice cream. She often made pudding.
And while I was growing up, my mom worked as manager at McDonalds, so when she was working evenings my dad would take us there for free or discounted food.
Now I usually eat a little high quality meat (I get grass-fed beef, organic chicken and wild caught seafood). Lots of vegetables (fresh or frozen, not canned). Whole grains when I eat them. Plenty of fresh fruit. And I like and cook international types of food... pretty much anything that isn't the standard American diet. I still eat pizza, but nothing like I used to have growing up, less cheese, more veggies, whole wheat crust... So I'd like to think I've generally recovered.