Dani went off to work and we had a quiet morning – getting up slowly and pottering. Pearlie is deeply engrossed in another My Story book – set in a Victorian workhouse. Leo is ploughing through several Horrid Henry and Geronimo Stilton books each day at the moment. I also read a bit of The Lost Barkscrolls to Leo.
After lunch we got the bus over to a peaceful branch library that also has a toy library. I wandered around stocking up on all sorts of stuff – a Doctor Who jigsaw, an A to Z animals board game, some poetry, a book of local ghost stories, and one of those harrowing life story books that seem to be everywhere these days. I picked that up because the author was born in the same month and year as me. Such has been the peace and calm around here that I have finished it already!
The kids sat in the library reading for an hour or so and then we went off to pick up a bit of shopping. We got home using two buses and P helped me with the shopping bags as I’d ended up somewhat overburdened.
This evening has been Cluedo for Dani and the kids and I’ve been to the adult swimming session at out local pool. The adult swim session is silent and purposeful – lovely. I swam for half an hour and got home in time for bedtime stories.
I’ve been pondering food a bit today – after reading about how kids are rejecting the Jamie Oliver menus in droves and hearing an item on Radio Four about the death of home economics in schools. I can’t say I ever learned anything useful in the way of cookery at school. I did have some home ec lessons. All I can remember is that there were two home ec teachers – who looked like Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker. Oh, and they got us to make quiche using flan rings instead of dishes and I had a little hole in my pastry – out of which all the egg stuff escaped and baked onto the tray…
I learned all the basics of cooking from my mum – like a lot of other people, I guess. A school set up was useless for cooking – all very slow and laborious while we watched a display, fiddled about following instructions and then took wizened food home in a Tupperware box. At home I learned by doing – pastry, cakes, roast spuds, white sauce – basic stuff. Never did learn how to cook meat, which made adopting a veggie lifestyle easy later on. When I first left home I wasn’t a veggie but lived a veggie diet by default – with occasional tins of tuna and drunken hot dogs from the dodgy van!
My own kids (P more than L) really like food to be simple. I don’t understand why people think that healthy food for kids has to be complicated – like the Jamie Oliver meals. I suspect that stuff like baked spuds and sandwiches would be quite popular and easy to make healthy and varied. My own kids happily eat five or more fruits and veggies a day (usually!) – but they often eat them as separate things – apples, bananas, oranges, peppers, cucumber, carrots, peas, green beans, broccoli, plums – loads of stuff but all separate. Leo likes a sauce (he ate one tonight with courgettes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, black eye beans and green pepper) but Pearlie won’t touch such stuff. She ate the brown rice we were having with peas instead of the sauce– and a side order of grated cheese. Because her meals are less filling than ours (because there are often elements she doesn’t like) she snacks loads too. Tonight she made herself a four decker rice cake and cream cheese sandwich and a yogurt, which she ate before bed. Leo just snacks loads as well as big meals!
I do think that there seems to be a problem with kids and eating in this country. But I wonder if the obesity levels aren’t more affected by the fact that kids aren’t walking and playing out regularly than their diets. Our kids are really skinny ones, which I guess is partly genetic (we were both skinny kids – not so skinny now!) but they do get loads of exercise just because we don’t have a car. Probably why I don’t worry that P has eaten two iced doughnuts today! Erm , not sure if that’s how it works…