Fixing Poor Eating Habits
Consider your Childhood
The first step to fixing poor eating habits is understanding where you developed bad eating habits. I started down the path of poor dietary practices as a child. Not that my parents, my school, and society did not try to educate us. I chose not to listen. Instead, I followed what I experienced in life. In short, I chose my poor diet.
Typical Family Experience
Our family was average. Mom, Dad, three boys, and two girls. We grew up in a middle-class neighborhood. My dad had a good job; we had two cars and a comfortable house. We did things as a family like going to church, vacations, watching TV, and, of course, eating dinner.
What We are Taught
As a boy, I was taught “boy things” like sports, hunting, and fishing. My kitchen training was limited to the most “easy to prepare” items. It is not surprising that as a young adult, I followed this pattern of simple meal preparation. From there, I matured into a diet of fast food, packaged food, order a pizza. Never once did I enhance my skills in the kitchen. In fact, it was not until medical issues, that I began fixing poor eating habits by choosing fresh ingredients and cooking healthy meals. Although, it is certainly fun to look back at my childhood favorites.
Anything from the Chef Boyardee line of products was good. Again, this was a meal I could prepare as a child. A pan, a can opener, and a stovetop – You are done! Beefaroni® was my favorite variety.
Soup is another can, pan, and you are done recipe. I loved crushing crackers on top. Amazingly, of all my childhood foods, Campbell Soup finds a regular spot in my diet. While I prefer to make fresh soup, a simple can of Campbell soup is still a quick meal decision.
Kraft® Macaroni & Cheese
Macaroni & Cheese is where I developed my love of cheese even if it was imitation powdered cheese. Preparing this meal was a bit more challenging for an impatient child (Referred to as a Snotty Brat 😈 in my day) because it requires multiple steps to complete the meal.
Kraft® Velveeta Cheese
Today, you will not find Velveeta cheese in my kitchen, but as a kid this hunk of yellowish imitation cheese was magical. Grilled cheese sandwiches, melted cheese on burgers, and cheese on crackers. Adding Velveeta to macaroni & cheese was an extra special treat.
Banquet® Boil in a Bag Meal
These items were from a pre-microwave era. They were handy because even as a child I could prepare the meal. Who did not know how to boil water? They were also dangerous. I cannot tell you how many times I burned my fingers. Chicken ala King and Salisbury Steak were my favorites.
Banquet® Pot Pies
Another item from the pre-microwave era. Again, a simple thing to prepare but I am sure my parents cringed at the thought of allowing their children to use the oven. Images of the house burning down must have crossed their minds. 😯 Chicken pot pie was my favorite flavor.
Dinty Moore® Beef Stew
As a family, we rarely served Dinty Moore Beef Stew. However, as a Boy Scout, Dinty Moore was a staple of countless camping trips. In the scouts, we wanted to swing an ax, build fires, and tie knots. On camping trips, food choices and meals are usually in the category of “Dirt Simple”.
|Dinty Moore Beef Stew, 20oz Cans (Pack of 3)|
Other Notables from my Childhood
- Wonder® Bread
- Jif® Peanut Butter
Fixing Poor Eating Habits
I gained my appreciation of fresh, healthy diet relatively late in life. I am living proof that your upbringing plays a significant role in your food choices later in life. Don’t get me wrong. Our mother cooked healthy nutritious dinners. My sisters became fabulous cooks. However, the boys in the family never learned good kitchen skills. With the blurred gender lines these days, I encourage parents to teach all their children (boy or girl) to participate in family meals.