Although we endeavor to eat well, we are far from food purists in our home. I do cook a significant portion of our food from scratch, but we regularly consume ready-to-eat cereals, crackers, etc. I try to buy better quality and/or organic food as often as I can reasonably justify it. Since there are only three of us, it is easier to spend more on things because they don’t have to go nearly as far. I can buy a box of Kashi dark chocolate chip cookies for Caroline and they last a long time because they don’t agree with me and David just doesn’t seem to eat them. If we had four or five children, then I would probably never buy them.
Buying better food and eating real food does have its disadvantages though. One of them is financial. Once you become accustomed to eating real food that isn’t laden with chemicals, it is almost impossible to go back to the other, cheaper stuff. We buy Annie’s Organic Chewy Bunny Snacks at Costco as one of our “junk foods” because, like I said, I’m not a purist and five year olds like that kind of thing. (Okay, I like the purple ones, too!) I decided to try save some money and bought a couple of other non-organic kinds of those chewy snacks and nearly gagged. Same thing with the Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies. I tried to buy a different kind of goldfish or something and when Caroline tried them she found them revolting and wouldn’t eat any more.
What can I do? Tell her to eat the ones with more chemicals because they are better for our pocketbook? I’d like to find more ways to cut corners on our food budget, but at what cost? The options become either continue spending more or completely eliminating the item from our pantry.
The other downside is that when you try to revisit those favorite foods from your childhood, you find they just aren’t what you remember. I recently had an old-time craving for Jello Chocolate Pudding and Cool Whip. It was something I enjoyed when I was younger. I made it and was honestly really looking forward to it since I hadn’t had it in years. I could not even finish it. The chemical taste of the Cool Whip was terrible. I always make real whipping cream for us (and on very rare occasion will buy Redi-Whip) so we are accustomed to the real taste of real whipped cream. I could not believe how terrible the Cool Whip tasted to me. I threw the rest of it out.
I never set out to become a food snob. I simply wanted to feed my family better foods. But I find that the more we move in that direction, the harder it is to do anything but eat real foods. Plain yogurt blended with real frozen fruit? Yum. Presweetened yogurt? Gag. Homemade muffins? Yum. Sugar-laden boxed muffin mixes? Gag. To be sure I can still find some mixes that work for me. But they are becoming fewer and farther between.
So I’m guessing the beloved SpaghettiOs with Hot Dogs from my childhood are probably a no, too.