Real food + GG Bread Revolution

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There are few things I feel more strongly about than feeding my children “real” food (reading to them being the other).

Bare with me as I tie a few thoughts together here …..

If you have been around these parts a while or you know me, you’ll know I have a reputation for being organised. I have in no way been that way my whole life. I taught myself to do that. Some people like a bit of chaos but me, I like making “room” for chaos by taking a whole heap of guess work out of things by way of planning our meals and our shopping, thinking about when I can fit chores in around work, play dates, coffee with friends and you know, sleep! It just helps me feel better to be that way.

I truly feel that in being a teeny bit organised there is no reason anyone can’t make their own bread, curry paste, pastry or anything that they want. My kitchen skills when I moved out of home were limited to rice-a-riso (remember that stuff?) and kantong cooking sauces, seriously! Trust me, if I can teach myself to cook, anyone can! Isn’t that right Mum? Truly, I had no interest in food until I was well in to my 20s in any real way.

On my way to work the other morning a family boarded the train….a baby in a pram…mum, dad and a little boy of about 3. The little boy was drinking a 2 litre bottle of Lift soft drink directly from the bottle….at 8am. He proceeded to drink most of it. I’ve said before that I’m far less judgemental of other parents now I am one (the only perfect parent is a non-parent in my opinion) but that kind of thing makes me SO sad.

For me, it boils down to this…..you make time for what is important to you. And for me, food is important.

When both my boys started on their journey of eating solid foods, it was the first time I really thought about what kind of relationship I wanted them to have with food. I want them to know that things grow, we pick them, we cook them, we work hard to provide the food that is presented on the table. That food is FUN! That it’s great to have cake but that cake should be enjoyed only sometimes and that it’s more fun because it’s not something we eat all the time. For the first 18 months of both their lives neither of my boys ate any sugar that didn’t naturally occur in the fruit and other natural foods they were given or a small amount in their weetbix. I’m not lauding myself as some kind of saint….it was just what we felt was important. To keep their diet (and ours!) as close to the source from which it was provided as possible. That they try a variety of food was equally important…..establishing a “healthy” relationship with food that will help them as they grow older. Don’t get me wrong we still partake in the fish and chips style outings but it’s not often and these are treats.

Going to children’s parties was the first time my boys have ever encountered any kind of food in a real way beyond what they’re used to having at home….I am one of those parents who lingers and assists with food choices in the beginning. Now, my 4 year old self directs , telling me, “I’ll have 2 sometimes foods and a lot more all the time food ok Mama?” I’m one of those parents who will politely smile and decline offers when visiting other people’s homes (as an aside, my friend Amy sent me this awesome post earlier in the week about this very issue) and I have had all manner of judgey as a result of these decisions. Frankly, I don’t care though!

And not only do I think that it’s important from a sustainability perspective that my kids have a healthy attitude and understanding about food but it’s important for their health too. Obesity is an issue in our family and I want to give them the best possible start – for their bodies and minds (Pip from Just.b wrote a fabulous post about The Biggest Loser and much more about body image here).

Also, food, and cooking it, is an extra form of meditation for me….my friend Belinda wrote this post earlier in the week and I quote….

For me, reality-cooking shows overlook the loveliest part of cooking. The silence. The lovely, meditative silence of preparation. The silences of children eating with total focus something that canโ€™t be bought from the shops. The chance to linger over a recipe, to focus on getting all the elements ready, the anticipation and hope of cooking something youโ€™ve never cooked before. The satisfaction of creating something familiar in an unfamiliar place.

YES! The silence….even when I’m surrounded by my darling, noisy souls, the silence…the opportunity to think….process…..be. Food, it nourishes the body and soul. It’s unique in that way I think.

And so….baking bread will always be an important part of what happens in our home. Ruth has started a bread revolution and is urging everyone to try just one loaf.

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12 thoughts on “Real food + GG Bread Revolution

  1. Amy {The Misadventurous Maker]

    Well, you know that I am 100% with you on this one lovely!!!! I LOVE cooking and feeding people. I love delicious food and I love that my kids know that it takes time and effort to grow vegetables in the garden with their dad and to cook in the kitchen with me. My kids diet isn’t strict or restricted in the “no sugar” or “no wheat” sense, but it is varied, flavoursome and jam packed with nutrients as much as possible. Treats are definitely consumed, but I would prefer a chocolate cake made by us than a bright blue coloured cupcake at a function. I LOVE baking bread and have been inspired by you and Ruth from Gourmet Girlfriend over the past year. It’s seriously easy and incredibly satisfying and very yum!
    xoxoxoxo

    Reply
    1. catbeloverly Post author

      I am with you on the treats Amy. It’s just the sheer amount of additives & who knows what else that scare me with all the shop bought treats. & I think coloured icing is only for birthday cakes ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  2. Maxabella

    I loved this post, Cat. I realise more and more as I get older that our relationship with food is one of the most important we will ever have. Like all good relationships it needs far more nurturing than I ever give time for. I’m working on that, so hard. x

    Reply
  3. maxabella

    Argh, iPad just ate my long and involved comment. The gist was that I loved this post and the reminder of just how important nurturing our tender relationship with food is. Thank you, Cat. x

    Reply
  4. Cat

    This is so spot on, you touch on so many of my own thoughts, even if I can’t articulate them as well as you.
    My kids eat very little sweets and junk fook, it has been a choice for us too, right from the start – I do not want them addicted to sugar like I am. I see my 2 year old nephew drinking glass after glass of coke, and I just cringe, no wonder his older brother and sister only want to eat junk food – that is all they know, and it makes me so sad. And yes their parents think we are weirdos for our food choices.
    We are now making our own bread using the “Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day” method, it is so easy, and such yummy bread.
    I tried Fox’s Lane home made semi sun dried tomatoes this week too, and OMG, they have blown my mind – so easy and yummy to make.
    You are an amazing mumma Cat.

    Reply
  5. Helene @ French Foodie Baby

    Thank you for the kind link to my blog/post. I very much relate to the idea of cooking as a way to find silence, inner silence, to just be, the body and soul aspect of it. Baking bread is one of the most therapeutic activities I know ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad to have discovered your blog!

    Reply
    1. catbeloverly Post author

      Oh Helene, thank you so much for your comment. I really enjoyed your post and see things very much as you do. I particularly liked how you spoke about snacking and having a healthy attitude to eating “treats” with appreciation and not guilt. Thanks so much for stopping by here. I was glad to have discovered your blog too. X

      Reply
  6. GourmetGirlfriend (@ruthbruten)

    Our relationship with food is such a complicated one isn’t it.

    Everyone’s choices are made for very different reasons. Sometimes judging at face value does nothing to help but sheesh it is hard not to especially when you are faced with what you saw. I do it too. Then I step back and think about what it is I can do to help.

    I guess that part of the reason people started making what I consider poor food choices were really what they saw as a way to uncomplicate their lives, to free up time- yet it hasn’t really done that at all.

    What worries me is that people not only make poor choices in regards to their food that there are other poor choices that go along with it.
    A devaluing of our need to nurture one another- not just in our own families but as a society generally.

    Our thought processes seem to be more inherently selfish- what will suit me? Rather than what is the right thing to do- not just for me but for everyone……

    Educating our children of the value of making and sharing REAL food is one of the greatest gifts I think we can give not only them but the next generation.

    As you know me & my thoughts on food VERY well by now Cat you understand what drives me- my desire is to give everyone the tools to be able to make food from scratch. REAL and wholesome food. It does not need to be as complicated as people think. We are ALL capable of it.

    Bread is the most basic of all foods yet it represents so much more.

    If I can be a part of encouraging just a few people to take part in the #ggbreadrevolution I feel happy.

    Knowing HOW much you invest in your family and it’s relationship with really wholesome food experiences makes me super happy.

    You are doing such a wonderful job Cat.

    And THANK YOU so much for your always wonderful support & for taking part in my bread revolution.
    xxx

    Reply
    1. catbeloverly Post author

      I agree Ruth! No surprise there of course. You have really encouraged me in my home cook journey and I’ll always be grateful for that…more than I can ever really tell you. Honestly, it doesn’t always suit me to have to think ahead about all our meals but somehow everyone still needs to be fed…and if they have to be fed I believe in making it the best we can make it. Funny that in having a Dad whose had restaurants for good portions of my life that being a Mama is what has brought me to loving and nurturing more through food that I’ve ever done before. Thank you so much for being so generous with your advice and recipes. One day I hope I can give you a good coffee and a hug to say thanks. xxx

      Reply
  7. maidinaustralia

    Oh I try not to be too judgey because I am by no means perfect. But I do try to do my best and offer good food wherever possible. That being said apart from allergies and colours and additives, I try not to restrict too much of anything, or view foods as good or bad. But we do follow the sometimes food rule in general, and also eating food made with love.

    Reply

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