Have you read the book, What the World Eats, by Faith D'Aluisio and Peter Menzel? It's an amazing photorama showing what families around the world eat in one week. It's a sobering book, with families from refugee camps in Chad. It's a book full of facts and figures and ever more photos of how people live, and how people eat.
One aspect that hit me most was how much healthier the families in most other countries eat-- how few fruits and vegetables (and how much processed food) families in industrialized countries eat, compared to those in developing countries.
Reading the book sparked a memory. I was reminded of some children we had in our neighborhood many years ago. It was when we were living on a military base. The neighbor kids would often come over and ask my kids for snacks--especially fruits. Those kids couldn't get enough fruit! It irritated me at the time, that these kids always came over and asked for food. Sometimes again and again in the same day. I assumed they had enough food and just wanted more. I've learned a lot since then. I now know those kids were really hungry--or at least hungry for foods they weren't getting in their own home (and they did live in a home with challenges). If I could repeat those days, I would let them have as much healthy food as they wanted--and I would even give them fruit to take home. So many kids really do NOT have enough food. They might have parents who have an income that allows them to buy enough food, but that doesn't mean the parents are.
(Sidenote--there are also many kids with food issues who will constantly ask for food and I am not referencing those kids or their families.)
The free and reduced meals program at schools is one I will always support. I once did an internship at a low-income school, and it was shocking to see how the kids ate Monday morning--they couldn't get enough! For the same reason, I fully support the summer lunch program we have in our state. All summer long, kids can get a free, healthy sack lunch at various neighborhood parks. While I'm sure not all the kids truly need it, the ones who do make the program irreplaceable.
The book inspires me to keep finding ways to support those in need, and to keep finding ways to eat healthier as a family.
Luckily, I have some help with cooking. Vu has recently been using his My Vietnam Stories and Recipes book. He created Canh Khoai Mo Te'p (purple yam and shrimp soup).
And Lan Lan makes Chinese food almost every day. She uses whatever she can find that sounds good--noodles are always a must! This was breakfast today.
But wanna know what we've been eating a WHOLE LOT OF this summer?
Uh-huh. YUM! Maybe we'll start trying to eat healthier after summer is over!