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Flavor Contrast and Complexity

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I have been thinking about this for a while and since I found this forum I figured this might be a good place to ponder my idea aloud and see if anyone has anything to add to it.


I have read many times of the importance of "contrast" in several cuisines, particularly in my experience, Japanese and other Asian cuisines. This is something that I, as a southern American, have never really considered deeply enough in my home-cooking. Here, there are archetypes for which parts of a meal are to be fulfilled by which items... such as, a meat, a starchy vegetable, a green vegetable, a savory side, a bread, a drink. In Southern cooking, that may translate into something like... pan-fried pork chops, mashed potatoes with butter, green beans cooked in chicken broth, macaroni and cheese, a dinner roll and sweet tea. (More a typical display of a Southern meal than an example of one in my house, but...) The idea that the flavors, colors and aromas are built in contrast is not really a factor in my native cuisine. 


What I have read on the topic is so scattered and I feel I barely understand it. I have been a big fan of the Bento culture and I've made bentos for my daughter since she was born. The idea of "Goshiki" or "five colors" has been a guiding light in my daughter's nutrition. I know that contrasting colors against each other is supposedly more pleasing for the eyes and thus for the first introduction to a food. But contrasting flavors... This is interesting to me and I don't know of any guidelines to follow.

I am currently on a course of reducing sodium and sugar usage in my cooking and in my diet in general. I realized recently that my sodium and sugar intake are high whereas in the past few years I had gotten them down to a more reasonable level. It's crept back up and I suddenly decided it was too much. I took a sip of a rootbeer and it was sickeningly sweet after I'd cut my sugar content back a little for only a couple days. We can retrain our tastebuds so easily if we reduce gradually and keep working on it. 


Overall, my goal is to retrain my tastebuds to enjoying healthier foods. That is the ultimate goal. I think that reducing salt and sugar are also good for my health, but flavor is a complex beast and most vegetables are only edible in my definition when accented by rich sauces or salt or other foods that more or less cover the flavor of the vegetable. 

I don't want to cover the flavor anymore. I want to understand the flavor, draw it out, and complement it with something that contrasts it and brings out its good qualities. Maybe this sounds basic to you culinary folk ;) But I guess I just don't know how else to ask about this. 

How can I start to learn about flavor contrasts and how to make more foods palatable and how to extend my flavor range? 

I want a broader range of foods that I can comfortably say I enjoy. Any thoughts?

post #2 of 17

Hello and welcome.  This is a good place to come for food advice, though it would be helpful to know what types of foods you eat now.


A good step to reducing sugar and sodium is to avoid processed foods.  That includes anything that comes out of a box.  Real foodies know that the bulk of our shopping list can be bought at the perimeter of the grocery store where the refrigerated sections are and the produce aisles.  Peruse the aisles for basic staples like rice, flour, dry cereal etc.  When you do buy something in a can or a box or a sealed bag read the labels carefully and make sure you recognize the ingredients.  For example did you know that a can of Goya kidney beans contains something like 350mm of sodium versus a can of Eden Organics kidney beans contains 15mm of sodium per serving?  That's a big difference and only one small example.  Beware of too much sugar in cereals, the only cereals I know (and I searched the entire aisle!) that don't contain sugar are Shredded Wheat and Grape Nuts.  Everything else, and I mean everything! contains sugar.  


So let us know what kind of foods you enjoy now and share some of your recipes, welcome!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #3 of 17

Contrast is more evident in Asian cuisine as you note. In western cuisines, things are cooked together to be harmonious and similar in the dish. 


In Asia, things are often seasoned separately and, cooked separately and then combined into a final dish. A stir fry marinates the meat, usually in a salt/sweet combination. The vegetables tend to be left to their own devices, then it's combined and finishing glaze accents it all. 


Contrast is not just flavor or color, but also texture. This is more visible in asian cuisine again with velveted meats, crispy vegetables, slipppery tofu, chewy tendon. Slippery and chewy is much more appreciated in that culture. 


Further, cooking techniques supply contrast, with Asia again relishing these differences in the same meal. These are all traditionally served at once for a home meal, not in courses.  A soup, a steamed fish, a stir fry, rice, a cold plate and so on. There is a whole philosophy of meal design that exceeds my understanding. They consider 5 flavors: hot, sweet, sour, pungent, salty as well as the consideration of yin and yang--the perceived heating or cooling effects of the ingredients and preparation would on the body.  It ties in to their traditional view of medicine and health as directly impacted by what they eat. 


In Vietnam, the morsels are often wrapped in leaves at the table as you eat. An iceberg lettuce leaf offers different crunch and more moisture in a bite than the same thing wrapped in butter lettuce or a basil leaf. Each is different but good. 


There are many ways to achieve contrast in the meal. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #4 of 17
...We can retrain our tastebuds so easily if we reduce gradually and keep working on it. 

You're the boss over your tastebuds. I like to taste, taste and taste again in every stage when cooking, each time checking on seasoning and the right balance of sweet and sour. Learning how to season in almost every stage of the cooking instead of just once at the end of the cooking time, makes a big difference. Learning to balance by adding a little acidity like vinegar or lemon juice can lift a dish to a whole other level. Same with adding fresh herbs or spices. Learn which spices and herbs go with what.

It's incredible how many people forget about both seasoning and balancing their preparations and the only reason is simply; they don't taste and they certainly don't season in different stages or "layers" as they call it!


... flavor is a complex beast and most vegetables are only edible in my definition when accented by rich sauces or salt or other foods that more or less cover the flavor of the vegetable.

I mostly use more vegetables than meat in my dishes. Learn how to prepare them correctly from cookbooks but even more from good food magazines which have always seasonal products like vegetables in their spotlights. Learn from them how to cook vegetables that you never tried before.

Salt is not your enemy! Again, taste, taste, taste when salting in small bits at a time. Learn how much is enough by putting some salt in your hand palm and sprinkle it in with your other hand's fingers. That's the only way to start to "feel" and understand how much salt is usually needed.


...How can I start to learn about flavor contrasts and how to make more foods palatable and how to extend my flavor range?

You need to build up experience like everyone else has to do.

Again, it's a matter being aware of other products, of knowing how to prepare that food and how to season correctly by tasting, how to pair with other items (cookbooks, magazines), how to correct their balance by tasting, how to make a light and tasty sauce (cookbooks, magazines), etc.


And, you're on the right forum to learn all of that too!

post #5 of 17

Salt consumption is a difficult 'red-herring' - if you don't already have an underlying health problem and you drink plenty of water you can't really get too much salt as it is just flushed out.  (many studies by the military have been done on this)


The problem generally is that people get way too much salt because as mentioned above prepared foods, canned foods and don't drink water at all, they drink soda.


If you can avoid soft drinks / prepared foods - your salt levels will be just fine.  


Finding canned goods without added salt is pretty easy now if you look at the labels.


Remember not to go too far - our bodies are designed to use and need salt to function - it's just too easy to get too much because every processed food is designed to hit the 'bliss point' that balances the amount of salt, fat and sugar in very large amounts.



"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold





"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold


post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

You guys are all right! I should have mentioned what I cook now and what foods I like. I'll lay some of that down here, but first THANK you all for being so helpful and nice. I feel so welcome here. ^^
It's always a little nerve-wracking for me getting into a new community because I have social anxiety, but you guys just seem so nice and open and friendly. Thank you for having me here!


To clarify about the salt and sugar reduction. I'm not just reducing sugar and salt for health reasons. My sugar and sodium levels don't seem out of hand. I more mean... I want to taste more than salt when I eat a food. I want to taste more than sugar. I want to be able to enjoy a cup of hot loose-leaf tea without needed to drown the subtle flavors in sugar in order to appreciate it. I want to be able to enjoy the differences between foods which is hard when you can only taste salt... I want to reduce my reliance on salt for flavor preference. I want to learn to enjoy more flavors... I feel salt overpowers my preferences at this point.

Here's some info about my current cuisine:

I cook for myself, my wife, my daughter, and sometimes also my sister, her husband and our roommate. My general situation is that my sister will eat practically anything with only a very few exceptions (which sadly includes mushrooms and olives which I *adore*), while her husband could live off of Chef Boyardee and ramen (and mostly does). My Wife used to eat practically nothing but Southern-styled meats and potatoes dishes maybe some green beans and processed junk food and Mountain Dew. I was raised on similar but with more vegetables and I have always been squeamish of meat flavors. I may get nauseated just from tasting good meat if I don't drench it in a sauce or season it enough I can't tell the meat flavor anymore. She and I have been together for nearly 14 years, but we ate mostly what we were raised on until the last 6 or so. We got into Asian cuisine most of a decade ago and at that point, I learned to make stir fries, fried rice, tofu, noodle dishes, etc. We also liked Mexican food but originally we were way more versed in American styled Mexican food than anything more authentic. We ate a ton of processed junk and fast food until our daughter was on the way at which point I started cleaning up my diet and ate healthier foods due to the pregnancy (what little I could eat... uggh. This may seem like a tangent, but it's actually kinda important to my situation. I was sick the entire pregnancy so chronically that I could barely eat anything without losing my lunch. As a result, I had a lot of bad associations that still hit me to this day and it makes it hard for me to stomach certain foods because my brain still associates those foods to being ill. I've worked hard to break a lot of those associations but sadly I just don't know what all of them are.)

Over the past 3 or 4 years I've been working hard to learn to cook healthier. I read about whole foods nutrition when I was pregnant and I started my daughter off on a mostly only whole-foods diet. She gets some processed food (like some cereal) but we limit added sugar, and avoid dyes, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and trans fats entirely. Her diet consists mostly of things like: cooked chicken, Italian and wheat breads, apples, bananas, strawberries, grapes, (she *loves* fruits), peanut butter, fish, shrimp, broccoli, carrots, spinach, quality white rice (I know my rice), pastas (with no sauces... she hates most sauces), cheeses, some pork, juices, milk, water... Mostly. She does eat some cereal, but we don't get the kinds with dyes and we stick to lower end of the sugar tree. She drinks no soda. 

As for me and my wife, I've gotten wifey to go closer to the healthier foods now too and so we're getting closer and closer to a compromise... I can cook healthier dishes, and she'll eat more of the meat than I will while I'll eat more of the vegetables. (Ironically, she's tiny and I'm larger c_c It's so unfair!)

We eat things like: (in no particular order or grouping)

  • pan-fried pork chops (no oils, no batter. I cook them like a steak, little salt, little pepper)
  • mashed potatoes (okay, sometimes instant, but I prefer boiled red potatoes for this) (sometimes topped with some shredded cheddar, always with whole sweet cream butter and some salt. 
  • French styled green beans cooked in chicken broth with black pepper
  • macaroni and cheese sometimes (Velveeta c_c it melts best... and it's comfort food)
  • Stuffed eggplant Parmesan (battered, fried eggplant stuffed with mozzarella, goat cheese, feta, chopped baby spinach, and served over spaghetti noodles with a spaghetti sauce and fresh grated Parmesan on top. One of the few fully vegetarian dishes that Wifey actually eats with me)
  • Stir Fry consisting of cooked chicken, sugar snap peas in pod, carrots, broccoli, soy sauce, House of Tsang's stir fry sauce, worchestershire sauce (which is really just as good as Yakisoba sauce in my experience).
  • Fried Rice with egg (mostly just seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil, little salt and pepper)
  • Sesame Rice with chicken (basically fried rice with only sesame oil and salt and more black pepper, served with chicken that is only brined, not seasoned otherwise)
  • Pork and Tofu noodles (cubed pork chop and tofu go into a marinade of soy sauce, Worchestershire sauce, Dale's seasoning sauce, a dash of Zesty Itallian dressing and some butter, boil the pork in it and soak the tofu and pork for a while simmering, served with Oriental noodles of a certain kind that I like... Not sure what they're called.)
  • Sushi. Omg Sushi. :) Wish we could get any good sushi fish here. 
  • Kimbap and Bulgogi
  • Kalua pork (well, crock-pot styled, but tasty) served with white rice and sometimes on King's Hawaiian buns. My sister grew up in Hawaii so this is a favorite. 
  • Roast chicken with roasted carrots and potatoes seasoned with garlic, rosemary and salt and pepper.
  • "Shellicotti" which is basically my version of manicotti served in giant shells instead, mozarella instead of ricotta... Recipe is on my Yumprint. 
  • Baked potatoes with cheese sometimes bacon/chives/sour cream. 
  • Homemade tacos
  • Taco Pie (taco but in a pie shell with refried beans, taco meat, cheese, tomatoes, olives, salsa, sour cream, spanish rice)
  • Real home-made salsa and I also like home-made tortilla chips but rarely have the energy to make those as I'm the only one who prefers them to bagged chips c_c
  • Curried pork with carrots and potatoes served over white rice. (I make my own curry sauce from a roux and curry powder)
  • Homemade potato soup with Velveeta, sour cream, milk, salt and pepper.
  • Homemade Broccoli and cheese soup
  • For Wifey: Lemon pepper Tilapia with rice (I can't stand most seafood except sushi oddly)
  • For Me: Tuna salad sandwiches on toasted bread with mayo and my Tuna salad's secret weapon is grated apple. (some of the only seafood I can stomach)
  • For Me: Tomato bread. Recipe is on my Yumprint. Involves Italian bread, fresh sliced tomatoes, mozarella, Parmesan, Italian herbs and baby spinach.
  • Okay this list has a lot of general ideas of our meals, but I also love brocolli a ton and will eat it plain or with cheese or sometimes with ranch. I will seriously eat it crunchy out of the fridge by itself. I love carrots when they're cooked, hate them raw. I love potatoes, green beans (but very little good experience with other legumes except chick peas. I LOVE HUMMUS tho I am alone in this. My sister will eat it but no one else here.) I am meh about pasta except Asian pasta that I love. I love rice. I adore cheese, especially soft cheeses like Goat cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese. My wifey doesn't like soft cheeses and prefers hard cheeses, especially sharp cheddar. I love fruit, hate peppers and onions, never could get by bitter vegetables and despise celery even hidden in things. 

    I am not fond of greasy food and will drain and rinse meats if they render too much fat that I can't use for some other part of the meal. I love my tofu noodles but have never found anything else to do with tofu. I hate miso and I don't care for inari as much so I never tried frying tofu, tho I understand it's not quite the same. I make homemade icecream and I have an insanely delicious recipe on my Yumprint for a cream-cheese based dip for apples... mm. :) Cheesecake is my favorite desert and I'll take mine plain, no fancy toppings. 
  • Also, I used to drink nothing but Coca-cola, but cut that in the past year and swapped to caffeine-free drinks. I now drink more water, and I enjoy hot loose-leaf teas. I am still stuck on carbonated beverages (particular cola and rootbeer) for  meals because I tend to feel I need it in order to handle stronger flavors... something I'm trying to work my way off of. 


Okay this is of course just a general blob of my food stuff. I have obviously eaten more than this. I eat Chinese, Japanese and have tried Korean and Thai food. I have tried Latin American foods, some European food (German.. I adore saurkraut and so reubens were a hit with me)... Spices I'm very familiar with:

I would love to branch out more in cuisine types. I would love to try more food types. I don't love hot spicy, and I am sensitive to bitter. I love fresh vegetables. I am adventurous with my food. 

Herbs and Spices I'm familiar with:

  • Basil (love my basil)
  • General Italian seasoning mix (I know... but... It's useful.)
  • Cumin
  • chili powder
  • Garlic (I like my jar of pre-minced fridge garlic as a compromise between dry garlic and fresh but use fresh sometimes for extra oomph)
  • Bay
  • black pepper (cracked or coarse)
  • cinnamon (for very few things tho)
  • cayenne pepper


I started to say others, but honestly, I'm familiar with the next few, but have not mastered their use and feel I don't really *get* them if that makes sense:


  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Mint
  • Clove
  • Oregano
  • Sage


Gosh those two lists are shorter than I thought they'd be. I bet I'm forgetting some things. Anyway, I feel I could expand on my herbs and spices list a lot. 



OKAY! That's a lot of babble about my food preferences. I hope this makes for a decent basis. If anyone has any questions of course just ask! Additionally here's my Yumprint: It doesn't have a ton of recipes, but has some of my favorites added and at least has a glance of my kind of food. I generally only add things I actually eat to my main cookbooks there and put anything that is just for trying in Try Soon.



Sooo any further thoughts are appreciated! Thank you!! ^^

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Oh, any recommendations for where to learn more about the Asian cuisine concepts of whole-body wellness through eating and contrast and flavors... all that was exactly some of what I'm looking for. Not sure what to call it to Google effectively.

post #8 of 17

While not particularly focussed on wellness, I recommend Tsuji's "Japanese Cooking. A simple art" and Andoh's "Washoku". There is a lot of information about flavour balance and harmony in both of them.

post #9 of 17

Regarding salt and sugar reduction - there is only one way to do it and that is to reduce it.  You can do so gradually or you can do it immediately.  Either way your taste buds will adjust, that's what they do.  It's always uncomfortable to change something in your diet but in my experience it IS possible.  Some of the changes that I've made were drastic for me, I did not enjoy the transition process one bit, but eventually it did change and I can't imagine going back!


Bananas - I used to hate bananas.  The smell alone would make me gag.  But I started eating them anyway for health reasons and because I didn't want to be that girl who hates bananas.  It took some time, I put it in my yogurts and ate them plane, also if you sprinkle it with cinammon it's very nice.  Now I love bananas.

Sugarless coffee - boy was this a big change.  I used to use Equal in my coffee and decided to give it up.  Every morning for 3 months I'd take a sip of my bitter coffee and say "YUCK!" and then suddenly one day it was fine.  Then I went to dunkin donuts and ordered a cup of coffee to go (cream, no sugar) and they put sugar in it by mistake.  I took one sip and spit it out.  I had completely trained myself to dislike sugar in my coffee.

Diet soda - that was a biggie too.  I could drink gallons of diet pepsi if I could.  I switched to seltzer water and it was difficult at first but now I love love love that little fizz.  I even bought a sodastream and now make my own seltzer.  It turns out that I enjoy the fizz, not the chemicals hehe.


Now I have to work on more salt reduction myself too.  And I am going to approach it the same way, diving in head first.  I trust that my taste buds will adjust and you should do.


Your diet seems varied to me.  If I could point out anything that is missing is more vegetable dishes, more fish, and the addition of legumes.  Also, do you make soups?  Making good stocks is crucial for soups, sauces, gravies, etc.  You can avoid a lot of added sodium by making your own stocks.  And I love vegan and vegetarian soups like lentil, navy bean, veggie soups, baked potato soup, black bean soup etc.  If you want to explore the world of herbs and spices I suggest taking a good look at mediterranean style cooking including Spanish, Italian, Greek, north african and middle eastern cuisines.  

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #10 of 17

Instead of Velveeta try making your own cheese sauce.


Really easy to make and you can substitute different cheeses for different flavour.


Several threads mention it but I think this one is the best.

Cheese Dip, WTF?
started on 02/23/14 last post 03/01/14 at 11:33pm 18 replies 348 views


Also a really big thing to cut-out ... is the prepared sauces and seasonings.


Bulgogi / Kimbap - I hope you make from scratch as the commercial ones are sugar/salt bombs.


Dales Seasoning is good but once you read the label.  You will be shocked.

A 1/2oz portion size (32 servings per bottle) has 1220mg of Salt  that is half of the daily recommendation.


House of Tsang Stir Fry Sauce has 570mg roughly 1/4 daily allowance per 1/2oz serving size.


Besides home made versions of these are much much fresher and tastier.



"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold





"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold


post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

MichaelGA - Ooh good advices all around. Let me see...


Yes I'll look at that thread. Part of my issue is not knowing what kind of cheese to use and the other issue is just that Velveeta is one of my guilty pleasures. My wife and I were both raised on it. I am going to try to start sneaking in some non-Velveeta cheese into some of my normally Velveeta dishes and see if I can get away with it tho ;) 

Bulgolgi/Kimbap from scratch. (Linked those to my Yumprint recipes for them. I actually used pork instead of beef on the Bulgolgi tho because I barely tolerate beef and pork is one of the few meats I actively enjoy in most forms. 


I'm well aware of Dale's sauce being salty, but I don't know how to replace it. I'm not sure what flavor it takes the place of... I have used it in a "signature" marinade of mine for years that goes into multiple dishes I've made. I don't know how to make the flavor from something else but am willing to try.


And I'd adore to know how to make homemade replacements for House of Tsang stir fry sauce because that stuff is too expensive here as it's considered something of a specialty item (we have no Asian Market at all here). 

I also admit to usually using Hunt's Spaghetti sauces (especially the Mushroom variety) but I know I'd make a tastier sauce from scratch... but I don't always have the energy for "from scratch" either. I'm disabled and some days I barely make it through heating up leftovers. But I guess that's to say when I'm feeling more energetic I could try to make from scratch things then. I do want to lower the general salt requirement but I know I have to be reasonable with myself about how much more effort it will add. 


Thank you again for all the information so far!


GeneMachine: Thank you! I'll check those out!

post #12 of 17

Dales shouldn't be that hard to recreate:



Ingredients (12):

Ingredient Color Key: 

Members, please sign in to view which ingredients are on your personalized "avoid" list.


No specific warnings are currently known for this product.

Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size: 1 tbsp. (17.9g)
  • Servings Per Container: 32.0
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories 15.0Calories from Fat 0.0
  • Total Calories 480Total Calories from Fat 0


It's mostly a high salt dark soy, and a cheap one at that as it's via the hydrolyzed soy protein method, not a true fermentation. The sugars and and caramel color of the soy sauce ingredients are the give away.   The onions, garlic, msg, ginger and paprika you could replicate by taste but really adjust as you like for each recipe. And skip the msg if you like, good soy already has a fair amount naturally occurring. Or cook up your own sauce and puree /strain out the solids. But really, for marinade purposes, fresh would have more flavor impact than cooked. 


Give Pearl River Bridge Mushroom Dark Soy Sauce a try. Less salt, a bit more sugars, and most any asian grocer should have it or a similar one. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #13 of 17

For veges  try blanching first chill down  then as needed saute in buyyer with salt, pepper and a bit of sugar  Delicious.

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 



Oh thanks! Wow I guess it really isn't that complicated. I just have to figure out how much garlic/paprika etc. 

I don't have an Asian grocer within a drivable distance tho :c So I can't get the specific soy sauce. I'm generally stuck with el cheapo great value from Walmart because that's all I really have access to. Being a disabled mom, I'm also generally stuck with the cheaper options anyway. And we go through soy sauce like woah. I use the low sodium variety tho.


Ed Buchannan

Thank you tho I don't know what you mean by buyyer. I do blanch veggies a lot. My daughter loves blanched carrots all by themselves. Oh! Did you mean butter? I bet that's what you meant. Butter, a little salt and pepper and sugar? Okay. Sounds delish :)

post #15 of 17

Ed's a machinegun poster... he meant "butter" but hit the key to the right of 'T"


As for the soy-sauce... no problem get the grocery store low-sodium one and then chop some dried mushrooms and put it all in a pot - add a piece or two of kombu if you can find it.   (health food section or store)


Bring it up to temp and let it simmer very slowly - you're not looking for a big reduction.   You can also add garlic if you like.   Cool it, strain it and keep in the fridge, chop the 're-hydrated' mushroom into very small bits and use them sparingly in stir-fry or rice dishes.  


No grocer nearby order the stuff online - mostly dried then you won't pay much for shipping.



"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold





"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold


post #16 of 17

The more you stay away from processed food like Velveeta the easier it will be for your kids to stay away from that stuff in the future.  There's only one way to break the cycle, I have friends who refuse to eat chicken off the bone because they were raised on frozen chicken nuggets and think it's gross.  And only eat white bread sandwiches with yellow processed cheese, and anything different from that is gross to them.  Well, now we know better and you don't want processed food to become a childhood comfort food for your kids if it doesn't have to be.  

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #17 of 17

I agree with Koukou. Get your kids off the processed stuff while they are kids. It will be hard for them--I know.  My mom became a health food nut when I was 13 or so and chucked out all the soda, white bread, snack foods, processed cheese, lunchmeats, etc. We kids were outraged but as an adult I have extremely healthy eating habits and a love of fresh fruits and vegetables, which I very much thank her for. I cook everything from scratch and I'm a really good cook. Plus, I don't even walk down the aisles of the store with soda or snacks. It doesn't even occur to me that there's edible stuff there. It actively repels me.

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