I’m not one of those people who uses up all of their food each week and faces an empty fridge and empty cupboards ahead of the weekly shop. My kitchen is always jam-packed full of food. It makes me feel happy and secure.
Maybe it’s because we went through financial problems a few years ago and sometimes didn’t have money to buy food.
Maybe it’s because I have three children and a husband who eats a lot.
Maybe it’s because I’m Italian.
Regardless of the reason, my well-stocked fridge and pantry was looking a little fuller this week thanks to Easter leftovers and my preparations to feed my children and their hungry friends during the upcoming school holidays. I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of junk food, it’s more like lots of snack foods such as packet noodles and pretzels, single-serve cheese and crackers, fruit cups, popcorn, all the usual foods I buy. Just lots of it.
We are good friends with a family down the street and their kids come over all the time. They love eating all of the foods I have because they are different from the foods their mum buys. I make sure I have all of their favourites on hand. I thought this was the right thing to do…I’m Italian, I’m a feeder. Feeding people is how I express love. Putting thought into buying the foods I’ve noticed people prefer is how I express my love.
Then one of the girls, who was five at the time but has since turned six, wandered into the kitchen as she normally would and she was trying to choose an after school snack from the plethora of options set out before her.
"Jo," she said as looked in the pantry, " why do have so much foods?"
"I always have lots of food."
"But so much kids foods. Do you have lots of money?"
"No, not really, but I just like to have lots of food in the house."
"So you spend all of your money on food?"
"No, just some of it."
"My mum says not to eat too much kids foods because of my teeth."
"She's right, but that's mostly to do with chocolate and lollies and stuff like that."
"Do you have any tomatoes?"
"Can I have one?"
"Sure, how do you eat it?"
"Just chopped up."
"Just chopped up on it's own? Not on a sandwich?"
"Yes, just chopped up, because that's healthy."
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