My food history # 8 – The 1980s Healthy Eating (Core Foods) Pyramid

Healthy Eating Pyramid 1986 Australian Nutrition Foundation (now known as Nutrition Australia)

 

Mid 1980s – A turnaround in my diet to Friendly Food

Sorting out the family diet after the RPAH protocol for food sensitivities (1) was at first daunting and confusing. The prime objectives were to get my son well, establish his symptoms due to diet and the culprit foods, then exclude only those foods. This final modified diet was to become the ‘friendly’ diet (2) we grew to know, of foods that were safe for my son to eat without him becoming ill. However, I also wanted the family diet to be a ‘healthy’ diet in fulfilling long-term objectives of preventing diseases that plagued my parent’s generation: heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. The longer-term family diet also had to be nutritionally adequate, palatable, fit in with the family lifestyle and be socially acceptable. How could I meet all those objectives?  Continue reading “My food history # 8 – The 1980s Healthy Eating (Core Foods) Pyramid”

My food history # 7 – food sensitivities – my shattered ideal of a healthy diet

 

apple

Shattered ideals

After my father had a heart attack, our family diet changed to avoidance of fatty red meat, full-fat milk and butter to one including more fish, chicken and vegetable oils. Those messages and promotion of fibre and fruit, and less refined cereals and sugar stuck with me. Thus, when I started out on motherhood I had high ideals of a healthy diet being wholegrain cereals, vegetables, fruit; and avoidance of excess fat, salt, sugar and refined cereals.

My ideals came crashing down when my second son was a failure to thrive, suffering chronic ill-health from the introduction of solid food. After a three year battle, I sought advice from a specialist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH) in Sydney. An exclusion diet and series of food challenges (1), proved he was sensitive to salicylates, amines and some food additives (colours, preservatives and MSG). Salicylates are flavour components of many fruits, juices and vegetables. Amines occur in cheese, chocolate, bananas and yeast extracts. On a diet removing those foods he became well and gained weight.

Disclaimer: Please note – an exclusion diet protocol including challenges should only be done under the supervision of a medical practitioner. Other reasons for symptoms need excluding before diet is tried. Some people may experience severe symptoms to challenges. In some instances these need supervision by a medical practitioner or in hospital. 
Continue reading “My food history # 7 – food sensitivities – my shattered ideal of a healthy diet”

Living through history. Our changing food environments. 1950s – 1970s.

 

fridge (2)

While I was growing up and in the years as a young adult, as my own family mainly consumed home-prepared foods, garden-grown vegetables and eggs from our back-yard hens; swirling all around me were economic improvements and major shifts in social norms, a prelude to the storm that was to become a complete restructure of our food environments within a generation.

Working and walking

In my parents youth, in the 1930s and 1940s, times were tough with the depression, World War 2, and food rationing. The 1950s through to the 1970s were decades of relative improved prosperity. My father worked full-time. Initially he rode a bicycle to work. In the 1950s only 10% of families had cars. (2) Gradually we became a one-car and in the 1960s a two-car family. My mother was a homemaker, as the majority of women were in the 1950s. There were no modern appliances. Housework took many hours with washing, ironing, sweeping, cleaning, and chopping wood. The evening meal was cooked over many hours. In the 1950s, women averaged 77 hours per week housework. (2) As children we walked to and from school, except on rainy days when we caught the bus. After school we rode bikes around the neighbourhood or played in the back yard. Continue reading “Living through history. Our changing food environments. 1950s – 1970s.”

My food history # 1. The 1950s and 1960s – my childhood diet

ID-100380287

 

Late 1950s and early 1960s- my Childhood Diet

As a young child my family had a red-meat-centred diet.

We ate meat every day except Friday. We usually had two courses for evening meals, either soup and main course or main course and dessert. My mother served the food out and we needed to finish our main course in order to get dessert. Soups were home-made by my mother over many hours. Main course was lamb chops or sausages deep fried in beef dripping, or beef stews. We had three vegetables every night for dinner of potatoes plus an orange/yellow/red vegetable and a green vegetable. After school we would help with the preparation by shelling of the peas, and the peeling and chopping of vegetables. It was a routine afternoon activity. For desserts we had home-made sweetened milk-based puddings such as blancmange, custard, rice pudding, tapioca, or sago. These were often accompanied with jelly or stewed fruit. Sometimes we simply had jelly and custard. Continue reading “My food history # 1. The 1950s and 1960s – my childhood diet”