We are now into Week 4 of “The Real Food Challenge” and this week, the challenge is:
No fast food or any foods that have been deep-fried in oil.
For this challenge you must avoid:
- Restaurants with drive-thru windows – McDonald’s!
- Convenience stores that also typically sell gas – potato chips
- Places where you watch them assemble your food through a glass wall – hmm…
- Restaurants that are situated in a “food court” setting – hmm…
- School lunches (most schools do not have a fully functioning kitchen and simply heat precooked meals) – Yup!
- Airplane food – I love some airplane food aaargh!
The places where you can eat during this challenge:
- Restaurants with waiter service (which aren’t always ideal when it comes to food quality, but we just had to draw the line somewhere)
- Grocery stores (we recommend hitting the salad bar, vegetable sides and brown rice sushi)
- Your own kitchen!
- Friends’ houses
Even while you are eating at the “allowed” places you must still of course avoid deep-fried foods, which is trickier than it sounds. If it is crunchy and crispy you need to question it. We were even fooled fairly recently by some hard taco shells not realizing at first they probably got their crunchiness from being deep fried in oil.
Some other examples of deep-fried foods to be on the lookout for:
- French fries – I have cut down but not the others. We try to choose corn in a cup
- Sweet potato fries
- Potato/tortilla chips
- Chicken fingers
- Chicken wings – thankfully, nobody likes them
- Donuts – The kids will ask for them IF they see them
- Corn dogs – N/A
- Egg rolls – I don’t buy them and even if I do, the kids don’t like them hahaha
No deep-fried foods
If you look at a sample weekly menu, you’ll notice that I usually steam, stir-fry or stew our foods.
However, I deep fry a fish once a week because my daughter doesn’t like steamed white pomfret. Maybe she’s going through the crazy toddler phase of being picky with food?
I have not steamed fish for a while because the ayi doesn’t do a good job no matter how many times I show her how to do it :S
Considering how expensive white pomfret is i.e. RMB25 per 500 gm (Most people buy fish that are priced between RMB10 – 15 per 500 gm.) Can you imagine how heartbroken I am when the steamed fish turns out bad and nobody wants any of it?
I have been looking for different ways to cook fish i.e. baked salmon, which both the kids love
I should try baking the other types of fish too…
No fast foods
1) Eating out on weekends
This has to be the most difficult part of the challenge since KFC, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut are usually the cleanest restaurants in China when you are looking for a quick bite.
Our biggest weakness has to be Burger King’s Whopper Burger and french fries:
The mid-range restaurants will be CROWDED – maybe we have to plan our dining out plans ahead of time instead of the usual, “What’s for lunch?” and “What’s for dinner?” after our activities.
We have been trying a number of new restaurants that serves healthy Chinese or Japanese food
2) School lunches and snacks
Lately, I have been worried by the types of food my son eats at school:
- deep fried sausages
- deep fried chicken nuggets
- deep fried french fries
Also, he usually gets a hamburger or nuggets when he attends a school party
Our kids don’t really like fast food other than french fries and now, our son is into hamburgers. He has asked me to prepare him a hamburger for school with a slice of cheese and lettuce leaves.
I found some 100% beef patties in the froze section at the supermarket but am having some difficulty buying burger buns. My only option is to buy a JUMBO pack of 20 rather dry burger buns!
I am thinking of buying a bread maker that I can use to bake loaves, small buns with filling and burger buns. Also, I wonder if I can make my own chicken nuggets :S
That way, the kids will have healthier breakfasts and snacks!