YK sounded surprised when he told me that most of his friends eat out everyday. "You're the only mum who cooks dinner. My friends tapau (buy packed food) everyday. No wonder we're so well fed!"
I was equally surprised to hear that. Well, I've been eating home-cooked meals all my life. My dad still eats dinner at home no matter how late he returns from work. Growing up in the countryside, we didn't have easy access to food stalls. When mum was too busy to cook, we would take over. We never had junk food, we ate lots of fruits instead. The only flavoured beverage we drank was Milo. At 20, I tasted coffee for the first time and was hooked!
My peers who grew up in the city had a totally different lifestyle. Everything could be found outside their doorstep. Kids as young as 3 drank coffee and didn't sleep until they had their late night supper of char kuay teow. The satay man came around at night hawking freshly grilled pork and mutton kebabs. Talk about convenience food!
The kids today have even more choices. If you leave them to pick their own meals, they may not make the wisest decisions. I've seen how most food stalls operate. They use the cheapest palm oil and ingredients to save cost, and they don't wash the vegetables thoroughly before cooking.
I can't allow my kids to eat deep fried food and artery-clogging meals everyday. That's why I choose to cook no matter how late I get home. Afterall I need to feed myself too. Even Rusty gets his home cooked food twice a day.
When my kids grow up and set up their own homes, I hope they keep to this tradition of eating home-cooked meals together as a family too.