My 11-year-old had a brainwave yesterday. Just as we handed her a glass of milk with health drink additive in it, she turned and asked “So how much lead does this have? Has anyone tested it? Maybe I should not be drinking milk?"

If she twisted the argument to say that milk in general is bad because of steroid injections that cows get to increase milk production I would have had to say ‘no drinking milk’ anymore. In this case, I told her the only choice she had was to drink milk minus the additive flavour.

These last few days have been interesting: we have put our larder (as the food storage cupboard was referred to in Enid Blyton books) under a scanner and have discovered much of it contains processed foods.

My daughter defines processed foods as those which have “with preservatives" “which make us fat" “which can be cooked fast" and “which are super tasty".

When I asked her to take out five processed foods in our house these are the products she came up with:

· Maggi because “everyone is talking about and you are forcing me to read that it has lead which you say is bad and then say it is in everything that we eat or drink as is arsenic which is poison"

· Kraft’s barbecue sauce because “it contains potassium sorbate which preserves freshness" which she read off the label

· Green Chick Chops’ chicken cocktail sausages because “they are frozen and freezing one way to preserve food which means it is old food"

· Perk because “all chocolate is bad and you told me about worms in a chocolate once"

· Fun Foods mayonnaise because “the label says it has class 11 preservatives"

She, of course, choose not to draw attention to a bag of chips, the packet of cream biscuits, slices of processed cheese, her favourite flavoured yoghurt cups, and... really the list is endless.

Whatever else the fallout of this war on Maggi, it has some positives too and one of them is that we at home have started talking about our food habits and how we should look to cut back on processed goodies in our house. While we both know that is it not entirely possible to be rid of processed foods, at least we are now slowly becoming aware of what can be avoided and what changes we can bring to eat in a slightly more healthier way.

As of yesterday, we have decided not to buy yoghurt in a packaged cup but make our own dahi, at home daily. Since we avoid getting colas at home anyway, we have now perfected the art of making iced tea at home from a scratch. It is simple really and a one litre bottle lasts 2-3 days. Just boil 750ml of water, put 4 tsp of tea (best to use a mix of green tea leaves and normal tea) and leave aside to steep. Meanwhile boil 250ml of water and add 5 tbsps of sugar and heat till all the sugar melts. Once both mixed have cooled, mix and pour in a bottle. You can add a few mint leaves for extra flavour. Before serving a glass, squeeze half a lemon in the cold tea and add ice. My mum has offered to chip in and will restart her chiwda/cornflake/peanut namkeen (savoury) that she used to make years ago. Phalsa ka raas and aam ka panna with pepper have also been made and stocked in the fridge. Next on our list is to perfect the art of making bread and cookies at home. Our previous few attempts have ended in a disaster, this is our big goal.

We are taking small steps to changing the way we eat. We hope you will too.

This weekly series, which appears on Tuesdays, looks at what’s new with food and drink, and how we are interacting with it.

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