My supermarket trolley betrays my family's unheathy lifestyle

By Justine O'Mahony

Grocery shopping is one of those weekly chores that makes my anxiety levels hit the roof. Not because I dread traipsing around a supermarket with a trolley filled to the brim, trying to remember everything I need, although admittedly it's not my favourite pastime.

Nor is it because, in certain supermarkets, they chuck your purchases at you at a such a speed you'd think it was an olympic sport and then bark 'cash or card' while you're still trying to jam the stuff into a feckin bag.

No, what makes me really anxious is what I call 'Judgey Grocery Shopping Acquaintances.' People you know to stop and say hello to, who pass their gimlet eye over your trolley looking for contraband such as processed crap, sugary snacks, alcohol and crisps and then give you that look-you know the look? That, 'Oh My God You Are Soooooo Unhealthy And Such A Bad Mother' look, which makes me want to crawl under a rock (with a packet of chocolate hobnobs) and never go grocery shopping again.

And my trolley is always full of contraband. I have tried. I really have tried to make my children and my husband eat healthily but anything that remotely resembles a vegetable is just vetoed straight away. They want meat, they want spuds, they want pizza, pasta and burgers. They want chocolate digestives to dunk in their tea and Brennans bread to slather with butter. They don't give a feck about eating 'clean'. To them that means eating every chip on your plate!

So I've given up trying to change them. I give them what they want and what they'll eat and suffer the indignity of being judged every Thursday in Tesco by those who bypass the biscuit aisle and think the cheese counter is the Devil's layer!

I bumped into one such acquaintance last week. She was in fruit and veg (obviously!). 'Well! How are you?' I asked as I simultaneously tried to shove the bag of jammy doughnuts further down into the trolley.

'Great!' she said, all bright eyed and probably full of spiralised vegetables. 'Just grabbing something for dinner.' She had an assortment of vegetables and a dozen eggs (organic, naturally) in her basket. I saw her eye the four six packs of crisps on the top of my shop. In my defence, my lot all eat different types of crisps - ok?

'What are you making?' I asked, curious as to what you could do with a few veggies and eggs. 'Oh just a frittata,' she replied casually. Frittata?! When I was growing up that was known as an omelette and we only had them when we'd eaten everything else!

'And what's on the menu in your house?' she asked still looking at my crisps haul. I was tempted to say quinoa and avocado surprise but I was afraid she'd ask for the recipe. 'Probably Tayto sandwiches hahahaha!'

'For your dinner??' she was aghast. 'Sometimes we have them for breakfast' I smiled and pushed my trolley towards the till.

Hope she burned the arse out of her frittata!!

Wexford People