With diabetes and childhood obesity on the rise, one has to ask themselves "WHY"? I firmly believe one of the reasons is that children have become more and more detached from where food comes from. A sugary toaster "pastry" doesn't grow from a tree and neither does all the other processed foods kids are accustomed to. What better way to educate kids than to make them a part of the process. Start by brining your children to the market and get them involved in selecting which fresh veggies are the greenest, the freshest etc and you'll be surprised what happens. I was speaking to a very close friend of mine whose daughter Katie would not eat certain vegetables no matter which sneaky parenting trick you tried to use. Once she began to take Katie to the market, she was shocked at her fascination of the different shapes and colors of all the veggies. When Katie started placing random veggies in the cart, Mom almost put them back "knowing" that Katie wouldn't eat them. It was at that very second where she had that "a-ha" moment to allow Katie to select all the "cool looking" veggies she wanted, into the cart. Once they got home, Mom's little helper assisted in washing the veggies and eventually became a sous chef as they started preparing dinner. To Mom's surprise, Katie ate all her veggies that night and this market to plate mentality is now a permanent part of their routine.
For one thing, cooking with your kids can help get them interested in trying healthy foods they might normally turn their noses up at. Susan Moores, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, says she has seen this happen countless times.
So this summer, get the kids back into the kitchen and even get them to the market instead of in front of a video game. It's not only great for the health of our children, but also a great bonding tool between parents and our children. I am in no way, shape or form a family counselor, but this type of stuff just makes sense. Well... I'm off to the market!
Here is a cute video clip of our corporate chef, Stacy, and her adorable daughter Rachel making some organic pizza with WSFL's Eugene Ramirez. Enjoy!
Until next time...