Some of you might remember I did a blog post awhile back about Jamie Oliver and his, “Food Revolution”. For a quick re-cap, Jamie went to a town in West Virginia and did his best to educate the town, the schools and the children about proper nutrition.
I applaud him for his efforts and how simply he showed how good nutrition didn’t have to be complicated, expensive or cumbersome. He made it fast, fun and easy. What the real challenge for him would be how the town would adopt to the changes and if good health was truly something the town would embrace.
One of Jamie’s targeted foods to stop eating is Chicken Nuggets. At one time chicken nuggets were made from extruded chicken. Jamie has had great success at home in England with this experiment where he shows kids how they are made.
The purpose of this experiment was to show the difference between great food and food products. Jamie says that this experiment has never failed!! Until now…
What does this mean? To me it’s simple…North American diets have been so saturated with crap that kids see these food products as ‘normal’. A cute shape, some deep-frying and slick packaging and our kids say, “That’s what I want!!”
Well, I’m not one for blaming the kids. Kids are products of their environment in many regards and this is one of them. If we as parents choose, yes choose to give our kids crap, why would you expect them to make good choices? If they see the drive thru as the quick and easy way to nutrition, then why would we ever think that as they grow, they will make sound decisions.
Sure, we can blame someone else for this problem…government, advertisers, food product producers, etc. But, in the end, look no further than the mirror. Chances are, your lifestyle has led to the choices that kids are making for snacks, for lunch and for nutrition in general. They have seen a lack of time for you to prepare wholesome healthy meals and your settle for convenience mentality.
There are many families where a sit down meal with real food is a treat, not the norm. The standard meal is from a box, a delivery car or a drive thru. At one time it used to be the opposite way around. Pizza once every couple of weeks from the local pizza joint was a special treat. What happened?
Do you know you can actually make your own pizza incredibly healthy, cheaper and as a family experience at home? We do it all the time. No salt, no preservatives, nothing from a can…just great ingredients that the kids choose for their own personal pizza that they make. They love doing it and when they get involved, they will eat with less difficulty.
And it’s not just pizza…what about getting your kids to mix the meat for hamburgers and make the patties themselves? Use whole wheat mini-buns and give them the options for toppings. Guacamole, salsa, lettuce, tomato all add great flavour and don’t add to the incredible fat and saturated fat content of many commercial burgers.
The options are limit less and with a little planning, some time set aside on a Saturday or Sunday and you can make great meal options that are quick, convenient and healthy.
It really is up to you. There is no one to blame but yourself if your kids have the option of candy or fruit, or carrot sticks or chocolate bars. If you remove the bad choices then the rest of the choices are pretty simple and healthy.