I had a chance to catch up with my Tivo this evening and watch today's episode of Oprah (10/8). Now you would be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of Oprah than me, but today, I am all but FREAKING OUT about her latest guest/"next big thing".
Oprah hosted Jessica Seinfeld, yes, Jerry's wife, and led a discussion on Ms. Seinfeld's new book, "Deceptively Delicious". The premise of the book is that to get your kids/family to eat better, you should add vegetable purees to their foods so that the veggies go by unnoticed. Ms. Seinfeld's recipes are lowfat and there's no hint of the offending vegetables anywhere. I'm guessing the basic idea is that it's best to get nutrition in there somehow. I so strongly disagree with her ideas on how to do that.
Ms. Seinfeld is a busy mother of three, thin, beautiful, and let's not joke around here, pretty darn well off. Even with all of this, I have no doubts that she struggles with getting the good stuff off the kid's plates and into their bellies. It seems an almost universal problem. But here's my issue: What are we teaching our kids here? Why are we giving the control to the kids about what they eat? What about the lack of trust????
Before you start thinking that I'm some maniac who beats her children in order to get them to eat their broccoli, let me assure you that I am not (that was my dad ;). I work hard to teach my kids what foods are good, which ones are a treat, and which ones are necessary. I also work hard to get my kids to eat their veggies, but don't go overboard with the pressure. But, we're also not rocking out McDonald's that often either.
My approach is a bit more time-consuming than Ms. Seinfeld's, but I think it results in much happier, open-minded children overall. My approach? Get your kids cooking. Have then help you in the kitchen. Teach them how to cook. Teach them healthy eating from junk food eating by letting them shop with you and make decsions in the store. Give them some responsibility at dinner-time. (Please see my previous post.)
Parents don't have tons of time nowadays to spend cooking with their kids. I think that's one of the reasons that my cooking classes and cooking camps for kids and teens are so popular. I'll tell you this though, when kids have a hand in making their meals, they are so much more apt to give new things a try.
If you saw Oprah you also saw the part about "Honey, We're Killing the Kids" on the Discovery Health channel. Three very overweight young men and their parents got a rude-awakening as to where their health is headed without some important changes. The kid's initial reaction to the healthier diet (tofu right out of the gate...Are you kidding me???), was of course one of pain and disgust. But, cut to the next scene and watch Junior starting a stir-fry himself; he's soooo into it. He had a hand in making the dinner and was automatically more invested. I'd like to say "Thus proving my point", but I'm afraid of over-kill right now.
I promise not to dedicate this blog to just children and eating/cooking, but today, it's my soapbox and I'll stand if I want to!
What do you think? Agree or disagree?