Friday, October 19, 2007
End vegetable discrimination now!
I've been reading about a book by Jerry Seinfeld's wife that's on the bestseller list. It's called Deceptively Delicious and it's about how to disguise vegetables so that your kids will eat them without fussing. Most of the method involves pureeing vegetables and adding them to things like mac & cheese and cakes. So, the kids don't see the vegetables, they eat their favorite foods, they're healthy and the parents are happy.
HS reminded me that this seems a lot like the apples disguised as french fries story. Again I cry: why must we disguise fruits and vegetables so that people will eat them? And why is the book called Deceptively Delicious? Because if vegetables are starring as themselves, people could never think a dish was delicious?
I know kids are fussier than adults, but parents are probably the biggest influence on people's eating habits, even in adulthood. Jessica Seinfeld's kids will grow up in a rarefied social strata with personal chefs and trainers likely at their disposal. However, I imagine other kids whose parents were fans of this cookbook going to college and continuing to eat mac & cheese and cupcakes, only this time there is no cauliflower puree in the cheese sauce or beet puree in the cupcakes. They might never develop the habit of eating fruits and vegetables.
So, how do we help people, especially kids, increase their fruit/veggie intake and increase the allure of the naked vegetable? Here are a few ideas:
--Buy the best quality produce that you can. The difference in taste is amazing.
--Bring kids to "pick your own" farms every year.
--Provide fruit and carrot & celery sticks as after-school snacks.
--Try to introduce soups and stir-fries as comfort foods rather than white-carb-heavy foods.