Monday, February 15, 2010

Wish, Move, Eat...

"I wish for your help to create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.”

This is Jamie Oliver's wish, you remember him, he used to be naked. He won the TED prize this year and will receive help in granting this wish. This is my wish too.

I think a perfect storm is brewing, a storm of healthy eating. Farmer's markets are springing up, organic food is becoming more available, the price of gas continues to stay high, Michelle Obama has started the "Let's Move" Initiative and Jamie Oliver is speaking out. Hopefully, this is just the beginning to get people eating healthier and moving more.

I want my girls to be healthy; and so it is my job to teach them how. There are days, more days than I would like, where it would be soooo easy just to go through the drive-thru. But I know not only does it not teach them healthy eating habits, it does teach them poor eating habits. It is frightening how much kids soak up; they are never on auto-pilot and so to them every moment is a learning experience.

Here is what I try to serve to the family:
  • local
  • organic
  • in season
  • if not in season, then frozen or canned
  • meat as a side dish
  • 50% plants
  • whole grain
  • whole foods (for example oatmeal, unsalted butter, or plain yogurt - you can add honey or fruit and it tastes better than flavored, sugared yogurt)
Yes, it takes more time to prepare food. Here are some of my tricks for making it quicker:
  • bake muffins on Sunday for that week's lunches (lunches usually include a muffin, a fruit, and a veggie)
  • double the recipe for another meal later in the week
  • smoothies (great as a snack and can be eaten on the run)
  • salad bar (throw whatever is in the fridge/pantry in pretty bowls and people make their own salads for dinner, this usually includes lettuce, veggies, canned beans, cheese, and nuts with Trader Joe's balsamic vinaigrette)
Turn food into fun; visit the farmer's market together and have the kids pick out that night's veggies, let your child direct the dinner preparation, and plan meals together. Check out the Let's Move Initiative for ideas, sample menus, and recipes. Pass on Jamie's message and start cooking together. Finally, plant a garden, you will have fresh, local, in season produce that gets you moving at harvest time as a family. Here are a few resources for you: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Feeding the Whole Family, Everyday Food, Get Cooking, and Pretend Soup.

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