A Food Revolution for Your Grandkids

   By grandparents  Jan 12, 2011

Jamie Oliver wants your grandchildren to eat healthier. The British celebrity chef is on a mission to change the way America eats ? and he's spreading the word via a cookbook, website, and a new prime-time ABC series, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.

Go to the recipes now »

With childhood obesity on the rise, kids need to learn about proper nutrition and eating healthfully now more than ever ? and those lessons, Oliver believes, must start at home, where children should pick up healthy habits by following their parents' example. The core of Oliver's philosophy has always been providing kids with well-balanced, home-cooked meals. If adults and children made better food choices, and learned to cook wholesome, good meals, he argues, everyone would be healthier.

Life or Death Struggle

"This is going to kill your children," Oliver says to a parent in the first episode of his series, after spotting junk food stacked in the family's pantry. The show follows Oliver to Huntington, W. Va., the city the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls the unhealthiest in the United States. Once in town, he takes his vision and cuisine to local school cafeterias to help change the way kids eat at lunchtime, and ultimately give them healthier eating habits. His equation: Schools need to provide healthier meals because better food equals better health, and better health fosters more effective learning.

JAMIE'S FOOD REVOLUTION by Jamie Oliver. Copyright © 2009.
The question remains: Why does the United States struggle with obesity? Simply put, we choose too many unhealthy foods. Heavily processed foods, like fast food, are making our kids ? and adults ? fat. Yet most schools stock vending machines with sodas and snack foods , both laden with high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. Children, then, become prone to obesity because these are the products offered to them. These so-called "foods" contribute to such diet-related illnesses as Type 2 diabetes, which can be deadly for adults.

Consider this staggering fact: The CDC reports that childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. What's worse, obese children and adolescents run a higher risk of serious health problems, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease. 

Join the Revolution

Oliver's mission to bring fresh and wholesome food to every child doesn't stop in the cafeteria. In Huntington, he invites himself into people's homes and looks at the way families eat. Oliver extols the virtues of eating well and making satisfying meals from fresh ingredients. "If you don't know how to cook, start now," he tells parents. "And if you know how, pass those skills along for future generations."

Oliver's new cookbook, Jamie's Food Revolution (Hyperion, 2009), provides a bounty of tasty, easy-to-follow recipes prepared with fresh, seasonal foods ? everything from mains to sides. There are delicious desserts, too, because Oliver believes that treats are good ? in moderation.

Like First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move Campaign," which encourages kids and families to be more active together, Oliver is asking for public support to promote legislation to improve school meals. You can join the revolution by signing Oliver's petition here.


Make a Comment

Denisegrnk by Denisegrnk | NEW LENOX, IL
Jan 13, 2011

I am a mother of a chunky 12 year old boy........I'm going to buy this book and look up some of his recipes now!! This is a great idea & I need help and my son wants to lose some weight as well. New Year new lifestyle!! Thanks for your help Jamie!! :)

MadHatter by MadHatter | Whitestone , NY
Jan 13, 2011

Its really sad that a lot of people shun him and think of his episodes and book(s) as a joke. the man is trying to save them but a handful of people aren't paying him any mind! this is extremely sad how spoiled rotten these kids and irresponsible the parents are. I want to live long, see my kids grow up and be with them/for them on their most important days.

nursegirl09 by nursegirl09 | GOSHEN, IN
Jan 12, 2011

I watched this show when it aired in 2010, and loved it. It is truly alarming what our children eat day in and day out at school. We decided this year that we would pack our daughter's lunch every day except for one day a week, when she can choose a school lunch she'd like to eat. It's been working well so far.