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Pizza for Breakfast, Anyone?

Pizza for Breakfast, Anyone?

Sometimes it’s the only thing on the menu for elementary school kids in Huntington, West Virginia, where more than 1 in 3 children are obese. The kids don’t seem to mind--and the ladies serving up the processed pizza think it’s a satisfactory slice of nutrition--but renowned chef Jamie Oliver is determined to change their thinking---and their menu.

 

 

A French Fry is Not a Vegetable

In his new ABC series “Jamie Oliver: Food Revolution,” the plucky British chef takes on the eating habits of the small town of Huntington, rated the unhealthiest city in America. The series, which premiers March 26th, offers a sobering glimpse into the nutritional know-how of Huntington’s children: when Oliver holds up a tomato to a classroom of 2nd graders, they have no idea what it is. All they really know about food comes in the form of nuggets and patties, bagged snacks and flavored, sugared milk. This is hardly surprising when we learn that the school cooks consider a French fry a vegetable.

Beyond Obesity

Did you know that the shocking result of poor nutrition in some parts of USA is a generation of children projected to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents?

If Huntington, West Virginia is even slightly indicative of what’s going on around the rest of the country, Jamie Oliver certainly has his work cut out for him. But he’s up for the challenge: Oliver has already “revolutionized” school nutrition in his native Britain, successfully moving junk-filled vending machines out and bringing fresh, natural foods in. He believes good nutrition can be affordable to everyone in this country and he wants to make an example out of the fast-food loving people of Huntington. He’s up against a prickly population who don’t like his ideas or the taste of his food. Yet. It will be interesting to see if and how his food and dance theatrics, along with his impassioned pleas, impact this community.

Don’t All Kids Hate Vegetables?

Moms have always had to cajole their kids to eat their greens. It’s an age-old struggle. But as processed foods dominate supermarket aisles, with their low-prices and high flavor (thanks to lots of sodium and sugar), has the challenge to feed our children healthy food taken on a new dimension? Raising our kids to eat well is no longer just a dinner-table battle over carrots and peas. It’s about instilling values in our children about food and nutrition in a world filled with a lot of empty calories.  What’s your take?

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  • pjclayton57 By pjclayton57
    03.26.10  

    I was not able to afford snacks and junk food when my kids were growing up, so they munched on veggies and fruits. I also made most things from scratch, so my kids grew up eating healthy and have instilled that into their kids lives as well. It bothers me to see kids eating junk and drinking soda and sugary drinks.

  • clk8911 By clk8911
    03.26.10  

    My nephews constantly eat junk food at their house to the point that they readily eat fruit and veggies at my mom's, their grandma, house. My mom has always had apples, pears, and the like around for snacks. I love fruit, especially kiwi, and veggies because of my mom. With a new baby myself I want to make her homemade baby food as she gets older, starting with Avocado.

  • jenndta69 By jenndta69
    03.28.10  

    OK, I love Jamie Oliver for what he has been trying to do. It's really sad that parents, educators, and our government has allowed this to happen. I know a few cases in our family that this is happening and it's pathetic and sad. Let's get this straight, we are in control of our kids, not the other way around. If you teach them to eat well, they will. I do not believe or subscribe to the notion of a picky eater. It's bull and a cop out! If you raise them on healthy foods, they will eat them. Junk food and healthy foods cost the same, so don't use that as an excuse either. I feel so sorry for these children. I'm glad to see the above posts here understand. It makes me feel hopeful. I am lucky I have a daughter that actually loves everything healthy. Sure, it's Ok to have a "goodie" once in a while, but that also means you have a well balanced diet and don't forget these children need to get off the couch and excercise. Have you ever noticed that the obese children have obsese parents?

  • pjclayton57 By pjclayton57
    03.29.10  

    To clk8911, that is a great idea....I used to do the same for mine and did it for my grandchildren when they were here visiting! They love it and you will always know what is in it too! I freeze and can a lot of fruits and veggies, so we always have fresh applesauce around! Yummy!

  • marriedgirl27 By marriedgirl27
    03.29.10  

    We need to get the child obesity problem under control in the US. I believe that parents are the root of the problem. If parents teach kids healthy eating habits and teach by exzample children will follow. Some parents today think if their children are happy they are doing a good job when in reality most kids will not be happy eating healthy right away. It takes time to teach kids to reach for a carrot over cake. Their is no reason for childhood obesity to occur in a country where healthy food IS readily availible. I shop at ALDIS for all of my groceries and it really helps buying cheep vegtables and fruits. I hear all the time that buying high fat food is so easy and quick when in reality its the choices on the menu that can make a difference and many choose not to eat healthy. Pre-package healthy snacks and store them in the fridge so you can grab them on the go. I really hope that this new TV show helps open americans eyes because we are really hurting our children .

  • ppj927 By ppj927
    03.29.10  

    Why can't the parents feed their kids at home? If not, serve fresh fruits and cheese or let 'em go hungry until lunch. My kids very rarely will go hungry than eat a dish they think they won't like.

  • lughead13 By lughead13
    03.30.10  

    Fruit and veggies are a staple in our house....even if they cost a bit more....well woth it. I then buy store-brand products to cut costs. Adding frozen / canned vegetables help when the usuals are out-of-season. I try to stock up on blueberries while on sale and freeze them for later use.

  • blspeer94 By blspeer94
    03.30.10  

    My kids like their share of junk food, but for the most part I have to say they have good eating habits and like to exercise. At least one child does. Fruits and veggies are a big part of our diet and meal planning.

  • veggiebear By veggiebear
    03.31.10  

    If Dora the Explorer was endorsing tomatos, the kids would have known what they were. Schools carry the unhealthy junk endorsed by companies who can easily manipulate children. I think we have to regain control and expect children to respect our decisions. When I was a kid, I REFUSED to eat my veggies(Squash, cauliflower, peas and brussel sprouts were the usual culprits.) I was not allowed to get up from the table unless I ate them. I protested and thought my parents were the meanest parents in the world. Their method of teaching me to eat my veggies worked. I felt embarrassed and left out of my family circle because I wasn't doing the same things they were. Make eating veggies and fruit a PRIORITY, a NECESSARY evil (if you will), and don't let your kids guilt u into making them Tony's pizza. Stand your ground. My parents did and now I eat squash, cauliflower and peas.. but I still won't touch brussel sprouts

  • basilandcatnip By basilandcatnip
    03.31.10  

    I emailed and called people to see this show. I even sent a thank you to my parents, and a few relatives that spent time with me as a kid in their gardens, taught me to eat right, and even helped me have a small vegetable stand. I was also a volunteer at a low income clinic, included was a food pantry, it was very upsetting for me to see that the food bank was based on calories per day (not nutrition, like so many of the patients needed for their medical conditions). I was happy the teacher on the show took the time to include a veggie lesson, I loved seeing the principals face light up teaching the kids the basics of using a fork and knife. It was so sad to see what Jamie had to push to get people to see, but I'm glad he did, it was a WIN WIN! I love the concept of the town having a free place to go to learn how to cook good foods.

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