Almost thirty years ago, after some Americans suggested ketchup was a vegetable, here we go again. This week, Congress released the final draft of an appropriations bill that threatens the USDA’s proposed improvements to school lunches. Among other things, the bill lumps tomato paste into the vegetable category, thereby making spinach and a slice of school lunch pizza analogous. Why? If we don’t allow it, schools will have to serve other (read: actual) vegetables, and that would be expensive, logistically challenging for schools and kids would be bummed. Yup. Bummed.
Posts Tagged: kids
Kebabs aren’t just for summer. Little bits of meat and veggies on a stick are universally appealing for both kids and adults, yet we too often relegate them to grilling season. But for those of us living in the northern climes, they just fall off the radar for six months out of the year, and that’s a shame. They’re a great way to spiff up a winter meal and add some variety to your family’s dinner without too much work. So maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to give up on them.
It has started. The cascade of one-day holidays that each seem to take a full week to celebrate and then linger for months. This was clear when my son was yelling the other day that he must have another piece of candy because, “It is Halloween!!!!” The only problem was that it was October 24. Operation “Hide Candy” has begun.
On a day when people like you and I, despite our better judgment, purposefully cart our children around collecting junk food, here’s a fun way to keep the spirit of healthy living alive tonight. When my children came home and saw these just casually hanging out on the kitchen counter, they were more than a little disturbed…and my kids are not easily impressed by anything I do. But with a few pieces of fruit and about 15 minutes with a paring knife, you’ll have a fun item to share for your Halloween celebration.
Fall is here in New England. For a sports fan, a chef and a father (stepfather and grandfather), it’s the best time of the year. We’re still picking tomatoes, broccoli, onions, brussels sprouts, chile peppers and more from the greenhouse, and we’ve begun pruning, planting spring bulbs and introducing some new perennials to the family. We’ve also decided on an addition to the deck for container gardening and are already plotting out square footage for next year’s gardens. But… fall is for New England sports. We don’t talk about the Red Sox anymore in our house this year, but the Patriots are up and running. Sunday afternoon, are you ready for some… Labne?..some Souvlaki,? How about some Otsu?
The long standing tradition on Halloween is for children to roam the neighborhood dressed up in spooky garb asking neighbors for treats, namely candy. If a treat was not forthcoming, then the children could play a “trick” on that neighbor. With all we know about the negative impact on our health from too much sugar consumption, especially for children, who is really getting tricked in this situation?
I recently had a talk with Kevin Concannon, the Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and I learned that there’s another entity trying to make your healthy lifestyle easier: the federal government. While that may be surprising to some, supporting the well-being of Americans–and children in particular–has been an important mission of the USDA since the Great Depression. Since healthy children grow up to be vibrant, well-educated, and capable adults, the entire country benefits from good nutrition. And given the fact that the U.S. obesity rate is fast approaching 50% and one in four Americans receives some sort of direct benefit from the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, Mr. Concannon is a very busy man.