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?
What New (School) Year resolutions are you making this year? I know that you have them…we all do. September means crisp new notebooks, pencils with perfect points and all the promise of a school year that is organized, productive and dare I say…healthy?
Did you know that September 18th kicks off “Eat Dinner Together Week”? Yes, we have officially reached a time in our social history when we need to remind people to do something as basic as finding a way to eat together. I need to pause and say (in full disclosure) that I’m like you. My dinners are not likely to be gracing the cover of a gourmet food magazine and when my family sits around the table, it is not calm or even always relaxing for that matter.
True story: twice in the last three weeks, my kids were lured by a tiger. The first incident was a lazy Sunday morning when my two-year-old son checked out the Target flyer and noticed the Tiger (which is interesting is that this caught his eye over anything else–even toys). The second time was when we made a brief stop in a small market, and my five-year-old daughter noticed those eyes, which she said looked so “friendly.” Both incidents left my kids wishing we could invite the Tiger into our home and make him part of our family. Yes, that’s right…I’m talking about Tony the Tiger on the Frosted Flakes box. But more importantly, I’m talking about the time, energy and marketing that goes into making my kids react the way they did.
As a mom of three kids, now grown, I’ve been through just about all there is to experience at McDonald’s. In light of McDonald’s July 26, 2011 announcement stating their commitment to offer improved nutrition choices in their Happy Meal, I wanted to share my story.
Kids are exposed to almost 8,000 food advertisements each year. That means that they are seeing about 21 ads for food every day. Most of these ads are for junk foods or those that are high in sugar, salt and fat and low in the nutrients that promote healthy growth and development. Studies show that the more time a child spends in front of the TV, the more likely that they will be overweight or obese. With 1 out of every 3 children in the U.S. being overweight or obese, reducing TV and screen time can help to improve the health of our children. What can be done to help our children with screen time?
There are few topics that paralyze me the way childhood obesity does. I know…I’m not supposed to “take it home.” As a clinician, it is my job to be just that…clinical. But how can I, when I am facing a 70-pound second grader and a parent that doesn’t know where to begin?
It’s a tough job for a caterer like me to design meals that satisfy clients and (hopefully) the majority of their guests. It’s even harder to accommodate picky kids–and adults, frankly–and the stakes are even higher with ever-increasing food intolerances and allergies. There are obvious benefits to keeping our menus healthy and kid-friendly. All of us moms feel the pressure to provide healthful options because it’s the right thing to do, and none of us want our kids jacked up on junk food or starving because they didn’t find anything they liked. We all embrace the importance of showing love for each other through tasty food that everyone likes.