Say Goodbye To The Kid's Menu
By William Emerson
"My wish is to create a strong sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again, and empower people everywhere to fight obesity," says Jamie Oliver's mission with Food Revolution.
Emily Farr has three kids under six and believes in educating them on cuisines from around the world. "In all honesty, it is a selfish reason. My husband and I like international dishes and going to restaurants. So, we made a concerted effort to ensure our kids had a varied palate." The Farrs usually share three entrees amongst the five of them at restaurants. "I want them to explore foods and learn to eat more than grilled cheese or chicken fingers," says Emily from her home in upstate New York, she continues, "I will never forget when we went out to eat with my husband's family a few years ago. Our three-year-old tried to convince his seven-year-old cousin to eat her salad because it was delicious. In that moment, I felt that I had won a battle that I didn't realize I was fighting."
Getting your child to eat their vegetables or try new foods is often difficult. However, it is a fight worth having because it enables the body to fight the problems we can't see.
According to the CDC, nearly 20% of children today are obese. An unknown number are what's called "skinny fat," these people are not obese, but suffer from the same diseases as their obese counterparts.
“On the outside they look incredibly healthy, but on the inside they’re a wreck,” Dr. Daniel Neides, medical director at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, told Time. You probably know a few "skinny fat" people. These are the people that you hate because they can eat anything and stay thin. They prefer steak and junk food over vegetables, and will rarely be found breaking a sweat. Neither weight nor obesity are clear indicators of internal health.
Eating healthy is not something we should consider doing one day. It is something we need to take seriously because being thin does not mean healthy and how we eat as adults relates directly to how we ate as children.
Healthy eating starts at home, but all across the country there are apps, camps, and non-profits helping kids discover healthier eating habits and easier ways to cook.
If you do not have the time to figure it out, we don't blame you. We are all busy and the things we want can't always take center stage. Let your children lead and guide you to healthier meals. Empower your child to change your family's eating habits. It is their health future they are protecting.
Recipe by Sophie Jaffe, owner of The Philosophie, a certified raw food chef, and nutritionist to celebrities including George Clooney and Lea Michele.
Paleo Coconut-Pumpkin Pancakes
In a medium bowl, beat egg until fluffy. Add coconut milk, pumpkin, honey, and coconut oil, and whisk until thoroughly mixed. In a separate bowl, mix almond flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and coconut flour. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients and whisk vigorously until there are no lumps and batter is smooth. Heat a pan or griddle over medium to high heat and grease with coconut oil. Pour in batter 1/3 cup at a time and cook for 4 to 7 minutes or until crispy and golden. Flip and cook another 3 to 5 minutes.
Serve with toppings of choice, such as fruit, nut or coconut butter, or maple syrup.
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp Berry Superfood Manuka Honey
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted, plus extra for cooking
1 cup almond flour
3 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp coconut flour
Recipe by "StepStoolChef", a 7-year-old contributor to the SideChef app.
Rainbow Pasta Salad was inspired by a recipe seen on the Food Network. Cook the bow tie pasta as directed on the box. Cook the mixed vegetables until ready to eat. While the pasta and veggies cook, set aside one ziplock bag for each food color. Add 2 tablespoons of water and 20 drops of food coloring in each bag. When the pasta has finished cooking evenly divide the pasta into each ziplock bag. Let the pasta sit in each bag for about a minute. Drain and rinse the pasta. Combine the pasta with the vegetables, italian dressing, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup Italian Dressing
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup Mixed Vegetables
8oz. Bow Tie Pasta
Recipe by Arielle Adelman, Kurbo Health, health coaches and mobile weight loss program for kids, teens and families.
Whole Wheat Pita Chips Pita chips are delicious and easily transformed into a yellow light from a red light by making them at home. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut your whole wheat pita into 8 wedges and place on a baking sheet. Lightly brush pita with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and garlic powder or cinnamon. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until crispy. Serve plain or with hummus.
1 Whole Wheat Pita
Garlic Powder or Cinnamon
Recipe by pediatrician Nimali Fernando MD, MPH, co-author, Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater: A Parent's Handbook.
Dinosaur Kale Salad uses a head of Tuscan kale washed and dried with the stems removed. Place small batches of into the food processor and pulse until the entire head is chopped up. In a separate bowl whisk lemon juice, olive oil, and honey together to make a dressing. Toss the kale with parmesan cheese, dried cranberries, pine nuts, and pomegranate, then add the dressing and serve.
One head of Tuscan kale (can substitute with another kale)
1/2-1 lemon, squeezed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup dried cranberries (can substitute chopped raisins, dried cherries or currants)
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 pomegranate, arils removed (optional)
Recipe by Sally Sampson, a James Bread Award winner, the Founder of ChopChopKids, and the author of ChopChop: The Kid's Guide to Real Food.
Beanie Burger provides protein for muscles and carbohydrates for energy. Put the black beans in a bowl and using a fork, mash until chunky. Crack the egg into a separate large mixing bowl and, using a fork, mix until the color is all the same. Add the chunky black beans, then add the rice, barley or bread crumbs, scallions, cilantro or basil leaves, garlic, cumin, oregano or basil and olive oil and mix until well combined. Divide the mixture into 4 portions and form each into a patty about 3/4-1 inch thick. Sprinkle the patties with salt and, if using, pepper. With the help of an adult, put a skillet on the stove and and turn the heat to high. Wait two minutes for the pan to get hot and then add the patties to the dry pan. Cook until browned on both sides and heated throughout, 4-5 minutes on each side. You can serve serve them alone or on buns like the meat burgers. Add lettuce, tomato and any other toppings.
16 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed with cold water
1 large egg
1⁄2 cup leftover/cooked rice, barley, or panko bread crumbs
2 scallions, minced (about 1/4 cup)
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or basil leaves, or a combination, rinsed with cold water
1 clove garlic, minced
1⁄4 tsp ground cumin, or more to taste
1⁄4 tsp dried oregano or basil
1 tsp olive oil
1⁄2 tsp kosher salt
1⁄2 tsp black pepper, if you like
About William Emerson
A Christian and patriot, William Emerson is a small town boy who enjoys football and everything American. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” - Philippians 2:3