There’s no doubt that parents are up against some powerful forces when it comes to raising healthy eaters, but it’s heartening to see smart parents (and even smarter kids) pushing back. A reader sent me the above picture of her son starting early on good food choices. I’d never heard of Baby Led Weaning but wish I’d known about it when my children were starting solids. It fits well with my mission to teach kids to love food that loves them back. Teaching kids to cook is an important part of this effort and Jennifer Margulis shared how a clean pair of blunt tip scissors make great culinary shears for a 3-year-old to help in the kitchen!
I recently had lunch with members of the Tweens Coalition to sample the new Better Bites: Restaurant Edition kid’s menu at Windy Corner, a local restaurant. The need for this was highlighted when the Center for Science in the Public Interest released a report showing 97 percent of kids’ meals flunk nutrition. Their recommendations were for restaurants to offer more fruit and vegetable options, and make those, rather than French fries, the default sides. They should also offer more whole grains and remove soda or other sugar drinks from kids’ menus. As you can see from the menu, Windy Corners did just that and the pictures show 2-year-old Vada Fedewa enjoying her whole grain quesadilla.
Each kid’s meal (except breakfast) comes with our steamed vegetable of the day or a small house salad or carrot and celery sticks
Willa’s Favorite — White Cheddar whole grain quesadilla $4.95
Silver Dollar Weisenberger Corncake Shorties — Three baby johnnycakes topped with choice of pulled pork or chicken with a sprinkling of cheese $5.95
Stone Cross Farm Mini Beef Burger — All local beef on a whole-grain bun. Dressed how you like it $4.95
Kid’s Oatmeal — A smaller order of oats with local honey drizzle and a fruit cup $3.95
Speaking of Better Bites, we kicked off our third year of bringing healthy options to the city pool. We had some great young helpers passing out samples and I have yet to find another place where you can get fresh fruit and vegetables at a city pool concession stand. Way to go Lexington, Kentucky!
Last but not least, there’s the inspiring example of 9-year-old Hannah Robertson who asked McDonald’s CEO, “Mr. Thompson, don’t you want kids to be healthy so they can live a long and healthy life?”
For McDonald’s, it’s virtually a no-win situation that will only grow larger as a generation of fact-focused and nutritionally savvy Millennials continue to have kids.
The more food smart parents (and even smarter kids), the better!