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So the kids at the school being featured on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution hate the new menu. Big surprise

March 31, 2010 · 61 comments

in Health & Fitness, Parenting

For those of you not familiar with the new TV show called ‘Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution’, the gist of it is this: Jamie Oliver, who is a chef in Britain, goes to a town in West Virginia that was deemed the unhealthiest in America.  Oliver’s goal is to improve the poor eating habits of the entire town to ‘save the lives’ of the city’s residents.  Oliver is incredibly passionate about his mission, and he is desperate to try help reduce the amount of diabetes and obesity in Huntington, West Virginia- starting with the kids.

So Oliver went into a Huntington elementary school cafeteria and familiarized himself with the kitchen and the lunch program.  It was very eye opening to me to  as a parent to see how food is actually ‘prepared’  in a school cafeteria.  It was  interesting to see the lunch ladies pour some strange ‘potato-like-marble-things’ into a pot and stir vigorously so it somehow turns into mashed potatoes.  There were countless storage areas containing frozen, processed products like chicken nuggets and pizza.  Anyway, Oliver was convinced that the children would eat healthier foods if given a healthy option.  He then baked some chicken and offered it with rice and a vegetable.  He then had to add buns to the menu because regulations stated two breads must be served at lunch.  So, both menu options were offered to the kids:  The Oliver healthy and fresh menu, and the school menu of chicken nuggets and other processed items.  Oliver also removed the option of chocolate and strawberry flavored milk, offering only white milk. (Oh my!)

Well, a survey was done, and so shockingly, the kids chose their old favorites of nuggets and pizza.  When only the healthy options were offered, some of the kids just stopped buying lunch altogether.   However, is anyone actually surprised by this?   Here you have a community of kids that have been raised on fried, sugary food their whole lives.   How can kids suddenly be made to prefer a taste that is totally unfamiliar to them- fresh!?

So my point in all of this is this; start feeding your kids healthy foods before bad habits are completely ingrained in them. I will go more in depth on this in a later post, but nobody says you have to start your kids on chicken nuggets when they are 3.   If you offer kids fresh spinach with mandarin oranges when they are toddlers, I bet they will eat it without blinking an eye when they are older. However, if you start taking away a teenager’s fries and replace it with a plate of spinach, the result may not be what you hoped for.   Good eating habits must be established when the kids are young- when they don’t even think about it.

This is not to say it is ever too late to try and improve your family’s eating habits.   However, it can not be expected to literally happen overnight.

If you would like to read the full article regarding the Jamie Oliver’s lunch experiment, click this link from Yahoo News: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100330/ap_en_tv/us_food_revolution

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