Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Real Family, Real Solutions, Real Food

The first time I met Jack—the son of the family I discussed yesterday—he was microwave-bound, a Kraft Easy Mac Cup in hand.

I was in the midst of cooking quinoa, cauliflower, wild shrimp and lasagna (using grass-fed ground beef) with his parents but saw the chance to take my first crack at changing Jack’s eating habits, one of the reasons I was there.

What followed was the highlight of my professional career.

In the short time (“ready in 3½ minutes!”) it would have taken Jack to microwave the Easy Mac, I had him eating an afterschool snack consisting of food and helped his mom realize that minimal effort is needed to provide significantly better eating options for her children.

Rather than running off and consuming a substance from a brightly-colored plastic cup containing “enriched macaroni product” and “cheese sauce mix” (which is actually a concoction of 25 components including maltodextrin, corn syrup solids, modified food starch, yellow 5, yellow 6 and medium chain triglycerides), Jack civilly ate his plated snack while sitting at the kitchen table.

Here's how it happened:

“Jack,” I said firmly, “we’re going to pass on the mac and cheese today.”

Jack shot me a quizzical look.

“Jack, do you like bread?”

As he nodded affirmatively, I cut a piece of Grandaisy’s seven grain bread, one of New York City’s best loaves.

“Jack, do you like cheese?”

As he nodded affirmatively, I sliced a wedge of Lioni’s sublime fresh mozzarella and placed it on top of the bread.

With Jack’s continued approval I added parsley, olive oil, unrefined sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Despite the diametric characteristics of the homemade snack and the Easy Mac bought at a drug store, Jack ate everything on his plate. He did try again to microwave the Easy Mac, but I firmly stopped that attempt, instead making him seconds.

The moral of the story?

The mom immediately understood what transpired and knows it is now up to her to make different food purchasing decisions. She has the proof that her son—who just from sight can notice the difference between Aunt Jemimah “syrup” and real maple syrup—will devour the delicious and nutritious food that our society is edging dangerously close to believing our kids are incapable of eating .

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