For the first time in history, parents are outliving their children. Children are suffering from obesity, diabetes, even heart attacks. This S#%! Is Unnecessary.
Recently I was invited to Chucky Cheese for a 6 yr old birthday party. I know what you’re thinking, bad start already.
When I asked the parent about what determined their decision to celebrate there, they begrudgingly told me that it was a great place for a child to play with all of their friends and that they provide everything you would need which makes their job so much easier. Point taken.
When I arrived I saw droves of children laughing and playing and certainly having a good time. I took my seat at the dinner table and watched as the pizza, cake and chicken wings came out to the other tables.
I thought, “Hey” It’s baby girls’ birthday. She’s having fun. No biggie, for today.
But then I noticed something else.
The server walked down the aisle and asked all the children and adults what they wanted to eat. She even offered salad bar items which were plentiful. I saw the children looking to their parents for guidance on their menu choices and noticed many of their faces light up when offered fruit or salad.
Many of the parents, aunts or grandparents appeared bothered by this offer, and quickly gestured to the server “just bring him another pizza or some fries”. I saw a few children fold their arms and pout. One parent said “Boy, you don’t even know what that is, that ain’t gone get you full, you’ll be hungry in another hour!”
I heard one grandmother express that her grandbaby was raised vegan, but that she felt too guilty to not “sneak a piece” to her.
I thought about my old waitress job and how parents would come in and order very select well-rounded meals while watching their kids chomp down on a PBJ, chicken strips or a grilled cheese sandwich.
In short, it pisses me off.
I have fed many children, babies, toddlers and pre-teens and there is no doubt that they can be fickle eaters.
Often times it is exposure, seasonings, textures and combinations that can make or break a meal for them. Some children will only eat things separate while some prefer it all mixed together.
But there has never been a time that I have been surprised by a child who loves, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Simply prepared, raw or steamed, dipped or garnished and served with creativity and love.
I am not yet a mother, but I am passionate about food education and its’ impact on the next generation of children. Their health is our responsibility, Lets’ Do Better. – Chef Ahki