Why Kids Eat Food For Kids? | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Poor kids, they get to choose their food from the kids’ menu and eat junk stuff while the adults indulge in every possible delicacy of the world!

My girlfriend was complaining that schools serve junk food to the kids for lunch. They are so used to eat “useless” food that when they return home from daily school, don’t even want to hear about the “real food” their mom, my girlfriend prepares.
She was telling me that her girlfriend in Italy commented that when her kids are in school (Italian schools that is) eat as adults do and the school menu looks the same as a restaurant menu, but I think it has to do a lot with our culture.

Mercato

Bari, Puglia – Italy Street market. Photo ©Valentina Cirasola

 

In Italy food is an integral part of our daily life, we get up in the morning and already think of what to eat for dinner. That gives us plenty time for planning the daily meals, go to the market and buy the food needed for the day.
Yes, we go to the market every day as Italians eat fresh food daily and not from the freezer, or pre-made, processed food prepared a year ago and sold in styrofoam packages, with a plastic film on top.

In America, au contraire of Italians, I have observed a huge disconnection from food. American “real food” is good, tasty, nutritional, colorful, which says a lot when people eat food in all the colors, yet Americans have opted for fast food and for days empty of cooking, as if cooking is beneath them (sorry, but I had to say this).

In my circle of friends and clients, I know many people who don’t cook and don’t even know how to boil water.
I also know many people who take the time to get up at 4:00 am to go to the gym until 6:30-7:00 am before tackling their day.
They do find the time to exercise, but have no time for cooking and eating well. I see no point of working the muscles to a statuesque perfection when the stomach is full of junk food.
The first death happens in the stomach! Just so you know.

I am including a link to an interested article I read about the artificial preservatives and color dyes in many junk food.
http://blog.sfgate.com/sfmoms/2010/09/10/whats-in-a-twinkie-kids-favorite-food-deconstructed/

OK, enough of that!

Kids should be educated at home first. I don’t think it is a good practice to give in to any kids’ requests. Kids will try anything to bend the parents to a nice sculpture and most of the time they will succeed. Parents are their kids’ managers, but often it is the other way around in America.

In my Italian family, when I was in the age I had no say so about anything, as in many of my friends’ families, there was no choice of food. We ate all that our moms prepared and if we didn’t like it, too bad, we went hungry. There was no alternative, no other choice and no junk food either. Our parents did that for our good, not to be abusive. Food in Italy is perceived as our friend and not our enemy that makes us loses time. It is not just perceived, it is respected, it is loved, appreciated and not wasted. That’s why kids in Italy will never eat from a kids’ menu, not in restaurants, not in the family, not in the school.
I have young nieces and nephews, they are a different generation, but their mom, my sister, taught them the same as our parents taught us about food. Equally, I can say about the young cousins in my family, when we sit at the table, we all eat the same food.
Bare in mind, this is not only the Italian people’s prerogative; I have seen the same attitude towards food in many cultures too, except in America. Here people have embraced a fast culture and don’t have time for food and cooking, the most important fuel for our brain. My question is:  what do they have time for?

(Hot Dog Photo http://greatestamericanhotdogs.com/food/item/chicago-dog-2)

 

Unfortunately,  in America, due to this mentality of everything fast, kids are treated as a non-important class, when it comes to food.
Why do they have to be fed so badly with junk food in the growing stage, the most important time of their life?
Kids will be the future managers of our society, we have a responsibility not to grow sick flowers!

junk-food

(ISTOCKPHOTO – http://www.cbsnews.com/news/saturated-fats-wont-raise-heart-disease-risk-omega-3s-wont-reduce-it-study)

Schools are expensive. For the money parents pay to send their kids to school, they should be able to get at least one healthy meal a day in return, but they don’t.
Parents should be able to count on schools not only to educate on academics, but to educated their kids on nutrition and cooking to provide them with the knowledge that will contribute to their life time good health. Sport, cooking and nutrition should be obligatory subjects to take, no excuse and while we are in this subject, teach kids also how to get closer to earth and grow natural food.
In the future and I strongly believe this, people who know how to grow food from seeds, who know how to make breads, pasta and know how to eat with vegetables, people who know how to preserve food will be the  survivors.

Please, parents make your own battle against bad food in schools, let your voice be heard and if schools don’t have the right person with the right knowledge of food, find that person.
Remember when your kids get sick due to bad nutrition, you are the only one to pay for, not the school.

I am an advocate of good eating, please don’t mistreat our kids, they are our future heritage.  As a food author, I am available to be hired for speaking engagements, or any seminars in any schools. Ciao,
Valentina

www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer with a passion for kitchens and cooking. She especially loves to design all those rooms with a “make me feel good” tag attached, such as kitchens and wine grottos, outdoor kitchens and outdoor rooms, great rooms and entertainment rooms. She is a public speaker and a mentor. She is also the author of two Italian regional cuisine books, available here in this site on the Books page and in various locations:
Come Mia Nonna–A Return to Simplicity
Sins Of A Queen – Italian Appetizers and Desserts
http://outskirtspress.com/ComeMiaNonna
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lnq8baaAq0M
http://outskirtspress.com/SinsOfAQueen

Robert Taitano, a friend and business associate says: “Valentina - an International Professional Interior Designer is now giving you an opportunity to redesign your palate”.  


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Family Vacation Ideas
    Nov 16, 2011 @ 02:37:13

    Superb posting, I share the same views. I wonder why this particular world truly does not picture for a moment like me and also the blog site creator 😀

    Like

    Reply

  2. Francesca Ostrouska Tosolini
    Nov 09, 2011 @ 22:50:33

    Well said Valentina! I would also add that a healthy meal can be made in just a few minutes, it doesn’t necessarily have to take hours. It is all about changing mind set. Keep up the good work, ciao

    Like

    Reply

    • Valentina Author
      Nov 09, 2011 @ 23:06:10

      Hello Francesca,
      I totally agree with you that healthy cooking don’t have to be a chore, nor a long process. My two books are a good example of this.
      Thank you for reading. Stay tuned!
      Valentina

      Like

      Reply

    • wagner
      Jun 11, 2012 @ 05:31:11

      Hi, great video. Can you help me understand why low fat is good? I have read a lot on the scenice behind low fat vs low carb nutrition trying to get my head around all the confusion. It is sugar that spikes blood sugar levels leading to insulin release (fat stoing hormone). Sat Fat does the opposite. Can you see my confusion? I see low fat products have much more sugar than full fat products

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      • Valentina Author
        Jun 13, 2012 @ 17:50:34

        It is advisably to stay away from white refined sugar, food containing molasses and artificial sugar types, soft and carbonated drinks and of course baked sweet food.
        Carbohydrates when digested turn into sugar as well, therefore get in the habit of eating whole wheat pasta, rice and bread.
        Eliminate completely from cooking all the saturated fatty oils found in certain vegetable products such as coconut oil, cottonseed oil, palm kernel oil, butter, ghee or lard and many prepared foods.
        These oil types will keep the triglycerides very high. Triglycerides are a mechanism for storing unused calories.
        Reduce the intake of chocolate, cream, cheese and fatty meats. Dairy products provide a good source of calcium, but keep them at a minimum.
        Unsaturated fats are ideal for a good health and to keep insuline production down. Foods containing unsaturated fats include avocado, nuts, and vegetable oils such as canola and olive oils. Cook with olive oil and you will do very good. Olive oil also keep body and face skin very young.

        Here is my suggestion:
        Counting calories and buying low fat food is not the way to keep sugar in the blood at a low level and to stay healthy. The moment one forgets to count calories gains back all the pound one might have lost. Changing eating habits is the only way. Understanding how food is made, refusing to eat process, prepackaged and fried food is the way to go. Read every food labels. If only one ingredient is a food type and the rest are all chemicals, don’t buy that food. Cook fresh food as we can control what we put in the food and eat lot of vegetable and fruits.
        Life will appreciate it and will treat you good. Thank you for reading me.
        Valentina

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