This review is based on my own opinions and experiences.
It’s not just ready-to-eat convenience foods that are leading to childhood obesity. Teaching children to cook, which should help eliminate the problems, sadly is contributing to the epidemic of childhood obesity and other dietary diseases when we do it the way they’re doing it with the Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club.
I was excited to have a cook from the Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club do a program on cooking with children at my local library. As cook Jodie Fitz’s energy and enthusiasm got the kids excited about cooking, it was the ingredients she was using that dampened mine.
The first recipe in the Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club agenda was Mini Flower Pots. The ingredients in this disastrous recipe include whipped topping (a synthetic oil & sugar fluff) mixed with brightly dyed artificial yogurts poured into fillo (phyllo) cups made from one genetically modified ingredient on top of another.
“This recipe is so healthy kids,” said Fitz at the Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club program I attended, “You can even make it for breakfast.”
Oh yeah, the Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club mini flower pots are topped with one strawberry and a blueberry (fruit harvested out of season and shipped 3,000 miles from California).
Is this the best we can do when it comes to fighting childhood obesity and teaching our children to cook? At the bottom of the Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club mini flower pots recipe, Fitz does say that organic yogurt could be substituted and the whipped topping could be eliminated. So why doesn’t she demonstrate these substitutions when she cooks with children and work them into her recipe to begin with, I wondered?
In a letter posted on her Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club website, Fitz says her recipes focus on trying to get five fruit and vegetable servings a day into a child’s diet. After her Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club program, I asked Fitz how she came to terms with the health content of the foods she was teaching the children to cook with and she echoed her mission to just get the fruit and vegetables in the kids no matter what type of disguise that required.
While I believe childhood obesity is a complex issue and childhood nutrition is a sliding scale that involves much give and take, I do believe we can do better than what Fitz is proposing in the Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club. We can fight childhood obesity and other dietary diseases by teaching children to cook and eat products with ingredients they can recognize and pronounce. By starting with better ingredients, we will cook up better results.
While I remain encouraged by the idea of the Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club, I am saddened that cooks are going into schools and other places teaching children to cook foods that will ultimately add to the problems of childhood obesity.
http://www.pricechopper.com/Recipes/Detail/6893/Mini_Flower_Pots/ Just for Kids. Price Chopper.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whipped_topping Whipped Topping. Wikipedia.
http://www.athensfoods.com/products/consumerproduct.aspx?id=12 Welcome to the Wonderful World of Fillo (Phyllo) Dough. Athens Foods.