Tag Archives: vegetables

Why Some Children Sneer at Vegetables

Despite all of the media attention and diet recommendations to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, we haven’t.

Nutrition Unplugged reported that the latest numbers from the  National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance show only “6% of individuals in this country meet daily recommendations  for vegetables.  Teenage and adult vegetable consumption even went down over the past 5 years.  The report gives both groups a grade of F.  Children under age 6 aren’t doing mixedvegetablesmuch better.  Vegetable consumption grew 3%; yet despite this small increase, 92% of children fail to eat enough vegetables.”  I gave a big cheer when the author of the post post supported NOT hiding or sneaking vegetables to get kids to eat more.

So why not?

I sense that part of the issue may relate to caloric priority.  If you are a small child that sees eating as a means to an end rather than a fun activity (I was like this) you want the small amount of time you devote to ingestion to give you the most bang for your fork.  Instinctively we know that fruits and vegetables don’t have many calories.  In a certain mode these foods could be perceived as “why bother?”  If I’m a hungry child, who didn’t eat much breakfast, standing in the school cafeteria line, I’m looking for the main chow, not the low-cal side dishes.  A few baby carrots are nice, but what’s for lunch? my small stomach would say.   And I would grab the hamburger or pizza.

I think we need to offer more spectacular main dishes that include vegetables, rather than harping  about the should of eating the lone steamed broccoli.

What do you say?

Trickle Down Garden

Stirring Literature

In this short video from the White House, Michelle Obama says she hopes that her organic vegetable garden will be “an important introduction to… a new way that our country thinks about food.” Though Big Ag doesn’t agree with her, I think it’s an amazing thing that the First Lady considers this a message worthy of pursuit among all the other possible issues she could take on.

She talks about the power of making small changes in our food habits like eating more fruits and vegetables, and is thinking long term (a tough concept for many Americans) about how the choices she makes now will impact the way her daughters will choose to eat when they are on their own, and how this will impact their kids. This is my kind of trickle down theory!

Sam Kass, the White House chef, narrates the creation of the garden, mentioning the use of crab meal from the Chesapeake (local product) to provide calcium and nitrogen for the soil. It’s funny to see him shoveling dirt and harvesting baby lettuce for a salad in his crisp white chef’s jacket.

Yes, this is pure unabashed propaganda from the White House, but it’s the kind of propaganda I can fully support.


There is extraordinary power in sitting down to eat meals as a family.  I have bet my life’s work on it.  Thrilling to hear the first lady mirror the belief.  Tell us how you make time, despite all the interruptions, to share meals together.