Fries Are A Vegetable, Seriously?

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April 9, 2010 by Flora Dawn

A few weeks ago I posted about Jamie Oliver’s reality show, Jamie’s Food Revolution on ABC Friday nights.

I hope you have tuned in, but if not you really should. I think Jamie is attempting  to do something great in this country; help us rethink what we are mindlessly eating everyday and serving to our kids via the school lunch program.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think the idea of a school breakfast/lunch program is good, and the task is enormous. I know many kids would go hungry if it weren’t for these meals. But….and it is a huge BUT, we need to provide them with healthy meals, not just any cheap and easy meal.

Let’s stop and think about it, french fries are considered a vegetable serving by the USDA. Hey, I love a french fry as much as the next person, but I don’t eat them everyday. I don’t even eat them every week. And when I do, they are potatoes I cut up and toss with olive oil and a little salt; not some processed, preservative-laden potato product.

Pizza and chocolate milk for breakfast, chicken nuggets and fries for lunch, every day, every week, every year of childhood.

I was thinking that every Friday, while the show is airing, I will come up with a Food Revolution challenge of sorts; something small that we can do in our home cooking to make eating healthier a normal part of our diets. I think it is really about changing our eating habits one small step at a time.

This weeks challenge, if you are up for it……..Let’s all introduce one new fresh produce item to our families. This is actually quite easy considering the international produce section we have at local grocery stores. There are of course rules, #1  it can’t be deep fried and #2 it can’t be made into a dessert.

You might want to start with something simple, like a tomatillo for making a salsa or a new variety of squash, lettuce or bananas. Try to pick something that will be fun and is similar to foods they already enjoy.

Get the kids involved, have fun and don’t forget to comment and let us know what you tried and how it went. Just a piece of advice, when in doubt, ask the produce manager for ideas of how to pick out the fruit or vegetable and how to cook or serve it. It my experience, they have been very knowledgeable and helpful.


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