I think it is important that you include your kids as much as possible in actually planning, shopping for, and preparing the family meals. If they are a part of that process, they are more likely to try and even enjoy healthier foods that you prepare.
Also, many people today are lacking in basic cooking skills and that leads to a reliance on fast food and microwave processed foods, neither of which is healthy. I believe that unless you are wealthy enough to have a personal chef, you have to be able to cook in order to eat healthy. So, I try to include at least one or two of the girls when I cook.
Last weekend, the girls and I attended an event in Oklahoma City called “Platt My Plate, a hands-on cooking expo for families”, that was co-sponsored by Platt College’s Culinary Institute and the Oklahoma Fit Kids Coalition.
The Oklahoma Fit Kids Coalition is a statewide initiative to improve the overall health and well-being of Oklahoma youth and families by reducing childhood obesity. From their press release about the event:
” The goal of the Platt My Plate event is to get people moving and to teach them to cook a healthy meal based on the USDA “My Plate” guidelines. In Oklahoma, one in three children are overweight or obese, we rank last in fruit and vegetable consumption and we’re on track to be the most obese state in the nation by 2018.”
By the way, “My Plate” replaces the USDA food pyramid with new nutritional information and encourages all families to choose to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables at every meal.
At the event, we had an opportunity to work together as a family to cook one “My Plate” meal under the direction of a presenting chef, who was Christine Dowd, Owner and Executive Chef of Trattoria Il Centro and Aunt Pitty Pats. Plus, the event was free. There was a great turnout and every cooking station in all three time slots seemed to be taken.
The students from Platt College had already prepped all the ingredients for the families, so it only took a few minutes to cook our food and we didn’t have to use any knives. The kids had a lot of fun making the “Sautéed Chicken with Cider Sauce and Squash Noodles” and were very excited to take half of it home for Daddy and tell him that they made it. They also enjoyed eating the other half themselves.
Here is a link to what the finished dish looks like and below is the recipe we made: