1. Dispel the myth of 'kids food'. Any whole food can be kids food.
2. Encourage restaurants and families to serve the same meals to kids and adults, just adjust the portion size.
3. Support families to cook one meal for all, model positive food behaviors, and explore new cuisines and ingredients.
Kids' food, or food designed exclusively for children, is a modern myth. This clever marketing concept has become a phenomenon where society believes that children eat different food from adults. Typical kids' food items have been adopted everywhere children eat: schools, restaurants and at home. This myth has pushed our culture to nearly abandon a much healthier worldwide tradition where children and parents habitually share the same meals. But whether good or poor quality – kids food is kids food and perpetuates the concept of separateness in eating.
The consequences of this myth are serious for children’s health and food behaviors, and these consequences can extend into adulthood as well:
Eating for children has become more about entertainment than an education about the world of food. This world is chock full of choices, flavors, and textures – all awaiting discovery and enjoyment. When parents do not consciously expose their children to enough variety, they become ‘shut down’ to new food experiences. They only want what is safe and familiar, and hence very limited. Parents who eat a variety of foods and serve them with enthusiasm for the whole family are modeling their children’s references about what to eat. For 19 years FamilyCook Productions has successfully employed this tactic in our programs, books, and recipes with families across the US. Preschoolers ask for more kale salad, third graders can’t get enough steamed fish with Caribbean salsa, and 11th graders devour Vietnamese spring rolls. This call to ‘reboot’ kids food can be done!
FamilyCook Productions (FCP) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1995 to teach nutrition through cooking to K-12 students and their families. FCP has reached over 200,000 parents and children nationwide and spawned over 130 programs in 26 states. Along with HealthCorps and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, FCP is collaborating on an NIH funded research project to determine best practices to change behaviors that have been shown to cause obesity. FCP was founded by Lynn Fredericks, cookbook author, food activist and food and wine journalist. She is the author of Cooking Time is Family Time (William Morrow, 1999) and, with Mercedes Sanchez, MS, RD, Get Your Family Eating Right! (Fairwinds Press, August 2013)
Kids Food Reboot is a campaign initiated by FamilyCook Productions to support parents to serve their children real food that can be enjoyed by the whole family – at home or away from home. The campaign rallies leading child nutrition advocates and organizations to lead this charge by supporting their community with tips and strategies to take advantage of a world of delicious ingredients children will be delighted to explore.
We are also enlisting the talents of leading chefs across the country to reboot their children’s offerings, adapted from their regular menus and appropriately portioned for young diners. We will use these chefs’ ideas to inspire other restaurateurs and families to explore new foods. Families who have made the switch are invited to share their stories and wisdom.
Through Kids Food Reboot we can finally break free of the myth of kids food.
FamilyCook Productions © All rights reserved