How cool is this? Check out our recent feature in Rachel Ray’s Yum-O! blog (read now)!
Also I read about this fantastic kid, Marshall Reid, in the New York Times today (read his story). In an effort to turn his health around at the age of 10 (!), he gets his family motivated to stop buying junk food and start eating and living a healthier lifestyle. His YouTube videos, Portion Size Me, has become quite a hit and he is very inspirational.
We have lost the cultural of making food in our kitchens, many times cooking with the elder members of our families, passing down recipes and techniques from one generation to the next. An entire generation, if not more, has been skipped over and in its absence, replaced by fast food restaurants, boxed meals and the microwave.
America is in a time famine with so many hard-working, not-at-home parents arriving at dinner time exhausted with little energy for imagination or more work. Americans spend over half of their food dollars on meals prepared outside of their home. And when coupled with the portion size of restaurant food – almost 60% more calories on the plate than a home prepared meal – no wonder kids like Marshall are clamoring to get back in the kitchen. Go Marshall!!!
Healthy Fare for Kids focuses on portion sizes, reminding chefs that the size of a kid’s stomach is about the size of their fist, so portion accordingly. I listened to Dr. Jim Painter, Chairman, School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University present how cutting down on portion size alone can lead to significant results in weight loss. Check out this clip on YouTube.
I must come clean before I write about Nookies restaurants. The Nookies near me is my second kitchen. I’ve been eating there for many decades and I dearly love the place and the people who work there. From Bob the manager to Cecelia the waitress and Tony the bus guy who cleaned up the constant mess around my now eleven year old daughter’s high chair with a sweet, understanding smile on his face.
Now, they are making Nookies perfect. Starting with their swanky new store on Bryn Mawr Avenue, Nookies has introduced a kid’s menu with healthy options for kids. Gone are the bundled meals where a soda pop and ice cream partner with a kid’s meal. Gone are chocolate chip pancakes topped with whipped cream, replaced by multi-grain pancakes with berries. Gone are the deep-fried chicken fingers, replaced by roasted meats served fresh every day. The menu, still in the final stages of being tweaked, is a model for family restaurants across the country.
Nookies premise is that kids need to start out with healthier options on their plate instead of the unhealthier ones. For instance, customers can still get the chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream on top, they just have to ask for it. Taking off the chocolate chips and whipped cream presents a hurdle to the less healthy fare, asking the parents to take on the task of putting the items back on the plate. Or when meals are unbundled, removing the soda pop or concentrated juices and ice cream, there is more opportunity for water or milk and perhaps some berries for dessert.
Take a look at the kid’s menu at Nookies in our Menu tab and stay tuned to Nookies as they fine tune their new, fantastic kid’s menu.