Dear Ms. Brody,
Like you, I was extremely disheartened to read the recent CDC report showing that nearly all of the efforts and billions of dollars spent on nutritional education has resulted in Americans eating fewer vegetables than ever.
Nutrition education has failed because it addresses the wrong premise–everyone now knows that they should eat their veggies. The problem is how to get them to do it.
That’s why slipping veggies in the meals people already like to eat can be such a huge help. It gives people an easy way to experience the benefits that eating a healthy diet can bring, yet still lets them enjoy their favorite comfort foods, like spaghetti and meatballs–-only now they’re loaded with spinach, broccoli, peas, wheat germ and cauliflower. This is a different means to the same healthy end.
Pureeing and hiding veggies takes less than 10 minutes, and even store-bought purees can be used for a nutritional punch-–like baby food carrots, sweet potatoes, beans or peas. The best part is that hiding healthy foods doesn’t mean sneaking forever. Many children and adults are now “in on it” and actually prefer that their favorite foods be made with hidden healthy ingredients–-as long they don't change the taste, or look, of the foods they love. Sneaking in this way actually facilitates teaching. Once people realize that the meal they just loved contained spinach, they become more open to trying that spinach straight up.
Perhaps these reader letters sum it up best:
“I always knew WHAT to feed my family, but did not know HOW to get them to eat it.”
–Andrew C., Philadelphia, PA
“Every time I use one of your healthy (and sneaky) tips or wonderful recipes, I just want to scream with joy because they eat it." –Mindi B., Keller, TX
Thank you for bringing this invaluable awareness to the world.
With healthiest regards,
Missy Chase Lapine, The Sneaky Chef
<Read the original New York Times Article here: www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/health/05brody.html>
“We have to make the healthy choice the easy choice.”–Dr. Jennifer Foltz
The New York Times just published an eye popping article on this week's study by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). The article gives an astounding overview of the CDC's comprehensive nationwide behavioral study of fruit and vegetable consumption. The conclusion: only 26 percent of the nation’s adults eat vegetables three or more times a day. (And no, that does not include French fries.)
These results fell far short of health objectives set by the federal government a decade ago. The amount of vegetables Americans eat is less than half of what public health officials had hoped. Worse, it has barely budged since 2000.
“It is disappointing,” said Dr. Jennifer Foltz, a pediatrician who helped compile the report. She, like other public health officials dedicated to improving the American diet, concedes that perhaps simply telling people to eat more vegetables isn’t working.
“There is nothing you can say that will get people to eat more veggies,” said Harry Balzer, the chief industry analyst for the NPD Group, a market research company. There may be nothing we can SAY, but there is everything we can DO about it. Make it easy: Sneak it in!