Why is it that children aged 9 to 13 are getting 60% of their calories from highly processed food? It’s a great question that Dr. Yoni Freedhoff raised on his blog and on Ottawa Today. As he provocatively put it: You’ll gladly die for your children; why won’t you cook for them?
Many parents would say they are too busy and that their kids are too picky about healthy foods, but the simple answer is likely convenience. And I speak from experience. Sometimes, it’s just a lot easier to pop food from a can or the freezer onto the stove or into the oven than to chop up and cook fresh ingredients. Like so many other things associated with food, we know what’s best but we still don’t do it.
There are too many easily available and less healthy shortcuts and too many marketing and societal messages encouraging us to take them. Yoni Freedhoff is right: We simply don’t place enough value on feeding our children healthy food and teaching them life skills like cooking. It’s not about time; it’s about priorities.