Magazine article Nutrition Action Healthletter

Get Kids Cooking

Magazine article Nutrition Action Healthletter

Get Kids Cooking

Article excerpt

I've never understood why people buy frozen meals, canned soups, or countless other packaged foods. They seldom taste good, and they're typically loaded with sodium and saturated fat. Restaurant foods aren't any healthier. At some places, you can get your whole day's worth of calories before dessert. Great.

So why do we put up with that?

It's more convenient, for one thing, especially in families with a single parent or where both parents work. But the truth is that many of us have no choice. You see, over the past 50 years, we've largely stowed our cooking gear and surrendered our taste buds. I hate to say it, but many Americans simply don't know how to cook.

We don't have to. We can afford to let Betty Crocker and Marie Callender and Ronald McDonald prepare our food for us.

And the result is ... blah!

The way to escape today's Corporate Cuisine is to know how to make your own food. The good news: you're never too old--or too young--to learn.

I started late myself. When I lived in a college dorm, I had a little cupboard that never contained much more than cans of soup and boxes of macaroni and cheese. In graduate school, I don't think I cooked anything fancier than hamburgers and frozen potatoes.

But soon after that, I was fortunate enough to stay at a group house in Ann Arbor for a week where I was drafted into the cooking brigade. That's when I first learned to chop an onion, shred a cabbage, and make brown rice ... and to savor delicious vegetable stews. …

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