Kitchen Think: We Want Healthy Food! (Yeah, Right…)


When Mama’s generation was growing up (or as Carlos likes to say, “Back in the day…”), I don’t remember parents  making themselves as nuts as they do today about what their kids ate.

Sure, we were told to eat our vegetables and drink our milk. But there wasn’t all this screaming about fast food joints serving “healthy” kids meals.  I know you’re going to say that’s because fast food places weren’t so ubiquitous.

But there are other reasons, as well: Eating at a McDonald’s or KFC or Pizza Hut was a treat, not a daily dining option; Americans hadn’t yet become fixated on the easy meal loaded with fat, sugar and sodium… and, of course, childhood obesity wasn’t an epidemic.

Now, we’re trying to undo our collective vice of bad nutrition habits… at least that’s what the National Restaurant Association 2012 Industry Forecast shows.  A consumer survey indicates that we want restaurants and fast food places to offer up healthier options. Take a look at the list of what parents NOW say they want:

1.    Healthy kids meals
2.    Fruits ad veggies in kids meals
3.    Gluten-free items
4.    Low-fat or non-fat milk and 100% orange juice options in kids meals
5.    Locally sourced produce
6.    Lower sodium items
7.    Spicy items
8.    Lower-calorie options
9.    Mini-desserts or dessert bites
10.  Low-fat foods

Sorry for being cynical, but it seems to me that we’re only paying lip service to wanting a healthier lifestyle. The Restaurant survey also shows that French fries, jumbo soft drinks and beef items are still the top items ordered at fast food restaurants… not salads or skinless chicken breast sandwiches.

Ask people what they want in a survey, and they are going to give you a litany of healthy options—what they actually order is something else entirely.  Hmmm…My guess is that all those people saying they want healthy options are the same folks who say they only listen to NPR and only watch PBS.

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posted under The Kitchen Think

3 thoughts on “Kitchen Think: We Want Healthy Food! (Yeah, Right…)

  1. Pingback: Mama's High Strung™ » Blog Archive » Kitchen Think: Stop The Weight Bullying!

  2. Cassie

    It’s supply and demand. If everyone started choosing organic food, grocery stores would be forced to stock only organic and the prices would eventually go down. But since the price for healthy food is so high the choice to get more for your buck and still fill your belly outweighs the decision to eat right.

    1. Mama Post author

      You are absolutely right. I still believe that there is a large segment of our society that has no access to good, healthy food… organic or otherwise. Thanks for reading.


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I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: