From the Associates Council: Q&A with Tanya Steel
Meet Tanya Wenman Steel, editor-in-chief of Epicurious.com, best-selling cook book author, James Beard award winner and mother of two quickly growing (and eating) boys. We're thrilled to have her joining our Emerald City event as our special guest!
Her philosophy for helping kids learn to love cooking healthy, 'real' food aligns perfectly with Go!Healthy's mission. You can start to see why in our Q&A below. We hope you come out to meet her in person, along with some of the star chefs in our program, on Wednesday, May 8!
- What about Children’s Aid and the Go!Healthy program speaks to you and your cause?
It doesn't just teach kids the facts and figures about how to eat healthy, but provides hands-on learning that empowers and energizes the children to want to cook and eat this way—and once you start them young, they are likely to eat this way for the rest of their life.
- What are the major obstacles that kids face in eating healthy?
Affordability, availability and lack of knowledge and skills are the prime obstacles. If they live in a food desert, it's hard to find healthy food sources, especially ones that are affordable. The good news is that food producers and manufacturers and food retailers are working together to make food deserts dry up. And as kids learn what they can do with, say, a pear or a sweet potato, they are more likely to eat those foods, knowing they can sprinkle some oats on a sliced pear and bake it for a crisp, or microwave a sweet potato, smash it with a fork and add a bit of butter and milk.
- What do you see as the most promising solutions for curbing child obesity?
- What inspired you to advocate for healthy eating among kids or just in general?
After I had my own kids, I realized that getting kids to eat healthy was so important, and yet, so few had access to information on how to incorporate that into their daily life. Obesity and weight issues not only affect one's physical health, but also can affect energy, concentration and one's confidence. It adversely affects so many aspects, emotionally, intellectually and physically.
- What are your favorite recipes to make with your kids or with any kids?
Edamame succotash, whole wheat Cookies, granola, chana masala—just about anything! I rarely fry foods and don't cook that much red meat, so I don't do that with kids either…
- How do you get kids to eat grown-up food?
There is no such thing as grown-up food, just good-tasting, well-made food and not so good-tasting food. Kids do and should eat everything adults do, and taste things from around the globe. Food should be a passionate exploration, not something to shrink from.
Knowledge and passion will go a long way towards curbing obesity.Kids need to feel empowered to take care of their own health. Obviously, all of the things happening as a result of Mrs. Obama's initiative, “Let’s Move,” is going a long way to getting the corporate and nonprofit worlds activated and mobilized to join in the fight.