We recorded every episode of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and watched them with Max. In the past few weeks we spent a lot of time talking about the food we eat and what makes a healthy diet. We have always been advocates of moderation with Max. "It's okay to have a cookie. Cookies are full of sugar and not particularly good for you, but they taste yummy. Eat your cookie - enjoy it." We talked about the importance of fresh ingredients vs. processed foods.
Max attends a public school and I think the lunches there are better than most. They offer some healthy options along with the ubiquitous pizza and chicken nuggets. There is a vegetarian option every day. Max brings his lunch from home, so I know he's getting a pretty healthy lunch. I'm still putting chips in to go with his sandwich and fruit, but I've cut the amount in half with no complaints.
The show inspired Max to enthusiastically try new ingredients and dishes. In fact, he's disappointed if he gets to the table these days and there's nothing new to try. He also decided to learn how to cook and we've been reading through piles of cookbooks together, choosing recipes to try. On Friday, he made shrimp scampi with angel hair, practically by himself. He used kitchen shears to cut the herbs and smashed the garlic with the back of a frying pan. (I am not yet ready to hand him a sharp knife.) All I did was help him find things and drain the pasta. The scampi was delicious! The following night he shadowed me in the kitchen while I tried a new curry recipe. He tasted curry for the first time and loved it. Sunday afternoon we baked a pan of brownies together and he claims they are the best he's ever tasted.
Along the way, he's learning the little lessons of the kitchen, attention, patience, persistence, stamina.
The show sparked some questions I did not expect. Questions like this: can one person make a difference in the world? Why do people choose to be negative? Why are we afraid of change? Heady conversations to have with a nine year old - I know I will never forget them.
Thank you, Jamie.