I love Jamie Oliver. I love the way he is starting a food revolution in Huntington, WV. Have you seen the show yet? Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution? While the story may appear sad (kids eating pizza for breakfast, chicken nuggets for lunch and dinner, and washing it all down with pink milk), as Huntington is deemed the least healthy city in the entire United States, I choose to focus on the positive. It is true, we are inside an obesity epidemic…but here's the good news or what I like to call the silver lining…the time, thanks to Jamie, is ripe for change. Ripe like juicy summer peaches. Ripe like crisp autumn apples. Or, ripe like the tomato that cute little boy from Huntington called a potato.
Which brings me to the next person I love…Ms. Blake, that cute little boy's first grade teacher. If you saw the show, I'm sure you are feeling the love for her too. After the potato/tomato debacle, Ms. Blake took it upon herself to teach her students their fruits and veggies. She used live props and name cards. And guess what? It worked. When Jamie returned to Blake's classroom, her students could correctly identify their fruits and veggies. Our children ARE teachable. Our children WANT to learn. And is there a more valuable lesson than one on healthy foods? I have long professed that our children can't be expected to make healthy food choices, when they don't even know what those food choices are. To address that hole in our children's education, I wrote and illustrated Poems on Fruits & Odes to Veggies - Where Healthy Eating Starts With a Poem. My book entertains AND educates. Read it with your kids. Pick out a fruit or veggie you've never tried and then make a deal to try it together. Bonding over healthy food - what a great experience to share with your kids. If the food you pick happens to be a tomato (I'm thinking once again of Ms. Blake's student) - try making this simple and delicious salad.
Tomato Mozzarella Salad. Slice 2 -3 three ripe tomatoes about ¼ inch thick and layer on a platter. Slice 6 ounces fresh (or what I like to call wet) mozzarella cheese (wet means it's been made fresh and comes packaged in water, making it creamier and I think a better choices to compliment the tomatoes) into ¼ inch slices and layer on top of tomatoes. Drizzle with 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Top with 6 - 8 leaves of fresh basil. Season with salt and pepper. Mmmmmmmmm.
Way to go, Jamie Oliver! Kudos to Ms. Blake. And finally, congratulations to Vinny. He responded to last week's blog challenge and was randomly drawn as the winner of my book Poems on Fruits & Odes to Veggies. When he receives it in the mail, perhaps he will make my Tomato Mozzarella Salad and recite my tomato poem with his son. Who knows? Maybe Jamie Oliver, Ms. Blake and her first graders, and you, my readers, will do the same.
But first, tell me, what do you think of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution?
Steak tomatoes too
I know what to do
Dice them, slice them
Mince them, seed them
Put them on a plate
Eat them, feed them
They taste really great!