Patty James knows this vegetable boycott all too well and every time a child wins the battle and doesn't eat their greens how it will affect them in their adult life.
The certified natural chef and nutritionist, who holds a master's degree in holistic nutrition, has co-authored a book "More Vegetables, Please," which features more than 100 simple and tasty recipes for eating healthy on a daily basis.
The Bay Area resident recently embarked on a cross-country RV tour to meet with children. She stopped in San Jose at Adelante Dual Language Academy on Jan. 19. During these visits, James is asking kids and their parents 15 questions about their eating habits, which she will then develop nutritional solutions for. The tour is part of James' involvement and founding of Shine the Light on America's Kids, an organization whose mission is to shine the light on all aspects of kids health in America, to offer advice and assistance so as to allow our kids to reach their full potential.
"As parents, educators and anyone involved with kids, we feel that we know what is best for kids, and many times that's true," James said. "Kids don't have the life experiences that adults do. However, kids are often times more intuitive than adults and what they think is best for them, oftentimes is. It's time we truly hear what they have to say."
James shares the following statistics, which she said shows the alarming need for nutrition education.
* 16 percent of children (over 9 million) 6-19 years old are overweight or obese -- a number that has tripled since 1980;
* Nearly one-third of U.S. children aged 4 to 19 eat fast food every day, resulting in approximately six extra pounds per year, per child;
* This is the first generation that will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
In addition to the foundation, James was founder and director of the Patty James Cooking School and Nutrition Center, the first certified organic cooking school and nutrition center in the country. She said she closed the school in 2008 so she could fully dedicate her time and expertise to consultations and education in nutrition and healthy cooking, locally and throughout the country, as well as in Canada and abroad. That led to the creation of teaching aid, the Patty James Health Guide, a guide to life-long healthy eating and lifestyle. She's also been a frequent guest speaker in public and private schools around the country, the Clinton Foundation in New York, as well as to health practitioners and organizations such as The Boys and Girls Club.
For more information about James, visit www.pattyjames.com and www.shinethelightonkids.org.
Recipe for success
If you are sensitive to oats you may substitute leftover brown rice or brown rice bread crumbs.
3 pounds ground turkey
3 large eggs
1 cup oatmeal
1 medium red pepper, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
1 small carrot, grated
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place the all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. I find it easier to use my hands for the mixing. Place the mixture in the 9X9 pan and shape into a loaf. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until light brown.
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 267 calories; 13g fat (45.5% calories from fat); 27g protein; 8g carbohydrate; 2g dietary fiber; 164mg cholesterol; 434mg sodium.