Foreign Vegetables

Below is a video that was emailed to me this morning (thanks to Andrew). It is a short preview to an upcoming television show that premieres later this month.

The Youtube video description states the following:

Watch as kids in an elementary school class in Huntington, West Virginia have trouble identifying fresh fruits and vegetables. Huntington has been called the unhealthiest city in America where nearly half of the adults are considered obese.

Unfortunately, I’m not surprised by the video. I am however glad that my three year old son was able to identify each vegetable from the preview.

Perhaps he has an unfair advantage, as he is usually my wife’s sidekick when she does the grocery shopping. He’s been eating fresh vegetables since his first day of real food. When he asks for a snack, he is usually looking for fresh fruits and veggies. That is his idea of a snack. It’s what he’s been around his entire life.

In the words of John Dryden,

“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”

As I’ve stated many times before, youngsters don’t do their own grocery shopping. They follow the lead of their parents. It is up to us to guide, nurture, and teach them.

The best role model for a child is his or her parents. Parents need to stop making excuses and step up to the plate. If you don’t know what to do, take the time to find out. Knowledge must be sought. It won’t funnel through your pillow at night through osmosis.

Do what you need to do to raise a healthy child.

In the words of Ben Franklin,

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”


  1. Another great article!
    “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”
    Words of truth there and elsewhere in this article. We, the parents, set the stage for the life our children will most likely lead. Sure they eventually make their own decisions but it starts with us.

  2. Incredible! Jamie Oliver is a well known chef here in the UK. I bet if he did the same thing here, he’d get similar results. Your right we need to set the habits for our kids.

  3. Like the chap above, I live in the UK. Oliver is relatively well-known here, and for the most part, does good work.

    Generally speaking, he is pretty authentic. He believes in the work he does, especially in regards to the concept of advocating “real food”. He completed a similar show in a working class area of the UK, and was (predictably) attacked for this by *some* (*not* all I might add) sections in the media.

  4. that should be a good show… until the sponsors get a hold of everyone (if they havent already) and start talking about how McDonalds and other highly processed foods are the right choices for everyone.

  5. I’m shocked by what my 10 year-old niece and nephew eat. Good thing they run around all the time, but they eat like crap, and I can only wonder what’ll happen as they get older. Tons of pasta, processed foods, soda, juices, etc.

  6. One of the problems is a lack of clear guidance as to what is good – things like pasta are a big part of the classic food pyramid, but shunned by other parts of the diet industry. No need to rehash the debate here, but clear realistic advice is needed. (by realistic I mean it needs to be acheivable – the average McDs fan won’t switch to organic salads overnight, so we need to understand what the intermediate steps should be)

  7. Even in France more and more children don’t know what they eat… and parents too!
    It’s really shocking to see that people can’t even recognize a tomato. What Jamie is doing is not just an information campaign but a true relief work.

  8. I wish this issue received more attention in the general public. I think not only does poor diet lead to physical problems but behavioral as well. I see some families with out of control kids and to pacify them the parents give them candy and soda. Can’t help but think that contributes to their poor behavior (sugar highs all the time), and to the prevalence of diagnoses of ADD and such.

    My Dads company is involved in urban farming, where they install walls and roofs that can be used to grow vegetables on. It’s pretty cool. His website is here if anyone cares:

  9. Mind boggling. I was truly shocked,and surprised, and I truly felt saddened when the small girl said celery to the beets, making an attempt but not knowing ,and the one kid did not even know what a pear was.I find it hard to believe or understand that this could even happen, plants and the food we eat is so intertwined with our lives, and very being, yet here is evidence to the contrary. Perhaps it was how and were I was raised and my generation, still. Just wrong,plain and simple. I am thankful and it is good to know, that there are movements like this blog or Jamie’s program to counteract such issues. I for one would have never thought.

  10. I love the kid who jumps out of his seat and goes “egg salad!” at the eggplant. This video is funny and scary at the same time. As a college student, I’ve seen my share of pretty horrible eating habits; I wonder how well America’s college students would do on a vegetable/fruit id test. The convenience stores here at my university barely offer anything fresh (some bananas near the checkout maybe). They do however offer plenty of chips, candy, and other sugary drinks

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