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MOMS TALK: Are Healthy Foods Catching On?

Healthy food is getting cool!

There are many times I've just assumed my kids would not eat something that looked "too healthy." But kids are getting wiser. They are talking about protein content, carbs, "refueling" and "recovery" and the like.

At a recent Memorial Day Barbecue, a friend brought a “kale” salad – raw kale dressed in Asian sesame dressing. One of her kids proudly announced that kale is the healthiest food per ounce on the planet. And all the kids ate it! Another friend of mine bravely serves “kale chips” to teenagers who meet for study group at her home—she tears it into “chip-sized” pieces, tosses them in olive oil and kosher salt, and then bakes them for a few minutes at 425 degrees. They turn crisp like potato chips.

Whole wheat breads have come a long way too. If you want to venture into the world of whole wheat pizza crust, but worry it would fall flat at your house, try a home-crafted pizza from , a fairly new store in Tabit Square (next to ) where they put the pizza together and you take it home to bake it. They have organic and interesting toppings like arugula and roasted garlic in addition to more familiar offerings. The whole wheat crust is great, and was snapped up by my picky teen-ager without a mention of the whole wheat. Zaw also offers gluten-free crust.

I would have been afraid to serve kale to my family, and my homemade whole wheat crusts have been loved only by me. The hype about healthy food has finally sunk in a bit. Our kids are smart and they want to be healthy and perform well.

I've learned a lession here. Find good recipes, use good methods, buy the better whole wheat bread (that doesn't weigh 5 lbs a loaf!), and they will eat it. Cash in on kids' idealism and socially conscious attitudes too, by using trips to the Mercer Island Farmer’s Market for inspiration. The artisan whole wheat pasta looks so much better. Make sure you take your own re-usable bags to haul your loot home.

And instead of just putting out freshly washed fruits in summer, add small bowls of sunflower seeds or nuts next to the fruit bowl. If they see it and it's handy, they will eat it!  

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