'children' on Serious Eats

FTC Proposes Regulations on Foods Marketed to Children

The Federal Trade Commission last week released recommended guidelines for marketing food to kids. These guidelines will be open for public comment and soon sent to Congress for consideration. What do you think? Should foods marketed to children have healthiness standards? Does this mean no more Cap'n Crunch mascots? More

Federal Government May Impose Guidelines for Food Advertised to Children

Recently, one of the leading debates in food policy pertains to the impact that food advertising has on young children. A recent study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University demonstrated that children are more likely to desire foods that are advertised with familiar cartoon characters—but these foods are often less healthy than alternatives. McDonald's has come under fire for using similar advertising techniques in their Happy Meals, which experts say are often far too caloric and fattening for small children. So how can change be implemented? More

McDonald's May Be Sued by Nutrition Watchdog Over Happy Meal Toys

Though it's been quite a while since my last Happy Meal, McDonald's still uses this promotional mechanism to advertise new movies, TV shows, or brands to millions of eager young eyes across the country. But the Center for Science in the Public Interest is not buying it. In light of heightened and serious concerns about national childhood obesity levels, the CSPI has said that they will sue the mega-corporation if it does not stop using toys as a marketing tool targeting young consumers. More

'Fantastic Mr. Fox' Is a Foodie Movie

"Even the last scene takes place in a grocery store aisle where juice boxes play a key role." The cover of the Fantastic Mr. Fox soundtrack. [Image: Amazon] Over the weekend I saw Fantastic Mr. Fox, the stop-motion animation by Wes Anderson based on the kiddie-lit classic by Roald Dahl. While the book has some simple pencil sketches by Quentin Blake, the film is filled with lavish food scenes that may actually make you hungry, even if the cakes and roasted meats are made of clay. Without giving too much away, the story's whole premise revolves around Mr. Fox 's obsessive mission to steal from three bad guy farmers—Boggis, Bunce and Bean—each of whom fixates on a single type of... More

Where the Wild Fruits Are

[Image: weloveyouso.com] In anticipation of the new Spike Jonze adaptation of the kids' lit classic Where the Wild Things Are, 29-year-old Brazilian artist Vanessa Dualib recreated the book's cover with kiwi, mango, anise, and, yes, that would be mozzarella for Max's wolf suit. Dualib is a very accomplished player-with-food. You can check out her other artwork, including an eggplant orca whale and prosciutto teepees, in her Flickr album ρLªYinG ωiTh mŸ fOoD. Related In Videos: Trailer for 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs' Serious Eats Gift Guide: Books For Young Foodies Meatastic Children's Book Illustration... More

Serious Green: Upgrading School Lunch

[Photograph ©iStockphoto.com/apomares] School lunch in the district where I attended K-12 was, frankly, disgusting. I was lucky enough to come from a home where there was enough money and time for me to have a home-packed lunch every day. There were plenty of kids who loved the square sausage pizza and hermetically sealed PBJs, but I'm sure there were also plenty who would have gladly eaten something else had they not been on the free-lunch program. Now, it's pretty clear that no matter if my classmates liked it or not, they shouldn't have been eating the food the school was dishing up. Schools send a message to children with the foods that are served. The additives, preservatives, and sugar... More

Congress May Update School Lunch Nutritional Standards

President Barack Obama has proposed a $1-billion increase for the Child Nutrition Act, which lawmakers will consider this fall, according to the Los Angeles Times. The bill would allow the Department of Agriculture to update decades-old standards for vending machines, as well as the typical pizza and French fries sold in cafeterias.... More

Should Fast Food Chains Give Kids Toys?

Photo from GadgetDude on FlickrNot because they're choking hazards, and not because they're a commercial gimmick—one official wants to stop fast-food toys because they're making kids fat. Concerned about rising rates of childhood obesity in his country, Brazilian federal prosecutor Marcio Schusterschitz petitioned a judge to ban fast-food outlets from giving away toys with kids' meals. As Reuters reports, he contends that including these toys gives kids extra incentive to eat unhealthy food: "It is necessary to remove toys that are used to leverage the sale of food that has little nutritional value," his official statement reads. What do you think? Do kids' meal toys train children to prefer junk food? Or are they just a harmless bit of extra... More

Sign Promotes Trading Children for Doughnuts

Photograph from gordmckenna on Flickr Breaking with the tradition of signs reading "Warning: Unattended Children Will Be Sold to the Circus" or "Given a Cappuccino and a Free Puppy," we see a sign that implies a profit on the finder of any lost children. Because, while you may get money from selling a child to the circus, money is no match for a few good doughnuts. [via Unique Daily] Note: Serious Eats does not condone black market trades of children for doughnuts. Or any black market trade, for that matter. Related Grammatically Correct Signs at Trader Joe's Photo of the Day: Open Signs Retro Restaurant Signs... More

Serious Eats Gift Guide: Books For Young Foodies

There's probably someone in your life who isn't old enough to benefit from new knives or an espresso machine. Make sure the little ones have delicious dreams after bedtime stories with these food-inspired childrens' books. They range from the classic (Stone Soup, Strega Nona, and The Carrot Seed) to the more recent (A Little Pea, Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog, and The Donut Chef). More

Should Children's Books Discuss Childhood Obesity?

Amazon.com The New York Times recently devoted the Books section to children's books, with one piece focusing on those that discuss childhood obesity. In Bebe Moore Campbell's I Get So Hungry, the protagonist Nicky gets teased at school. "Nicky Thicky." Her mom says she comes from a lineage of big-boned women. Her curious relationship with food climaxes when her teacher, Mrs. Patterson, must be hospitalized for her obesity. The moral is that kids are influenced by eating patterns, especially emotional eating, and need guidance from adults as to what's "healthy." About a third of kids in the country are overweight, and according to the article, about half of New York City's public elementary school kids are overweight. Though children... More

Father and Daughter Visit the Farmers' Market

Yesterday, we awed at Anthony Bourdain's daughter's food loves. Today, Robert Pincus, a blogger at Gourmet, reflects on his toddler's preferred tastes at the farmers' market: crusty bread, pâtés, and goat cheese. He observes: She’s being pickier, tossing that lovely bread on the ground, so I open the bag of Dungeness crab claw meat I bought as a surprise for my wife. I give Squishy a bite. She laughs out loud, then starts grabbing. Six claws, about $8 worth at $34 a pound, are gone in less than five minutes. Don’t get used to it, little girl. After a previous visit to the Santa Monica Farmers' Market, he also feeds her green garlic risotto and fresh mozzarella. While I'm sure... More

Anthony Bourdain Shares His Daughter's Favorite Foods

Photograph by Robyn Lee Looks like Anthony Bourdain's daughter has a more advanced palate than I do: My one-and-a-half-year-old baby daughter loves olives. And caper berries. And salty Parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Her love of rabbits (as food) is already well established. But I discovered today that she adores polenta--served with the hot, rendered fat of roasted game birds. And that she goes absolutely bat shit over risotto made with wild nettles. Gone are the days of apple juice and milk for toddlers, since his daughter also prefers "[a dipped] finger in the local red wine" to juice. No doubt about it, Bourdain is raising a foodie's dream child.... More

Meatastic Children's Book Illustration

Illustration for a child's book, "Peter and the Moon" Story and Pictures (32 in color) by Jan Balet—not yet published. November 1946 Paul Lukas, of Uni Watch fame forwarded this awesome illustration to me. (Best children's book illustration ever? Quite possibly," he says.) He in turn got it from a friend. It appears to be from some sort of 1946 promo of a book yet to be published at the time. I can't find any mention on the web of Peter and the Moon in connection to Jan Balet, so who's to say if it ever appeared on shelves—or is so far out of print that it doesn't appear online. Balet appears to have hit his stride in the... More

Wooden, Eco-Friendly Veggie Cutting Sets for Kids

How will your little one prepare for future food media greatness? With this 18-piece Veggie Cutting Set by ImagiPLAY Toys for $24. While the chopping simulation activates those young motor skills, it could also confuse the divide between food and toys. Little Simon was always told to eat his veggies, but then one day he choked. Other than the swallowing factor, the fake produce looks pretty cool. Fastened together by velcro, pieces can be reshuffled to create new veggie hybrids. Little Simon choked on a tomato-shroom! Related Sushi Toy Head + Playmobil Body Kellogg's Fruit-Flavored Lego Snacks: Awesome or Choking Hazard? Crocheted Edibles... More

Have Child Food Allergy Sufferers Found Their Erin Brockovich?

I've now read Kim Severson's piece on child food allergy conspiracy theorist Robyn O'Brien twice, and I'm still not sure if O'Brien is a righteous crusader or a nutty zealot. Here's the essence of the story: [O'Brien's] theory—that the food supply is being manipulated with additives, genetic modification, hormones, and herbicides, causing increases in allergies, autism, and other disorders in children—is not supported by leading researchers or the largest allergy advocacy groups. On such an emotionally freighted issue it's hard to figure out who's right and who's wrong. What do Serious Eaters think?... More

Jessica Seinfeld and Missy Chase Lapine: 'Wrong, Wrong, Wrong'

Their books, which teach parents to disguise veggies in brownies, mac and cheese, and pudding, are wrong on so many levels, Mimi Sheraton writes. "First, children get the wrong message that sweets and starches are good for them." Second is "the invisibility of vegetables in their own recognizable forms. As a result, children are not afforded the opportunity to get used to the idea of trying and learning about them. Nor will they consider them necessary for good health." Update: Cookbook Author Sues Jerry Seinfeld for Defamation [1/8/2007]... More

Cooking with Kids: It's About Time

Having a kid in the house has changed dinnertime. Not so much what I cook—the actual time dinner is served. It went from a ballpark figure to an ironclad contract. Before my daughter, Iris, came along, my wife, Laurie, and I would sometimes have dinner somewhere between 5:30 and 8 p.m., maybe later if I was trying something fancy. Now, dinner is at 6 p.m., the same way Christmas is on December 25. Iris's bath starts at 7. I can delay dinner until 6:15 if I run into unexpected kitchen obstacles, but if it looks like it's going to go later than that, it's time to switch to scrambled eggs or frozen potstickers. Not every kid has such a lockstep... More

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