Have children destroyed the American palate?

Tyler Cowen, a renowned economist, thinks so. He argues that children have had a heavy influence on food choices since the 1950s which consequently led to the dominance of bland and unhealthy food in the American diet. The rise of fast food during this period responded to, and encouraged, this dismal result.  Whether or not you agree, the bottom line is that we don’t spend much time on our food these days, either due to time and economic restraints or most commonly, lack of nutritional information. The latter especially applies to children who face poor nutritional information/food options in schools.

Cowen visits ethnic restaurants as part of his research. He theorizes that “immigrants rejuvenated the American Palate.” Improving your palate and staying healthy is very simple, and does not require as much adventure for those who don’t enjoy food exploration (and avoid eating at restaurants). Cooking for yourself can be enough adventure 🙂 Simple healthy foods can be made flavorful with some spices. If time is an issue for you, cooking and shopping in bulk (i.e. frozen veggies) could be a solution.

Like Cowen says, if it tastes good, your kids will eat it! Healthy habits are contagious and kids typically employ/adapt to similar food choices as their parents. They may need a little encouragement but nutritious food can be tailored to whatever palate! Check out some of my recipes and food options here.

Please do share any recipes or culinary experiences. Also, thoughts on the article?

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See vascularanesthesia.com for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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