NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — Camilla Alves McConaughey has written a new children’s book about a group of picky eaters. Only in this case, picky eaters are not children.
“Just try to take a bite” (Penguin Random House) follows three children as they try to adopt healthier, whole foods than their parents putting down ice cream, cake, and chicken fried steak. Actually, all kids want adults to have a single slice of anything healthy.
“It’s not about preaching to be right. I know I’m not. I know my house isn’t. We have a way to go,” says the model and entrepreneur. “It’s about making small changes.” is about.”
The rhyming book — co-written with Adam Mansbach and illustrated by Mike Bold — follows well-meaning children from their junk-food-loving parents (who somewhat resemble Alves and her husband, actor Matthew McConaughey). ) about giving Kel a chance. Reverse with a lot of humour.
“Oh papa, hey mama, please be open-minded. You can’t say kale gross if you don’t even try,” he pleads in the book. “A well-balanced dinner is actually on the floor in your car. There must be more than a few french fries to be found.”
A breakthrough comes when parents finally eat some cauliflower – and love it. This opens the door for yams, linguine with clams and, as a reward, donut holes. Yes, treats are allowed in moderation.
“One of the most important conversations about doing better for yourself is the beginning,” says Alves from her home in Texas. “If you start giving children understanding and knowledge, suddenly you start making them feel empowered and make better decisions on their own.”
Alves — mom to Levi, 13, Vida, 12, and Livingston, 9 — is candid about the challenges parents face with picky eaters, noting that siblings separate at different times. Go through different stages. Her youngest will only eat beans lately, prompting her to call the doctor.
Boldt filled the book with large movements and expressive faces, saying that he was the author of Dr. Seuss’s “The Cat in the Hat,” with the kids also taking charge and causing a little chaos. “When words are incredibly descriptive and visual, it’s so easy to draw something because it feeds your imagination,” he says.
They also have three children, but thankfully, they are not so qualified. “They really like a lot of vegetables and foods that I wasn’t sure they were going for,” he says with a laugh. “Stuff I didn’t like when I was a kid.”
Alves has tips for parents of picky eaters beyond the classic of making plates more fun by arranging food into faces. One way she keeps the household happy is by following good dietary rules throughout the week and then on free Fridays, when everyone can eat as they please.
She also supports letting each child choose a “throwaway vegetable”—an item they can skip until they’ve tried all the others. (Her throw-up veggie will be ladyfinger, a lifelong slimy foe, she says.) Another tip: Encourage kids to help you cook in the kitchen to learn about the ingredients.
“My daughter used to say, ‘I really don’t like onions.’ And then once I bring her to cook this meat sauce with me, she’ll say, ‘Oh, I can’t eat this. You put onions on that. I’ll say,’ I’ll do this every time I cook it. But I put onions.'”
Born in Brazil, Alves grew up on a farm and moved to Los Angeles as a teenager. “The relationship with food and what it came from—from seed to table—was so vivid for me growing up,” she says.
She tries to replicate what she grew up with, adding lots of color to her plates – beets, beans, hearts of palm, tomatoes, roots and beans. She simply prepares them, puts them in the middle of the table, and lets her children and mother-in-law graze.
When she was growing up, her family never talked about moderating sugar, which she still struggles with. Her husband’s family talked about it, and she says she has a healthy relationship with sweets and sweets.
Alves advocates making small changes and embracing the notion that no one is perfect. She admits that her kids have busted her chocolate addiction, and she’s moving towards less sweet, darker versions. “No matter what stage you are in, there is always room to do a little better.”
Mark Kennedy is here http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits