A lively story of raising a child to enjoy real food in a processed world, and the importance of maintaining healthy food cultures
Why is it so easy to find sugary cereals and dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets in a grocery store, but so hard to shop for nutritious, simple food for our children? If you’ve ever wondered this, you’re not alone. But it might surprise you to learn that this isn’t just an American problem.
Packaged snacks and junk foods are displacing natural, home-cooked meals throughout the world—even in Italy, a place we tend to associate with a healthy Mediterranean diet. Italian children traditionally sat at the table with the adults and ate everything from anchovies to artichokes. Parents passed a love of seasonal, regional foods down to their children, and this generational appreciation of good food turned Italy into the world culinary capital we’ve come to know today.
When Jeannie Marshall moved from Canada to Rome, she found the healthy food culture she expected. However, she was also amazed to find processed foods aggressively advertised and junk food on every corner. While determined to raise her son on a traditional Italian diet, Marshall sets out to discover how even a food tradition as entrenched as Italy’s can be greatly eroded or even lost in a single generation. She takes readers on a journey through the processed-food and marketing industries that are re-manufacturing our children’s diets, while also celebrating the pleasures of real food as she walks us through Roman street markets, gathering local ingredients from farmers and butchers.
At once an exploration of the US food industry’s global reach and a story of finding the best way to feed her child, The Lost Art of Feeding Kids examines not only the role that big food companies play in forming children’s tastes, and the impact that has on their health, but also how parents and communities can push back to create a culture that puts our kids’ health and happiness ahead of the interests of the food industry.
“Marshall makes a compelling case for why families everywhere should return to the old-fashioned Italian approach to food.”
“Marshall’s clear, direct book ably captures the frustrations of trying to find the healthiest path and inspiring kids to do the same.”
“[Marshall's] point that parents need to think about the future when feeding their kids is an important one.”
“Marshall...writes passionately about the dangers posed by processed foods—not just to our children’s health but to our way of life, our human attachment to the 'ordinary happiness' of meals cooked at home from real foods.”