One of the most important things parents can teach their young children is how to make healthy food choices. This includes how to shop for healthy food, how to prepare and cook healthy food and how to choose healthy food when eating out. In Kuwait’s modern society, eating out has become a part of social life and helping children from an early age make healthy food choices at home and at restaurants will help them maintain a healthy weight and live an active and healthy lifestyle.
A good yardstick to measure healthy restaurants by is the ‘open kitchen concept’. Essentially an open kitchen, such as that used by Elevation Burger, reflects a commitment by the restaurant to demonstrate openly and transparently for customers the food preparation and cooking process. It allows customers full view of the kitchen (which had traditionally been hidden from view) and showcases the process, the freshness and quality of ingredients. Elevation Burger’s open kitchen,policy also for example, allows customers full transparency and knowledge of the restaurant’s cleanliness, food preparation process in everything from how the French fries are cut and fried in clear, clean olive oil to how the organic grass-fed beef burgers are cooked over the grill.
Another important aspect of modern food choice that parents can teach children is to eat locally. Eating locally grown produce whenever possible helps support local farmers, reduces carbon emissions (which contributes to global warming) by reducing the transportation needed for products shipped from abroad and also encourages farmers to adopt sustainable, organic methods and techniques in their farming.
Elevation Burger supports this idea by sourcing its potatoes locally. In partnership with Kenanya Farms, Elevation Burger has encouraged the growth and production of organic potato farming in Kuwait. The first ton of potatoes received from Kenanya farms were 95% Urea-free (a common element in nitrogen fertilizer, urea can irritate the eyes, skin and respiratory tract). Elevation Burger’s longer term objective along with Kenanya and other local farms is use to produce100%organic potatoes locally.
5 tips for helping kids to make health food choices
1. Involve your children in the food shopping. Read labels and discuss ingredients. Buy and eat as much fresh and locally produced food as possible.
2. Teach children real kitchen skills from an early age. Let them help with age appropriate tasks and slowly increase their responsibilities/involvement in cooking.
3. Eat meals as a family whenever possible.
4. When eating out, choose restaurants that serve healthy, organic meals whenever possible, and explain to your kids why you have chosen this restaurant or meal.
5. Model healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle. Children learn from what you do, not what you say so show them how to live and eat healthy by choosing healthy food options for yourself and your family.