Jamie Deen Interview for Hidden Valley "Lunch Break for Kids" campaign

Although breakfast is the most important meal of the day, lunch seems to be the most difficult to put together. Jamie Deen, son of the famous Paula Deen and Food Network star decided to lend a helping hand to parents that have picky eaters at home through Hidden Valley Ranch's "Lunch Break for Kids" campaign.

Jamie Deen Interview for Hidden Valley Lunch Break for Kids campaign

Note: I was invited as media to cover the event. No other compensation was received. Views expressed are always 100% my own.

Written by guest blogger, DeAndra` A. Harrison, who blogs at Taste My Buds

As the official spokesperson for the campaign, Jamie was able to sit and chat with me about his role in the campaign and healthy lifestyle, here is what he had to say:

What made you switch from southern comfort food to eating healthier?

Jamie Deen: I feel people simply do not have the time to slow cook food anymore. Southern food takes a long time to make, as busy as people are its simply not enough time to dedicate. Like the way my grandmother fixed her green beans, she'd cook them in a cast iron pot with bacon fat and lard for 3 hours. They would be the greasiest delicious green beans you ever had. But now I blanch them in a pan with some almonds, a little bit of butter and salt. I'm still able to share the stories about her green beans with my son, Jack, without actually cooking them. 

The recipes that make up the "Lunch Break for Kids" campaign has a strong emphasis on vegetables. What advice do you have to parents who do not like veggies? How can they encourage their kids to do it?

Jamie Deen: There are 3 tips that are the most important for kids. 
  • You have to start your kids eating veggies at an early age, show them colors and different textures of vegetables. 
  • Secondly, lead by example, try introducing vegetables to your kids that you enjoy as well. 
  • Thirdly, let your kids help you cook. Get them involved in the cooking preparation, they are more likely to take ownership of what they are eating.  

Hidden Valley Lunch Break for Kids campaign

After speaking with Jamie, I had one more stop to make. There was a lot of commotion and laughter around nutritionist, Jodie Shield' s RD, table. Jodie extends her expertise in nutrition to Hidden Valley Ranch on continuous campaigns, and started traveling along side Jamie once the "Lunch Break for Kids" campaign kicked off.

I learned that her team was conducting a study to find out if there was something parents could do to help their children eat more vegetables.   Here is a snippet of what she had to say:

One of the interesting facts about eating vegetables is a thing called "repeated exposure", where the more you eat, the more accustomed you come to the taste. We tested about 150 preschool kids within this study to determine their taste sensitivity. We found that 70% of the kids were "bitter sensitive". As a result, we introduce different ways to eating broccoli. Over the course of a few weeks, the children were given broccoli by itself and with Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, the study showed the kids enjoyed the vegetable more when there was a dipping factor. 

As you can see, I tried out the little strips, and what do you know, I have no sensitivity!   I love my veggies. :-) Stay tuned for more details on Jodie's study as I will be reviewing her new book in the next few weeks.

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