Home Cooking is The Way to Fight Childhood Obesity

There is now widspread agreement that obesity is an epidemic, especially among young people.  That is the tradegy.  Obesity at a young age is a struggle that you never outgrow it.  Of course, along with obesity comes those most deadly adult afflictions-heart disease and diabetes not to mention low self esteem that you have to deal with everyday.It seems that we are dealing with obesity as action/reaction problem.  We insist on dealing with the symptoms not the cause.  I believe that we are as a society is setting up our children for failure.  To start; we need only watch television for an evening to see what's happening. Most of our children's role models are either anorexic teenage actresses, such as the Olson sisters, or the heroic muscle men.  Our children are pressured to be like these so called perfect human beings, who are liberally used by advertisers to sell products to our kids.  In between the commercials where so called perfect human being are hawking beauty products, children are bombarded with fast food commercials that do nothing more than encourage the sort of diet that dooms healthy eating.  We as parents, fill our pantry with sugary snacks, sodas and then preach will-power.  It's all too much to ask from a child.  I admit I have no will-power when it comes to ice cream.  My solution for that is I simply don't leave any in the house.What is even more dangerous is the sedentary life style that television encourages.  Instead of encouraging our children to participate in real life healthy sports activities, we buy electronic games that stimulate sports which requires that no one get up off the couch.  Schools, finding themselves short on money, are cutting physical training activities.We, as parents, need to go back to the kitchen and start cooking healthy food . We need to read lables and fill the pantry with healthy snacks and drinks.  Most of all we need to go back into having dinner together.  That requires both will power and discipline from us parents.Tomato and Eggplant Rice Pilafserves 61/4       cup olive oil1            medium onion, finely chopped1            medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes1            12-ounce cand diced tomatoes2            cups watersalt and pepper to taste2            tablespoons pine nuts, toasted-Sprinkle the eggplant cubes with salt and leave them for one hour. Squeeze the cubes and pat dry.  This will take the bitterness out of the eggplant.-In a heavy pan, heat the olive oil and saute' the onions for couple of minutes.  Add the eggplant cubes, stir and cook over medium heat until for five minutes.-Add the diced tomatoes with the juice.  Bring to a boil.-Add the rice and the seasoning.  Stir and bring back to a boil.  Cover and cook over low heat for 25 minutes. Turn-off the heat and allow the rice to rest for five minutes before removing the lid.-Spoon into serving platter, sprinkle with nuts and serve.