Wednesday, March 19, 2008
After much heated debate on the house floor, legislation was passed
today to allow a growing number of families to cook meals for their
families in their homes. The children must have annual physical
examinations to assure proper growth and weight gain. Attempts to
require weekly meal plans and monthly kitchen inspections were voted down.
A spokesperson from the National Association of Nutritionists (NANs)
condemns this decision. "These children are being denied the rich
socialization and diversity that is an essential part of the eating
process. Without the proper nutritional background, it is impossible
for the average person to feed their own children. We, as child
advocates, see this as a step backwards and speak out for the sake of
the children who cannot speak for themselves."
Homecooking parents say the benefits of eating at home include
increased family unity and the ability to tailor a diet to a
particular need. Elizabeth Crocker, a home cook, states, "We started
cooking and eating at home when we realized that my son had a severe
allergy to eggs. The public kitchens required him to take numerous
medications that had serious side effects in order to counteract his
allergy. We found that eliminating eggs was a simpler method and our
son has thrived since we began doing so."
After this experience, the Crockers decided to home cook for all of
their children, and converted their media room into a kitchen.
Elizabeth says, "We have experienced so much closeness as we have
explored recipes and spent time cooking together and eating together.
We have a dining circle with other families where we sometimes share
ideas and meals together."
The Crocker children have done well physically under their mother's
care, weighing in at optimum weights for their ages and having health
records far above average. It should be noted that Mrs. Crocker, while
not a professional nutritionist, has a family history rich with
nutritionists and home economists. "Surely the success of the Crocker
children is due to the background of their mother," responded the
spokesman from NANs. "The results they have achieved should not be
viewed as normative." Mrs. Crocker counters that her background was
actually a hindrance to the nutritional principles she follows. "Our
paternal great-grandmother was a home economist, but she prepared most
meal from pre-made mixes. In our homecooking we try not to duplicate
public-kitchen meals, but to tailor our meals to the needs and
preferences of our children."
In a related issue, legislation is in committee that would provide
oversight for the emerging homecooking movement. Says the Home Eating
Legal Defense Association (HELDA): "We want to provide umbrella
kitchens to aid parents in the complicated tasks of feeding their
children. Many families lack the expertise of the Crocker family, yet
desire to eat at home. As we have seen, the umbrella kitchens meet the
needs of all concerned. We are happy to provide this service."
Home Eating a Threat to Public Kitchens?
State Allows Growing Trend of Eating At Home
by Angela Paul
Copyright © Angela Paul, April 13, 1999