Look at the picture. Notice any vegetables? Any fruit? Do you know what is under the deep-fry coating on the "chicken?" It seems that we are raising a generation of 'picky' eaters who favour high fat, high salt and high sugar diets. On any kids' menu, you'll find chicken fingers.
Chicken fingers (at least in supermarket prepared or fast food form) are the "tender" that is the small part left from a chicken breast when the breast is cut for cooking. No one knew what to do with these small parts and so, waste not, want not, the chicken finger was born. (Cheap, too.) Dipped in thick batter and deep fried, paired with fries for service, what's not to like? Except if they become a dietary staple instead of a treat or something occasionally given when there's no time to cook, kids develop a taste for oil and salt. What they don't develop is a palate willing to try other foods- spicier, chewier or fresh.
I have heard an adult who was trying yet another diet, give up on her salad because it was just "too much chewing." What? That's why we have teeth. And for most of us, looked after, teeth last as long as we do. Fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and salads do take more chewing. Deadened taste buds (or at least those used to the high salt and high fat flavours) need time to adjust and detect more subtle but better tastes.
Kids who eat mostly from the kids' menu (fast food or warmed from the frozen section of the supermarket) reject more healthy choices. Fries, gravy, hamburgers, chicken wings. grilled cheese and other deep-fried or processed foods become the norm. Everything has sugar. Check labels. Yogurt? High sugar. Most anything processed will have hidden sugar- addictive and unhealthy.
Kids need a chance to re-establish tastes. They need to experience more than fries and chicken fingers. Fruit (although it may need peeling) is the original fast food, only it's good for you. Carrot sticks and celery sticks are tasty. They even (gasp) don't always have to be served with a dip. I have seen a young fellow at a community dinner sit down with his plate and say, "I have the carrot sticks but I couldn't find the dip."
News flash- we don't need dips, dressings, sauces on everything. Fruit and vegetables (especially raw) are a good source of dietary fibre. Keeps you regular.
The rant ends here. Others have said it better but every so often, I am distressed to see that despite changing Canada's Food Rules and all of the news stories about unhealthy eating and its effects, nothing changes.
Yes, I'm of a certain age but I'm pretty spry and like to think still smart enough.