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Just Write: Nurture good eating habits in the young, and young at heart

Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

“Can I have a snack, daddy?” a good friend's 4-year-old son said Saturday — an hour after he had finished eating a bowl of vegetarian chili.

“Yes, what do you want?” my friend said to his son.

“An apple.”

Hearing this little guy, who went from playing with Toy Story figures to a soccer ball faster than I could finish a sentence, ask for a piece of fruit as an after dinner snack had me feeling pretty excited and a slight bit remorseful for my own diet.

My friend and his wife share a dietary plan that seems to rival the most informed healthful eater. Natural and organic foods fill the shelves and fridge of their home.

As my friend's 4-year-old chomped into the apple, his little sister ate her own tiny pieces of fruit.

I'm not around children very often, so to me, this was a very exciting moment, knowing these kids hopefully will grow up to appreciate not only what they eat, but how their food is made.

Restaurants and grocery stores do a great job of presenting unhealthy items, trying to get us to forget about how the food was created.

As a kid, I reached for chips while playing video games. Now, I eat hummus while playing video games.

I wish I knew then what I know now — and continue to learn — about food.

There wasn't a push for healthy snacks or dinner meals growing up, though. Family dinners were filled with meat and maybe a salad.

Classroom parties were filled with chips, dips, cookies and cupcakes.

I'd like to believe when my friend's kids reach their 30s, they'll continue grabbing healthy options instead of processed foods.

Hopefully by that time, I'll have finally realized that same lesson they've learned at such a young age.

Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media.

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