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Tell Us Your Favorite Family Films
What do you watch in your house on Family Movie Night? Click here to send us a note.
Most parents struggle to serve their kids enough vegetables in the day. In fact, some of our most creative moments have come at the kitchen table, negotiating with small fry about the benefits of broccoli. It was a five-star day when we realized that Super Size Me, an Oscar-nominated documentary, could sell the message about a healthy diet to our kids. Renegade filmmaker Morgan Spurlock investigates Americans' obsession with fast food by using himself as a guinea pig; he eats exclusively at McDonalds for one month. While it comes as no surprise that such a restricted diet makes him sick, it's shocking how rapidly he gains weight and how critically his blood and liver functions are affected. Within three weeks, his health declines to a point where his mother begs him to stop his destructive experiment. Another lesson in mother knows best? We like to think so.
Spurlock's unusual experiment inspired us to take a look at the government's food pyramid. It didn't take long to realize that our family came up short on fruits and vegetables, so we decided to try our own experiment. If we took the kids to our local Farmers' Market, could they find fruits and veggies they would actually eat? They scampered between booths, comparing strawberry varieties and tasting the first of the cherry crop. The kids discovered red carrots, purple potatoes and a hybrid of broccoli and cauliflower. They chatted up farmers who helped them learn to choose ripe melons and suggested recipes for fresh lima beans. Going back week after week is a ritual our kids love but not because they've become saintly eaters. (French fries are still a mainstay, after all). They've learned that the farmers always bestow their best bounty on a return customer. Yum yum.
Our tips for talking to your kids about this film:
Shop for fresh produce at a Farmers' Market, or grocery store
Time Allotment: 1 hour
Age Recommendation: Stroller Babes and up
Our City Editors' tips for enjoying this Popcorn Adventure around the USA: