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Monday, February 20, 2012

Should We Teach Kids Restaurant Criticism?

Posted By on Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 8:47 AM

click to enlarge This'll teach them to eat better.
  • This'll teach them to eat better.

Last week, Seattle Weekly critic Hanna Raskin recounted her experience teaching a class on food writing to a group of 9-year-olds at the Seattle branch of 826

What could be a more appropriate food for 9-year-olds than pizza, Raskin thought. She gave the kids restaurant reviews to read so they could learn pizza-analysis vocabulary, and then served them pizza in a mockup restaurant. But when asked to describe the pizza in depth, many decided they didn't like it. 

Perhaps the lesson to be learned from that experience, Raskin writes, is that when we ask kids to think critically about their food they might make better choices:
Eaters who focus fully on what's on their plates, who try to decipher ingredients and cooking techniques; absorb aromas and cast about for the right words to describe particular textures -- in other words, eaters who behave like food critics -- are less apt to overeat and more likely to enjoy their food.

No word, though, on whether eating like a restaurant critic prevented the kids from scarfing down the cupcakes Raskin served them for dessert.


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Jonathan Kauffman


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