Interview with the Houston Chronicle

The Houston Chronicle interviewed Rachael Ray about the lauch of Yum-o!, her "nonprofit organization encouraging children and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking."

Here are a few exerpts from the interview:

Q: What was your own nutritional upbringing like?

A: When I was very young my grandfather lived in the house, and we ate what he and my mom (Elsa Scuderi) liked to eat. She was the first of 10 children, she worked in a restaurant for 40 years, so we always ate what the adults ate. Mainly a Mediterranean diet, with olive oil and lots of fish and lean meat. I wasn't really exposed to Twinkies and that kind of stuff until I went to school.

Q: How did that influence Yum-O?

A: My mom and I have always wished we could teach classes to latchkey kids and working parents on how to make simple, affordable and tasty food. Oprah said to me, once my show launched, that I should find a way to give back, something that's personal to me, an extension of who I am. Little by little, we built Yum-O. We're working on recipes, and a Yum-O cookbook will be out in the spring.

Q: Do you think kids are becoming more interested in healthy eating?

A: Kids are really getting into cooking. There are cooking clubs, and kids are petitioning to make their school lunchrooms healthier.

Q: What do you think of fast food restaurants' attempts to offer healthier fare — such as Burger King's apples cut like French fries?

A: Even companies like Kraft are looking at new ideas for fun packaged foods that are healthy and tasty for kids. There's definitely an audience for that. It's a slow movement that has been building, but it's becoming more mainstream because of obesity reaching an epidemic proportion.

Q: How do we get kids on the path to healthy eating?

A: You have to expose them to everything. When they're little, try to get as many different flavors into them as possible. My mom just ground everything up. She would grind up whatever she was eating, and that's what I would eat. Once they get to school, and other kids tell them something is yucky, you have a serious challenge there. You can hide something they don't like. Add cheesy sauce and there you go. Then tell them: 'you know what I had all chopped up in there? Broccoli! So maybe you do like it.' You have to be covert.


  1. My daughter and I are so picky when it comes to food so I've come up with an idea of "mommy-daughter" days where we go try new cuisines. We haven't stuck to it yet though! We're so terrible! We ended up at IHOP! LOL!!!


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