For some people food is just fuel, for most of us, it is more, sometimes a lot more. Throughout most of our history, our primary drive has been to seek out and acquire food. We have a built-in mechanism to sustain this drive – our reward system. Whenever we eat food and sometimes when we just think about it, chemicals in our brain stimulate certain brain areas that give us a sensation of pleasure.
Certain foods are more rewarding than others. Scientists call this quality “palatability”. When we say that a food is palatable, oftentimes we are referring to its taste. Here though, palatability refers to a food’s ability to stimulate our appetite and prompt us to eat more. Palatability of course involves taste, but it primarily involves our motivation to pursue certain foods. It’s the reason that when it comes to certain foods, we just can’t stop eating.
What makes food palatable? A food’s palatability is largely dependent on the food’s ability to engage all of your senses. This experience is called your perception and is a subjective experience for all of us. It explains why you may like certain foods but your friend may not. We all have different perceptions of how something tastes, smells, looks, or feels which in turn creates an experience that is unique to you. Food that stimulates all senses has the potential to create intense memories. This was the basis for one of the most famous books of all time, Swann’s Way, usually called “A Remembrance of Things Past” by Marcel Proust.
When we describe food, people usually talk about taste. When it tastes really good we say it is “delicious”. But when we eat, the taste is only one of the senses that use. We also describe the SMOOTH, CREAMY pleasure of our favorite chocolate cake, the RICH AROMA of our favorite coffee, or the CRISPY TEXTURE of our favorite fried shrimp. Any food writer knows the importance of highlighting these characteristics to make the food seem more desirable and appetizing.
The food industry knows exactly how to create this experience for you, and they do everything in their power to provide a bite that will MELT in your mouth. Here is a short description of an entree that I picked up at a restaurant recently:
“Juicy fire-grilled chicken breast drizzled with our Jack Daniel’s® glaze and some crispy Cajun-spiced fried shrimp with dipping sauce. Our creamy mashed potatoes and veggies seal the satisfaction. “
Now you may not be hungry, but just reading that will definitely tickle your taste buds. Just the words on the page will create a picture in your mind of what this dish would look, taste, smell, and feel like in your mouth. All of this is packaged together to create a perception of the experience you would have if you could eat this meal right now. This perception sends powerful messages to the brain and sends back powerful memories to the body. These powerful memories form fuzzy comfort memories that are often so delicious you barely remember the actual event, or sometimes the food itself.
misunderstanding or forcing a healthy diet on people is just as bad as not listening to your body’s signals. It is important to listen to your body and your feelings in order to find healthy options for you.
Not everyone knows healthy eating is an easy task, especially for kids. Schools are now teaching kids to eat healthily, but not in the ways that adults do. Schools are becoming known for their healthy meals, but in some ways, the programs are not healthy for kids. School is now requiring students to eat fruits and vegetables, and other foods that are deep-fried. These deep-fried foods and foods with high cholesterol have caused children to become overweight in many instances. The pressure to have kids eat healthier may be getting to schools. parents should be very concerned.
Many parents tend to want their child to become a doctor or a teacher. These days, however, a long day of work often leaves little time for installments and parents don’t have time to make doctor’s visits a priority. Dr. Andrews broke the mold, and so should you. As a parent and grandparent, you should support your child’s desire to eat healthily. If you can make a game of eating healthily, it sure will be one of the best years of your child’s life.
Not all food is created equal. Meat is an important part of any balanced diet, but if you are looking for it in your child’s diet, you may want to try a more balanced diet instead. The Mediterranean diet can help you and your children have a healthier meal. The foods should be large in portion size and should be whole food plant-based. Go for the low-fat and whole-grain items rather than taking the meat out of the diet.