By Angela Casco
We always want our kids to eat healthy. But that’s easier said than done when what’s easily available are nitrate-preserved, pesticide-grown, and canned food.
It’s the same challenge that Bianca Araneta-Elizalde takes on with her own organic food establishment, The Wholesome Table. She, together with her husband Juan Elizalde, established the restaurant in 2014 not only to promote a lifestyle that will be beneficial to Filipinos but also with kids in mind.
“I’d like to change the norm. I’d like for children’s diet to change because it directly affects their health, performance in school, and overall well-being,” Bianca says.
What kids will eat
This sanctuary for mindful eaters alloted a portion of their menu specifically portioned and targeted for the young. Most of the items are made with sustainably-sourced, non-toxic ingredients from local farmers who “do things right.” This means that everything is free of antibiotics, nitrate, and artificial treatments including their Macaroni and Cheese and Honey Butter Chicken Crispies. Kids can also have a lot of fun making their own pizza, made with fresh in-house tomato sauce, organic cheese, and multiple choices of toppings like grass-fed meat.
But apart from those that are too spicy for a child’s tongue to handle, Bianca says almost everything else in the menu is kid-friendly. She recommends the Chicken Miso Ramen made with free-range chicken, the Meatloaf paired with any salad in the menu, the Bolognese Pasta, Eggplant Parmesan, the Dairy-Free Ice Cream, and gluten-free Double Chocolate Cheesecake. As the 40-year-old green living advocate likes to put it, “If you order your dish, you can share it with your kid.”
And Bianca’s four adorable kids approve. “I make them taste test a lot of things. Everytime something new comes out, [I let them] give me feedback because they’re so honest,” she adds. This makes the former model-turned-entrepreneur feel that the restaurant is as much a duty as it is a business. “Perhaps what makes me the proudest is when I get kids to eat well and get their parents conscious about what they are taking in,” she shares. “I’ve achieved my goal right there.”
When asked what advice she can give to moms who are having difficulty in raising healthy-eaters at home, Bianca says we should take full control of what our kids are consuming. It starts with leading by example, “eating what they should be eating.”
She also believes that an early start is the best investment that will pay off in years to come. “As early as infancy, give them pureed vegetables, and then add in a little bit of carbs and fruits,” she suggests. “Be more creative and load them up with as much good stuff as possible.”
The Wholesome Table takes the food we normally enjoy and finds a way to serve it with the same delicious taste, minus the additives or extenders. And as the popular adage says, mom knows best. So does Bianca and the rest of The Wholesome Table team.
The Wholesome Table is located at Alabang Town Center, Rockwell, Salcedo, and Bonifacio Global City. For more information, visit www.thewholesometable.com or check them out on social media.