Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Call to the White House with Exec Director of Let's Move!

It isn't everyday that you receive an invitation to join a call hosted at the White House.  Even better to participate in one of my favorite topics:  healthy eating and getting active.  Although my blog features a wide range of sugary goodness, the other side of my life is very health conscious.  I am an activities director for a private club.  Part of my job includes really awesome things like guiding 3-4 hour hikes, teaching yoga several times per week, group snowshoeing, cycling, swimming, and massage therapy.  I eat a very clean Ayurvedic diet- consisting of mostly fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  You won't find many processed or packaged foods in my home (sometimes to the dismay of my children), but we have a good balance of healthy food, a really active lifestyle and treats sprinkled into the mix.

The call was opened by the Press Secretary with an introduction of Sam Kass, Executive Director of the Let's Move! initiative.  This is the fourth anniversary of the Let's Move program and its affects are being felt and measured across the country.  The CDC has recently reported that childhood obesity is down 43% in children ages 2 to 5 years old.  90% of our schools are meeting the school lunch standards.  Local school wellness policies, made available to the public,  include guidelines for nutrition and physical activity.  The wellness policies set a standard for what can be marketed at school so parent's hard work in educating nutrition at home is not under-minded by an array of unhealthy snack foods available and/or marketed at school.

Something I don't tend to put much thought into because healthy food is so accessible to my children, is the staggering number of children who go to school hungry and the affects it has on their school performance.  22,000 schools are offering all students (nearly 9million!) free lunch and breakfast.  These pilot programs are showing an increase in testing scores and behavior.

The discussion highlighted the time period immediately after school as one of the most vital times of a child's day.  If your child isn't involved in extra-curricular activities or sports, how are they spending those first 30 minutes?  Are they eating chips and drinking soda while vegging out in front of the television so they aren't hungry for dinner, or are they getting outside and being active and then eating a well-balanced meal?  My Plate is an excellent resource for building a healthy meal and it's the guidelines we were asked to follow to participate in a local kids' cooking contest.

My kids' school has a wonderful greenhouse program where the kids learn how to grow food and compost.  The food is then used for the school lunch program.  The food scraps are composted back to the greenhouse.  The kids are offered unlimited trips to the fresh fruit and vegetable bar.  I think it's equally important to educate the parents about proper nutrition and basic cooking techniques.

It was an honor to be included in the discussion to be able to come back and open up a discussion.  What can you do in your own home to encourage healthier choices?  How can you reach out to the kids and families that need it the most?  I know most of my readers are wildly talented with food and exercise.  How can you share your talents within your community to make a difference?  We can all play a small part in this big healthy revolution.  Progress is empowering!

No comments :

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...