This is lunch for our kids…REALLY?

I just can’t quite believe that this is going on. This is the age of childhood obesity, Michelle Obama on the front lines fighting to get kids healthy, local PTAs taking over their school cafeterias in order to bring local food into their schools…I could go on and on.  So where is the disconnect?

Read it, you won’t believe it!

 

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/07/school-lunch-conference-cheetos

 

 

 

Healthy Tips from the First Lady

This is not about politics, this is about something MUCH more important, raising healthy kids!  I saw this article and thought I’d share.  I think Mrs. Obama seems to be a pretty great mom, I mean, it can NOT be easy to raise kids in the White House with every eye in the world on you.  Even though their lives are quite different from most of ours, these are tips that any family can embrace.

She threw away his Oreos!

In making a change for the better and getting rid of the temptations in the pantry she threw it all away!  At first I thought, what a totally bold move, I don’t know if I could actually just throw food in the trash and then she said to me “I put the crap food in the trash or in my body, what’s the difference?”  She is not just talking about herself but her 3-year-old son and husband as well.  In an attempt to break the cycle of bad eating for the next generation and raise her son on unprocessed food (as much as possible), she threw it all away.  So, that night when her hubby got home from work and went to the pantry to find it, well, made over, he slowly walked into the living room, peered into the doorway and asks “where is all the food?”  It sparked conversation I’m sure but in the end they came to an agreement.  Her 30-something year-old husband can have his Lucky Charms for breakfast and his Oreos and whatever other junk HE wants to buy HIMSELF, but it is going to be stored on his “special shelf” (in the basement) so that the other 2 members of their family are not faced with the temptation.

They both want to raise a healthy eater and avoid the pitfalls of being raised on junk food, that is agreed.  It just may take Dad a little longer to break the bad habits from his past.  So, I give a shout out to you and anyone else out there that has decided to grow your little one(s) with fresh ingredients instead of the processed  stuff.  It’s not always easy, BUT we are always  here to support you!

A few months ago, Lucky Charms Dad told me that he felt like exposing his child to healthy foods “was like giving him a gift”.  I know all will be well with this family.

– How will your family grow?

Andrea

Healthy Snacking Starts (REALLY!) Early

 

I was in Target yesterday when I saw this little guy happily munching away on his raw sugar snap pea. I asked his mom if I could snap his picture and blog about his healthy snack. After deciding whether or not I was dangerous and/or crazy, she agreed:)  (Actually, I am certain that she DID think I was crazy!)

My chance encounter immediately started me thinking about all the new moms and moms-to-be I have met recently. I wish I had the knowledge when Henry was a baby that I have now.  I met a mom through a play group 11 years ago that only gave her little ones veggies to snack on; their favorite was frozen peas!  I remember watching the little girl ambling about with her bowl of tiny frozen peas and thinking, “Wow, cool, ….but wacky!” Her kids had fruit for dessert and that was their sweet for the day.

Now I get it.  I potty-trained Henry by rewarding him with m&ms…he wasn’t even two!  What if I had rewarded him with blueberries?!  Kids that young are just forming their food preferences so why not help them prefer sugar snap peas to a McDonald’s french fry? Once I knew better and did better it was a lot harder converting him over to veggie snacks.  (We still go through a lot of Goldfish and pretzels around here.)  Kids will grow up and eventually want to try all the nasty stuff, but with years of the really good stuff under their belt maybe the bad stuff won’t taste all that great!

Many thanks to the mom of the beautiful baby with his healthy snack! Keep up the good work, you’re an inspiration!

Peas and greens,

Melissa

 

No More Junk-Food Ads on Disney Channel

I am so happy to hear that Disney has agreed to air their programs without advertising junk-food to their tiny tot audience.  My kids have grown up watching Disney Channel and have those ads in their face all of the time.  I relate junk food ads to toy ads around Christmas time,  they didn’t even realize they wanted it until they saw the commercial for it.  Then I get the question, “why don’t you ever buy us that Mom?”  Now I will look less mean!  I’ve included a link below if you are interested in learning more.

So happy! – Andrea

http://www.cnbc.com/id/47691587

Are All Calories Created Equal?

This is what I found in my mailbox yesterday.  Of course, the adorable baby and sad headline caught my attention.  The article is a bit long so I thought I would fill you in on some of the key bits.

Written by Gary Taubes, the article takes issue with the widely popular belief that we get fat when we have an energy imbalance. To put it simply, when “calories in” exceed our “calories out.”  He refers to a doctor in the 1930s who had come to America from Germany and was “startled” by the number of fat kids she saw.  This was in New York City during the Great Depression when 6 in 10 Americans were living in poverty.  Refined grains were, and still are, the cheapest calories.  Even though there wasn’t enough food available, the prevalence of refined sugars and flour was the problem.  (And still the problem today)

For over a century we have been fighting obesity by trying to eat less and move more.  We have also always believed that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie.  If you are eating 1800 calories a day and you want to spend them all on 3 packs of Snack Wells 100 calorie packs of cookies, a Big Gulp of Coke, a  2 slices of pizza, and a snicker bar, well, that’s fine, just stay within your 1800 calories and you won’t gain a pound.  (obviously, this is not healthy and promotes disease but this article is about obesity, not overall health)

BUT, what if a calorie from an avocado or a leafy green is not the same as a calorie from a slice of pizza?  What if the calories act differently inside your body?  What if a refined grain calorie makes your fat cells get fatter but other calories don’t?   The author believes that this theory has been around for decades and can be found in many medical textbooks but has been “largely ignored” by the establishment.  This nutrient-fat-hormone interaction is something I firmly believe in and is fascinating to study if you’re a health geek like me:). It is interesting to think about the politics involved in changing the food pyramid and doing away with that huge base of grains and cereals.  What would the corn lobbyists do if all medical advice began turning people on to leafy greens and away from grains and sugars?
Through my schooling I have learned over 100 dietary theories.  “Theories” are just that, theories.  Meaning, what works for one person may not work for the next.  This particular theory may not be for everyone but I think that for anyone struggling to lose weight it is worth a good try.  If you have carefully counted calories and wondered why the weight isn’t coming off, or maybe you have hit a plateau, refined grains may be the issue.  Try eliminating them for a week and see what happens.
I’m writing this on a plane to Florida for a few days with my husband. (Thank God for my wonderful parents who will step in to care for my kids and give me this little break! ). I’m going to cut out all grains for one week starting next Monday and see if I can lose these last 5 pounds that seem to be hanging on for dear life.  I’ll let you know how it goes but I’d love the company if anyone wants to join me!
Peace and greens,
Melissa

Let them loose in the kitchen!

I’m always amazed at what my kids will eat (or drink) if they’ve created it themselves.   I hate a mess in my kitchen but I’m trying to really loosen up on this and allow my kids to get in there and, well, make a mess.   I want to send all my kids out into the world with the skills to cook up lots of simple, healthy, yummy meals for themselves and their  friends so that pizza and fast food don’t have to be their only options.   (Not that I’d know anything about that….freshman 15 anyone?)

Henry loved this juice he came up with…not sure what he would have thought if I had been the one to invent it:)

Peace and juice,

Melissa