Is this what you want your kids school lunch to look like?
I attended a fundraiser for Project Lunch on Sunday and it provided inspiration for today’s post. Everywhere we look we see and hear something new related to healthy eating, it seems to be all over the media these days, and it’s about time! As attention continues to grow, more and more industries and organizations are being scrutinized for their food practices. The school lunch service industry is one that hits home to many. There is a huge discrepancy between what students should eat and what they DO eat. This issue is of major concern since 17% of children and adolescents ages 2-19 are obese according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This number does not include those that are overweight and at risk for obesity and other related conditions. Do you remember what it was like to be a kid? Do you remember being a fat kid or making fun of a fat kid? Kids can be mean and the psychological imprints can have lasting effects! Not only do overweight kids have to deal with the societal ridicule associated with their weight but they are more likely to become obese adults and are at higher risk for cardiovascular related disease (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol). It is estimated that almost a third of U.S. children have diabetes, a disease that was once called “adult onset diabetes”. Although school lunch providers are not entirely to blame for this epidemic, they are a great place to start changing it. Do you know what your kids are eating at school? I found this table that painted a not so pretty picture in my mind, its a few years old but still quite telling.
SUGAR AND FAT: WHAT ELSE IS AVAILABLE
TYPE OF FOOD OR DRINK PERCENTAGE OF SCHOOLS
Soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit drinks 76.3%
Salty snacks not low in fat 63.5
Baked goods not low in fat 55.6
100% fruit or vegetable juice 53.4
Low-fat salty snacks 51.9
Nonchocolate candy 48.8
Chocolate candy 46.6
2% or whole milk 44.8
Low-fat baked goods 36.4
Ice cream or frozen yogurt not low in fat 35.0
1% or skim milk 24.1
Fruits or vegetables 17.6
Low-fat or nonfat yogurt 14.9
SOURCES: CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
The first step in changing this picture is through awareness and education. The good news is that organizations such as Food Revolution and Project Lunch as well as key leaders ( including Michelle Obama) are stepping up to the challenge to change childhood nutrition. Each of us can also play a role. If you are a parent, teacher, mentor, or around kids, provide them with healthy food options and educate them on the benefits. Check out the seaweed chips from last week’s post. Get involved by supporting local farmers, many of them are now signing contracts to provide produce to schools. Get informed by knowing what type of foods is being served at your local schools. Be the change, if you have a healthier lifestyle, children around you will too.
Recipe of the week: The incredible edible celery
This week is not a recipe but a vegetable- Celery. I added some sauteed chopped celery to my scrambled eggs this morning and enjoyed every delicious crunch. Celery is full of vitamins and essential amino acids and has blood pressure lowering benefits. Its organic saltiness is a great flavor booster for just about any meal. Try it out!
NUTRITION FUNDAMENTALS SEMINAR
This seminar is open to and encouraged for all CFU on ramp members (new and old) as well as anyone who is interested in learning about what they eat. You WILL leave with actionable information.
When: Sunday September 26th @ 11am
Where: Crossfit Unlimited
Cost: Absolutely FREE! So why not come?!