Posts Tagged ‘
Friday, November 7th, 2014
The holidays are coming up, the most wonderful time of the year. But I know many people who might disagree. For them, the most wonderful time of the year is not in the winter. It’s Girl Scout Cookie season. Seriously, I know people who wait all year to stock up on their Thin Mints, to get their hands on Tagalongs, and munch on their Samoas—or Peanut Butter Patties and Caramel Delights, #wheresourcreativity. Well, Nestle realized people clamor for these flavors and so they decided to partner with Girl Scouts USA and infuse their famous Nesquik drink with Girl-Scout-cookie flavors for a limited time.
But one mom thinks that this pairing is not in the honorable spirit of the Scouts. Monica Serratos, mother of two, has started a petition on Change.org for Girl Scouts to end the partnership. In her eyes, Girl Scouts should be promoting healthy habits and a drink with 48 grams of sugar per bottle is not in line with that ideal. According to ABC News, a Nestle spokesperson said the beverage made with the adult consumer in mind. But Serratos is not convinced given the drink’s mascot is a furry brown bunny. She believes that endorsements like these contribute to the growing childhood obesity epidemic in this country.
To date, over 6,000 people have signed the petition following the beat of Serratos’ drum. The Girl Scouts have responded, so far, with silence.
Serratos also objects generally to the Girl Scouts’ use of cookie and candy sales in general, though there is no official call to end these on the petition. The Girl Scout website emphasizes that their cookies should be a snack or special treat.
I was a Girl Scout as a kid and my favorite part of year was the annual cookie sale. Ironically, I wasn’t a huge cookie person. I just loved the competition to prove how many boxes I could sell. But there was no doubt I sold to adults and families who LOVED the chocolate-y goodness of their Girl Scout sweets. I had friends who sold cookies but were not allowed ANY sugar in their diets. I had friends who were allowed to eat Twinkies after school.
Yet Serratos’ call to action raises an interesting question: Should organizations like Girl Scouts be allowed to promote sugary drinks and snacks to children, be it through cookie drives or Nestle partnerships? Should it be left to parents to decide if and how often their children indulge in these products?
Sound off in the comments below!
Find healthy recipes for your family with our Weekly Recipe newsletter.
Add a Comment
Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
To mark the fourth anniversary of the Let’s Move! campaign, First Lady Michelle Obama is making the rounds to continue raising awareness of childhood obesity.
Tuesday morning, she made a major announcement that will impact the future of schools across the country. Mrs. Obama outlined new rules that will ban the promotion of sugary drinks and junk food in schools. The rules aren’t just limited to the cafeteria, either. Vending machines, posters, menu boards, and even scoreboards that feature unhealthy food and drinks will be phased out.
Companies spend $149 million a year marketing in schools, and 93 percent of that marketing is to promote beverages according to the USDA and reported by the Associated Press.
Companies will now have to start promoting their healthier options if they want to remain in schools. For example, Coca-Cola won’t be able to sponsor a high school football scoreboard if their logo for Coke is visible. Instead, Coca-Cola will have to use Dasani water or Diet Coke as an alternative.
“The idea here is simple — our classrooms should be healthy places where kids aren’t bombarded with ads for junk food,” the first lady said from the White House. “Because when parents are working hard to teach their kids healthy habits at home, their work shouldn’t be undone by unhealthy messages at school.”
There are some exceptions to the rules. Promotions regarding bake sales and other in-school fundraisers would be left up to the schools or states. Off-campus fundraisers, like a school night at a local fast food chain, would be allowed, but posters and flyers advertising the event would not be allowed in the school. Instead, an email would be sent to parents.
The proposed rules will first have to undergo a USDA-facilitation comment period. This will decide how long schools have to remove and replace current unhealthy promotions running on campuses. The rules are expected to take affect by the beginning of next school year.
Many companies have already started the transition, and the American Beverage Association is on board with the rule change. “Mrs. Obama’s efforts to continue to strengthen school wellness make sense for the well-being of our schoolchildren,” President and CEO Susan Neely said.
But helping kids make smarter choices doesn’t begin and end at school. Last fall, the campaign announced Sesame Workshop agreed to license some of their characters to the Produce Marketing Association to help healthier options appeal to children. Parents can also encourage their children to choose healthier options. Here are six easy ways to incorporate non-sugary drinks into your child’s routine.
Let’s Move! was launched in February 2010 to help fight the increasing rate of childhood obesity in America. The campaign encourages children to get active and make healthy eating choices. In the four years since the launch, new school lunch guidelines have been put in place and childhood obesity rates are beginning to fall. Large companies, government agencies, and local towns and counties have made an effort to encourage a healthier lifestyle.
Tell us: What do you think about these new rules? Do you agree that the marketing of junk food should be banned in schools?
Need more inspiration or help choosing healthier food options?? Download our free food substitutions guide!
Fine me on Google+!
Add a Comment
childhood obesity, healthy eating, junk food ban, Let's Move, Michelle Obama, school lunch, sugar, USDA | Categories:
Big Kids, Child Development, Education, Food & Nutrition, Health, The Parents Perspective
Monday, February 24th, 2014
There’s no doubt: our kids eat too much sugar. We eat too much of it, too. So much so that we can’t enjoy foods or drinks that aren’t laden with it. Added sugar is in everything — ketchup, bread, heck, sometimes in meat. And then there’s sugar in all the things that we don’t realize because they essentially break down into sugar: pasta, breads, crackers, all those processed carbs we all love so much. It’s all sugar. Likely you already know all this as it’s been a hot topic for quite a while now. Experts, Dr. Robert Lustig chief among them, are very publicly telling us that sugar is killing us. (If you aren’t one of the 4 million people who have watched his Ted-Talk like video, now’s the time). He says that all this sugar (more specifically fructose) leaves us and our kids susceptible to disease, including cancer. He even goes as far as calling it poison.
So why why why do we still serve sugary snacks in school? At sports games and practices? At each other’s houses after school? Why is a birthday not worth celebrating without the whole class getting a giant cupcake each? And then following up with a cake and pizza party?
This is where I have to come out of the food closet (or, would that be pantry?): My family is a Paleo family. Or I should say: We try to be a Paleo family. Our goal is to eat whole foods: fresh fruits and vegetables, organic meats (more for the animals – I feel for the pigs especially), and no processed foods. We do not eat cereal. We do not buy packaged snacks or treats. Even though I love Goldfish, for instance, and agree that they are relatively healthy, still I don’t buy them. We have no candy in the house except occasionally dark chocolate. And no processed foods. (OK; I will admit that I have a loaf of whole wheat bread and a box of whole-wheat pasta in my cabinet). But by and large: At home, we eat real food.
When I tell people this, they are usually kind, but I know what they are thinking: She’s crazy. Or nicer: She may be able to do that, but it’d never fly in my house. But why not? My m.o. is this: My kids are getting so much crap outside of my house — all those places noted above and then some — that the only way I have a fighting chance to keep them within a healthy range is eliminating it entirely within my walls. Because every weekend there is a birthday or a “special occasion” that brings with it carb- and sugar-packed foods. And nearly every day there’s some event, playdate, or activity that gets a side of junk food served with it. I can’t monitor this. I don’t want to monitor this … I work full-time and I don’t want to tell anyone else what to serve in their house.
Except now. Right now in this blog post, I urge you to think about the snacks you serve in your home — to your kids and your kids’ friends — and the snacks you bring to school, to soccer, to girl scout meetings. Could they be healthier? Instead of Goldfish, can you bring clementines? Instead of packaged granola bars, can you bring pears? Instead of juice boxes, can we just refill our kids’ water bottles with … water? I’ve found that when you bring fruit or other healthy snacks, the kids are fine with it. It’s the adults that like to think that kids “deserve” to have treats and insist on them. But now with all the evidence stacked against carbs and sugar and the sheer amount of junk that our kids are getting at every turn, can we change this thinking?
And this may be going too far, but what the heck: I encourage you to try a Paleo diet for your family — or maybe just a non-processed food diet. I am a big fan of Mark’s Daily Apple, and his cookbooks. Also Mark Bittman’s. I’m excited to try out Lustig’s new cookbook: The Fat Chance Cookbook which is all about eliminating processed foods from your family’s diet. (Even he says he serves his kids homemade cookies at home.)
If we all work together on this than I won’t have to be the freak who doesn’t have Goldfish in her house.
Add a Comment