Did you know that 16 million children in the United States suffer from hunger?—That's one in every five children in our country.
In order to raise awareness about childhood hunger on a national level, Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter (who could forget Goodies!?) Ciara joined Unilever's #ShareAMeal campaign. As a new mom, this partnership is especially near and dear to Ciara's heart. (And Ciara is no stranger to devoting her time to worthy causes; she and her NFL quarterback-boyfriend Russell Wilson visit Seattle Children's Hospital often.)
Earlier this week, Ciara and Unilever kicked-off the campaign in NYC by preparing and cooking delicious Thanksgiving-style meals to be donated to City Harvest food bank.
Post-event, Parents.com got the chance to chat with Ciara, 30, about 1-year-old Future and how we can all get involved in the fight against childhood hunger.
Parents.com: What made you get involved with this specific campaign? Did being a mother play a role?
Ciara: Oh, definitely! We see advertisements for hungry children in third world countries, and we don't always realize that it's happening right here in our country too. I couldn't imagine what it would be like if my son didn't have enough to eat. [Childhood hunger] is so important to get involved with because it's something that we can actually do something to change.
P: What more can we do individually to combat childhood hunger?
C: We can use social media outlets for so much more than selfies and showing off our fashion. If we spread the word and tell everyone to use the hashtag [#ShareAMeal], it can really make a difference. Aside from that, there are, of course, food drives and food pantries and people can visit brightfuture.unilever.us to learn even more. I feel so blessed to be able to wake up every day and do what I want—I'm glad I can put my time into spreading awareness for this campaign. Unilever plans to donate a million meals to Feeding America, but I think we can do more than that.
P: Switching gears a bit—What are some of your son's favorite foods?
C: He loves apples and bananas! He says apple and nana because of the books we read together—and cookie, too! So he knows about the good stuff and the bad stuff. But he just really loves eating.
P.: So do you want him to be an adventurous eater?
C: I hope so! I want him to try things, but not too much! I'm a bit of a picky eater myself (no tomatoes!) so I don't want him to pick that up. So whatever he tries, mom tries too!
P: What would you say has been the one thing that has changed the most since you first became a mother?
C: Oh, wow—so many things! But decision-making has changed the most. I have to make concrete decisions because it's not just about me, I have to do what's best for my son as well. So making decisions has actually become easier because I always have him in mind.
P: Are there any specific moments that have stuck out to you and made you think, "Wow, I am such a mom?"
C: SNOT—it's all about the snot. I don't care if I use my hands or fingers to wipe his nose, I'm really just not fazed by it at all anymore. I'll get all up in there and clean his nose out, and sometimes that surprises people, but I really just don't care!
P: What is the best—or worst—parenting advice you've ever gotten?
C: I haven't gotten any bad parenting advice, but the main thing I've been told, and learned, is to go with the flow. No one has all of the answers, so you see what works for you and your child and it'll all work itself out.
Here's how YOU can #ShareAMeal: