Food Fights: Where Are Healthy Choices for Kids?
We need to focus our energies and resources on our future generation to turn the health crisis around. We need to educate ourselves, our children, and our nation about the harmful effects of a unhealthy diet, and teach that healthy eating and exercise are a must. We need to teach nutrition in schools and follow it up by modeling good nutrition to children throughout the schools, from PTA events, to the cafeteria, to the snacks at sporting events, classroom celebrations etc.
Kids should have minimal exposure to unhealthy choices, just as they should have minimal exposure to second hand smoke. Along those lines, just as the Marlboro man and the Camel cartoon camel were removed from cigarette ads in 1999 due to the negative influence on children, I think that ads targeting kids to eat junk food should be banned. Also on those lines, until advertising is better regulated, people need to read labels very carefully to stay clear of trans-fat, sugars, additives, food colorings, sodium etc.
Food consumers need to adopt the “buyer beware” attitude when dining out and shopping for food. The food industry has their bottom line rather than the waistline of America at the forefront of their minds. I dream of a day that I can send my kids to school, knowing that they will receive real, healthy, nutritious food for lunch and receive positive health messages throughout their learning environment. I dream of a day when we can take our family to a restaurant and know that the cook has prepared a vitamin-rich, nutrient-dense all-natural, hormone-free meal that is low in fat and sodium and refined sugars. That is my little soap-box for now.