With about a third of children in the U.S. considered overweight or obese, researchers increasingly point to the way kid’s cereal is marketed to our children – through TV advertising and even online game sites – as a key part of the problem. But the bigger problem may well be the fact that what kids don’t know about their food may actually hurt them.
What can you do, as a parent?
Why not teach your kids how to cook?
Teaching kids the right way about the nutrition is a global effort of The Association of Junior Leagues International through the organization’s Kids in the Kitchen program.
Here a few ideas on what you can do with your own kids and for your community’s children.
In the U.S., the Junior League of Eau Claire, Wisconsin presents a “healthy eating” series at a local Boys & Girls Club where members will take part in a new and educational activity designed to teach them about where foods come from, how to create simple, healthy snacks and meals and the importance of fitness.
In Canada, the Junior League of Toronto helps girls learn about nutrition and healthy meal preparation, the importance of physical fitness and healthy body image. Ultimately the girls incorporate these into training for 5K walk/run or 10K relay run with Junior League of Toronto volunteers.
In Mexico, the Junior League of Mexico City records and monitors the grade, heights, weights and Body Mass Index of children who are at risk for being overweight or obese. Participating kids are offered weekly lessons focusing on nutrition, healthy food preparation, fitness and hygiene. Their parents or guardians are also invited to enroll in related classes aimed at teaching them how to cook nutritiously and affordably.
In the UK, the Junior League of London implemented a curriculum at a local elementary school to teach children about healthy eating, including where food comes from, how to navigate through a grocery store and choose healthy foods, how to prepare ingredients for cooking and finally how to prepare their own healthy snacks.
Is this enough to counteract the messages the cereal industry dumps on our children? Maybe not…but it’s a start.