June 2012 Archives

Gracie Cavnar Leads Presentation at 2012 It's Time School Summit in San Antonio

Adrienne Ryherd
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This past Tuesday, Gracie Cavnar joined countless other school health advocates at the 2nd annual It's Time School Summit, a two-day event dedicated to sharing, uniting and creating awareness surrounding school health.

"It was exciting to see so many Texans committed to improving the health of our children. The response to our Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education curriculum and interest in becoming RFS affiliate partners was overwhelming." - Gracie

Gracie presented on Recipe for Success' award winning Seed-to-Plate Nutrition EducationÔ Program, expounding on the success the program has already had in the Houston pilot schools, the reasons behind this success, and the opportunity for other Texas schools to jump on board the program with the National Affiliate Program slated for spring 2013.

Presenting to an audience of teachers, nurses, nutrition coordinators, social workers, government agency staff and community leaders, Gracie had a rapt audience, all of them eager to merge ideas in improving and advancing efforts for healthier schools.

Gracie's presentation gave more than just significant information, it gave a sense of hope and encouragement, it gave assurance to attendees that anyone with the determination to improve their school's health had the power and the resources to do so, starting with the S2P affiliate program.  Fielding questions, raising morale and drumming up support for what is truly a national cause - improving campus-wide school health - Gracie, along with other child health vanguards, imparted the necessary tools for health advocates to spread the word and take action to improve our nation's school health.

AMA Joins in National Obesity Prevention Education

Adrienne Ryherd
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Obesity has become a national public health issue, no longer just affecting the individuals who are deemed overweight. With skyrocketing health care costs due to obesity related chronic diseases, this issue now affects the nation's pocketbook, not to mention a chilling outlook for the health and longevity of our young generation. Most children's eating habits are formed by the time they reach the fourth grade, so it is imperative to positively influence their diet and lifestyle at an early age.

But how do you attack a health issue that is so pervasive that it affects almost 1 in 5 children and one third of adults?

With the help of the public education system, that's how.

The AMA - American Medical Association- recently "agreed to support legislation that would require classes in causes, consequences and prevention of obesity for 1st through 12th graders." And what better way for children to learn and to be receptive to a new, healthier approach to eating than to be surrounded by their peers?

Doctors, usually utilized in a more retroactive manner when it comes to treating health issues, are now on board to push for a more proactive approach to obesity prevention and care. "Doctors will be encouraged to volunteer their time in the classroom under the new policy adopted on the final day of the AMA's annual policymaking meeting." With doctors joining forces with other obesity prevention advocates, the road to a healthier nation becomes easier to imagine and to achieve.

Recipe for Success Foundation's award-winning Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education (S2P)- committed to changing the way children appreciate, understand and eat their food- has been in Houston elementary schools for six years, encouraging young students to interact in cooking and gardening classes and teaching them that good food can be fun and delicious! After a few years in the S2P program, children who before could not even identify a fruit now can help prepare a homemade pesto sauce and clamor to get the first taste of a fresh squash from the school gardens.

Our nation needs a lasting and meaningful change. A change that influences all cultures and all economic statuses, creating a more just and sustainable approach to healthy living.

When You Wish Upon a... Junk-Food Commercial Ban

Adrienne Ryherd
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Mickey Mouse is throwing a dinner party. Junk foods are not invited.

Disney - a word that connotes loveable characters, memorable songs and interactive education - is now extending its educational reach to child nutrition by way of stricter marketing standards for its commercials. The behemoth company has decided to align itself with the national push for healthier, happier kids.

"As the anti-obesity and junk-food marketing din continues to reach epic volumes among children's health advocates, the Walt Disney Co. has responded -- this week, the company announced new rules for its children's networks that could ban ads for junk food marketed to those young viewers." Healthy Decision Disney

With the full support of First Lady Michelle Obama, the Walt Disney Co. promises to make an effort to positively influence children's eating habits. And what better way to achieve this goal than to address the issue in the pervasive and persuasive medium of television. Set to go into effect in 2015, these amended nutritional guidelines will target the worst offenders, such as sugary cereals, fruit drinks and prepackaged lunches. In a nationwide attempt to push for more fruit and vegetable consumption and less processed, unhealthy foods, the new guidelines will require that each food item advertised on the Disney network have lower levels of fat, sugar and sodium.

"Parents can be confident that foods associated with Disney characters or advertised on Disney platforms meet our new, healthier nutrition guidelines," Robert Iger, chairman and CEO of Disney said in a statement. USA Today Disney

6.4JunkFoodBlog.jpgMore fruits and vegetable consumption is exactly what Recipe for Success Foundation advocates. "Making healthy food fun" is the motto for RFS's award-winning Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education program, offering interactive gardening and cooking classes. However we choose to empower our children to make healthier decisions - whether it's through a cooking class at school or through a commercial break on a prime time children's television show- we extend knowledge and power to a young generation who depend on our guidance to help mold their healthy habits.

Do you think that the new Disney marketing guidelines will affect what children crave for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

From the Mouths of Nine-Year-Old Bloggers

Adrienne Ryherd
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A nine-year-old Scottish elementary student by the name of Martha Payne catalyzed a healthier school lunch movement.  

How did she do it? She blogged.

Candid and straightforward, Martha's posts on Never Seconds are succinct yet saturated with wise observations from the inquisitive mind of a nine-year old. Who better to chronicle school lunches than someone who eats them five days a week? Each entry includes a photo of that day's lunch and health and price ratings, making for a (relatively) comprehensive and thoroughly engaging and educational read. The not-so-impressive lunch meals are exposed as less-than-stellar both on a flavor and nutritional level.

After only a month of posts- her blog has long surpassed 1 million hits in multiple countries and continents - Martha, with the help of her father, proposed a school council that advocated and won the battle for an unlimited amount of salad, fruit and bread for Martha and her schoolmates. Victory! The blog also includes entries from "web pen pals," comparing school lunches from different countries and showcasing the variations on what each school and culture deems an appropriate lunch.

The most recent posts show quite an improvement on Martha's lunch tray: brighter colors, more whole foods, more salads and even recyclable trays and utensils! Who says only adults can advocate for healthier living?

Getting children interested in their food is exactly what Recipe for Success is doing in its innovative Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education (S2P) programs. With interactive cooking and gardening classes, this program teaches kids that healthy food is fun, empowering them to take charge of their diets and forging a way to a stronger, brighter future.

How can you get your students and children involved in food advocacy?