We recently watched the new childhood obesity documentary, Bite Size, featuring four children, Davion (12), Emily (13), Moy (11) and Keanna (13), who are facing the challenges and struggles of being an overweight child. Emily lives in Orlando, Florida, Moy lives in Los Angeles, California, and Keanna and Davion live in the Mississippi Delta. Each one experiences some form of disrespect and ridicule due to their size, which is disheartening.

Bite Size shows the environments in which each of these children have been raised and how it has affected them. Working in the trenches of childhood obesity ourselves, the surroundings and upbringings of these kids is not a surprise. Unfortunately, poor areas are often also food deserts and healthy food options are not available. Fast food is the go-to because it’s convenient and inexpensive. Even in more affluent areas, like we see with Emily, there is access to healthier food options but the family enjoys eating fast food because it is cheap and quick.

The other glaring factor in all of the kids’ lives, was the influence their families and other authoritative adults had on them. It was very eye-opening to see just how much the parents are impacting their child’s lives simply by how they act and how they talk to them. Most obese children suffer from low self esteem and lack of confidence in themselves. The feeling of not being good enough. Sadly, they hear a lot of these comments from their parents.

As was evidenced in the movie, it’s also difficult when parents or caregivers are not modeling the appropriate eating behaviors and lifestyles the children need to be healthier, which sends a contradictory message. It was great to see the parents come around at the end and realize the influential role and responsibility they have in their children’s lives. On another positive note, it was also inspiring to see the coaches and school personnel committed to helping these kids and taking the time to educate them and help them feel good about themselves.

The conclusion drawn from watching Bite Size and from our own work with children, is that empowering kids with the proper knowledge, filling up their cup with positivity, and teaching them that they can amount to something, is essential in helping them to become self-responsible, self-worthy and confident individuals. Also, as shown in the movie, tapping into the specific interests of these kids and incorporating healthy and active lifestyles that way, is vital in helping them to develop long-term healthy habits.

We strongly recommend watching Bite Size to see the reality of this childhood obesity epidemic and how little steps along the way can make a huge impact. We also say, the earlier the better … get the kids educated on the importance of healthy eating and exercise from an early age. We fully support the movement to empower kids and families to be healthy and smart from the inside out!

Props to Bite Size for bringing this important issue front and center!

Empowering Kids

 

Hey everybody,

This past month was National Nutrition Month. How’d you do? Were you eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise every day? If you were, then way to go! If you didn’t, that’s okay, too. The new month starts in two days, so make April your own New Nutrition Month, or New-trition Month! There may be a day here or there where you don’t drink enough water or you eat an extra sweet, but don’t get down on yourself. Every day is a new day where you can eat nutritious, healthy foods! Oh, and make sure to download the coloring sheet and activity sheet for today!

OWG_Blog_Art_3-30-15Have a great day,

Hardy Heart

 

The March Foods of the Month included fish and stems. In case you missed it, each Monday of the month, we shared some really tasty recipes containing these two foods including tuna melts and other tuna meals on a budgetrhubarb popsicles and a rhubarb parfait.

If you are looking for some other recipes containing these yummy foods of the month, try out these:

Fish

Tasty Tilapia – Here you will find simple recipes for baked tilapia, tilapia tacos and even a tilapia burger! Yum!

One Dish Salmon – Choose some of your favorite veggies and cook together in this fantastic one-dish salmon recipe.

Shrimp Dinners – Try these high-protein dinners including shrimp pad thai, loaded veggie and shrimp quesadillas, and even an easy gourmet shrimp pizza.

Shrimp pizza recipe

Stems

Celery Snacks – Featured here are some kid favorites including ants on a log, celery turkey wraps and dipping sticks, and blue cheese celery boats.

Fennel Citrus Salad – Pair up fennel with some sweet citrus in this tasty salad!

Asparagus Appetizers – Looking for unique asparagus dishes? Try our asparagus tapenade, mini egg and asparagus toasts or baked asparagus fries!

Asparagus fries recipe

 

We are excited to once again feature Produce for Kids on our blog today! Thank you to Produce for Kids for sharing these great tips for building a healthier Easter basket.

Tips-For-Building-Healthier-Easter-BasketEaster is such a fun holiday for my kids. My four & two year olds love reading books about Easter, what the holiday is about, and of course, the Easter Bunny. Growing up, I remember the joy and excitement when opening my Easter basket. There was always a bag of jellybeans, a chocolate Easter Bunny, and other fun things like coloring books, crayons, or a fun bow for my hair. Then we would go to the backyard and hunt for Easter eggs. Some were eggshells that we dyed with fun colors and others were plastic eggs to open with usually more candy.

With so many holidays centered around candy, I like to focus more on activity and non-food focused treats. Our family likes to talkabout the holiday, dye hard-boiled eggs, and, I have so much fun putting together their Easter baskets. I don’t eliminate candy from their baskets or eggs; instead, I like to focus on moderation. We do something active together as a family, whether it’s going to the park, riding our bikes, or something as simple as chasing bubbles in the yard. Then there is the Easter egg hunt. They have so much fun running around the yard finding all the places Easter eggs may be hidden. As far as what’s inside the eggs and their baskets? I still include a little chocolate bunny and some jellybeans in each, but I also include a lot of non-food treats in their baskets and eggs.

Here’s a list of ideas for packing a healthy Easter basket:

  • Matchbox cars
  • Bubbles
  • A new book they’ve been wanting
  • Coloring books
  • Fun crayons (like glitter or neon crayons)
  • Sticker books
  • Notepads
  • Color wonder markers & paper
  • Various parts of a fun Easter craft they can put together for another activity
  • A small toy they have been asking for

 For the Easter Eggs:

  • Individually wrapped dark chocolate
  • Dried fruit such as raisins, craisins, dried cherries, or other no-sugar added dried fruits
  • Trail mix, like this Pistachio-Chip Trail Mix
  • Grapes
  • Coins (my kids love adding coins to their coin jar)
  • Individual size stickers
  • Seed packets (for starting their vegetable garden)
  • Bouncy balls
  • Lip gloss
  • Erasers (stores have a lot of cute options)
  • Party rings with a giant colorful gem (can be found at your local dollar or craft store)
  • Pretty hair ties or clips for girls

To round out our healthy holiday, we love cooking this Slow Cooker Ham & Pineapple with Roasted Asparagus & Cherry Tomatoes. It’s a great way celebrate the holiday!

This post originally appeared on the Produce for Kids Blog.

PFK_final_logos_webProduce for Kids is a cause marketing company that helps families eat healthier through its promotion of fresh produce, bank of 200+ recipes and blog full of healthy family living tips and advice. Through our partnerships with grocery stores and produce companies, we’ve raised more than $5 million for children’s charities since 2002. Follow Produce for Kids on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and

 

 

26

Mar, 2015

Hey everybody,

Yesterday, I was practicing my free throws in the driveway. I was doing it over and over again and you know what? I wasn’t having fun. Which is weird because I love basketball. But I didn’t quit, because practicing is the best way to improve my skills. Instead, I got out the stereo, turned on some of my favorite songs, and just shot around. I had a blast! I was just missing the element of fun in the practice. When you practice by yourself, it can get kind of boring, and playing sports is supposed to be fun! So I turned up the jams and had some fun! Sports shouldn’t feel like a chore, so make sure to have fun, no matter what you’re playing! Make sure to download the coloring sheet for today!

Have a great day,OWG_Blog_Art_3-26-15

Hardy Heart

 

It’s that exciting time of the year for all college basketball fans … March Madness! Last week marked the beginning of the exciting journey to crown the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Basketball Champions. One of the most anticipated parts of the tournament is filling out your bracket and watching it implode (well, that may not be as fun). One other way to make the tournament fun is to include the entire family in the madness.

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Alert_Day_300x250_NO_date

Today we wanted to share something that Peter Pancreas feels very strongly about! Thanks to the American Diabetes Association for this very helpful information:

American Diabetes Association Alert Day® is a “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. This year, during the Association’s 75th anniversary, Alert Day kicks off today (March 24th) and continues through Tuesday, April 21st. The 2015 theme is: Take it. Share It. Step Out.

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23

Mar, 2015

Well hello everyone,

Remember the big spelling test I was worried about it? Well, all the hard work and studying was worth it because I got an “A” on the test! My parents were so happy that they let me pick out the movie for our movie night this weekend! As much as I enjoyed the movie I chose, I was much happier that I did well on my test. It was a great reminder that when you put your mind to something, you can have really great results! So if you have something you want, whether it be good test grades, a solo at the piano recital, or winning the championship, remember to put the time in beforehand to achieve your goal! Oh and don’t forget to download the coloring sheet for today!

OWG_Blog_Art_3-23-15Talk to you soon,

Peri

 

 

23

Mar, 2015

In March, stem vegetables like rhubarb, are an OrganWise Guys Foods of the Month. Last week, we used rhubarb to make these tasty yogurt popsicles. Both the popsicles and this week’s parfait are made with our rhubarb puree, which is incredible easy to make. We love that this puree is so versatile. Simply make a big batch and use it for all your future rhubarb recipes.

Rhubarb Parfait

Ingredients

1 cup chopped rhubarb (about 2 stalks)

2 tbsp. water

1 tsp. honey

1/2 cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup granola

2 strawberries, chopped (or another type of berry, if you prefer)

Directions

For the Puree:

1. Pour water into a pot on medium-high heat. Simmer chopped rhubarb for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. The hot water will begin to warm the rhubarb so it breaks apart, creating a puree.

2. Add honey to rhubarb puree and stir.

3. Remove pot from heat and let cool for about 20 minutes.

For the Parfait: 

1.  After the puree has cooled, begin making your parfait by layering the remaining ingredients.

2. Start with the granola as your first layer, then add yogurt, rhubarb and strawberries in a repeating fashion until your bowl or cup is filled.

3. Enjoy!

Makes 1 serving. Prep time 10 minutes. Cooking time 20 minutes.

rhubarb parfait

It’s only March so summer certainly seems a long way off, however, now is the time to start thinking about the options that are available for kids. Many organizations already have their summer camp information available!

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