Thursday, May 13, 2010

Are there even options available for kids to make sensible food choices?

Health and wellness enthusiast B-Boy Super Inlight reached out to D-Nick The Microphone Misfit to compose a song for the opening of Graffiti and Grub, a natural foods store on the Chicago's South Side. They use Hip Hop culture as a way of inspiring different types of people to eat healthy. B-Boy Super Inlight is part of the World famous Stick and Move Dance Crew representing real H.I.P.H.O.P. (Healthy Independent People Helping Other People).

With a chorus taken from the definition of the word healthy, B-Boy Super Inlight makes an appeal to viewers to stop eating junk food. Maybe we all need to hear that definition again. "Freedom from disease and abnormality" has a nice ring to it, don't you think? The song "Abnormality" is fun, there's some humor in there, and tells it like it is.

Here are a few excerpts:
"If I eat this, it'll put me in a junk mood."
"Eatin' healthy is the first step in disease prevention. It also cuts down on hypertension."
"You wouldn't pay your bills with counterfeit money, so why would you put something counterfeit in your tummy?"
The video ends with the guys heading into the fresh produce section of a grocery store to get some "real" food.

With videos like "Abnormality" and high-profile TV shows like Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution making the rounds, I feel really hopeful that the message is getting to both the parents and the kids. Still, my worry is still that even if the kids want to make the right choices, for many, they just don't have healthy options to choose from.

Every day, low-income people in our communities battle 2 main obstacles in the quest to eat food that will nourish their bodies:
  1. Affordability: $1 can buy a large bag of white rolls, or, maybe 2 apples if you're lucky. Forget about a salad. I stand corrected - you can get a salad on something called a "dollar menu". 
  2. Location: Food Deserts are a reality. Without grocery stores, it doesn't matter if you can afford nutrient-dense food because it's just not there. 
At the Food Bank, we're pushing hard to deliver healthy options into low-income areas suffering from lack of access. Staff nutritionists ensure clients receive balanced distributions and information on healthful eating.

Our summer fundraising campaign, Share Your Lunch, insures that families with children receive extra food during the summer while school is out, and also funds our Kids NOW weekend food assistance program.

Our goal is to provide healthy options so that kids from low-income families in our community can actually make a choice.
Do you think kids are getting the message about junk food? Do you have ideas to share? What are you doing with your family to give them the tools they need to make the right food decisions?