Tipping the scale
For the past five years I have been working to fight childhood obesity. It all started after volunteering with Recipe for Success at the “Eat This!” Summer Camp, where campers were taught the importance of seed-to-plate nutrition: gardening, cooking and eating together around a table.
As a sophomore, I joined the Oliver Foundation Teen Advisory Board, where I have spoken to families, children and professionals about healthy lifestyles. As a member of the Teen Board, I review grants for teachers and schools looking to implement healthy curriculums in their communities. I was able to speak at the Southern Obesity Summit – the largest regional obesity conference in the nation.
Last year, I worked at Yellowstone Academy, a faith-based private school for economically disadvantaged children, teaching a program called “Should I Eat This or That?” I made healthy snacks with the third-grade class and demonstrated the importance of making healthy choices. The students were incredibly bright, soaking up the information I gave them. Just as the kids learned from me, I learned from them – about their communities, their favorite foods and how to reach a third-grade audience.
After making a certain healthy snack at school, such as zucchini muffins, students would come back excited to tell the story of executing the recipe at home. Moments like these are moments I will never forget.
I created a blog and website (www.shouldieatthisorthat.org) to encourage people to live healthier lifestyles. It’s about sharing good health and good food. On the blog I post recipes and offer advice to readers. Creating and operating this blog has been such a learning experience and has opened many doors. It is an avenue through which to continue my work in childhood obesity and to connect to my community.
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