The people achieving positive results with better nutrition for our children, who are the future, are the tenacious teachers, community workers and parents who persist in their efforts to encourage children to make healthier choices, empower them with knowledge and skills and excite them with hands-on learning and fun time growing, harvesting and preparing food for themselves. We saw examples of this in the American documentary, The Kid's Menu, and in the Australian made documentaries, Overfed and Undernourished, and That Sugar Film.
Governments and most schools are paying lip-service only to initiatives to improve the nutritional health and well being of our youngsters. But well-nourished children think better, achieve better, behave better and are happier. Read here about this Californian school that was profiled in The Kid's Menu and look here at how well their "low income" students perform compared with their peer group.
Compare this with the detrimental health outcomes of morally corrupt endorsement of junk food by celebrities and commercial advertising, the sale of junk food in school canteens and community events for fundraising, the deceptive marketing of packaged, processed foods and certification and food endorsement programmes, and supermarket price inducements to buy cheaper food products made with poor quality ingredients. Parents and carers who lack the knowledge about what is healthy and feel too busy or stressed to make the time to source and prepare healthy meals, rely on commercial food businesses (or charities) to provide food at affordable prices. In doing so, they are unintentionally compromising their children's health and future potential.
Googling "Australian school nutrition programs" yielded links to various national and state based initiatives established by government and not-for-profit organisations. There are a number of "breakfast clubs" feeding hungry children with processed, shelf-stable "breakfast food", but fresh food is in short supply, and funding is limited and unreliable. Our children and communities need different solutions
I really liked The Kids Menu for showing us different solutions made possible with the right people determined to make a difference and with some philanthropic support. Berowra Health Swap has the license to show this film again and again (without commercial gain) and I'm happy to help facilitate this. Contact me to discuss this opportunity if you're in the Hornsby or surrounding areas.
And then we need to start doing something for real, moving beyond just talking about it and blogging about it. I have ideas to share. Who's interested?