Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bring Food Education Back (#infographic)

When I was little, I ate a lot of processed food. Zebra cakes? Yes, please. Kool-Aid? Oh, hell yes. I loved this stuff, among other not-so-real things like Fruity Pebbles and Pop-Tarts and Kid Cuisines. But back then, there wasn't such an emphasis on "clean eating" or processed versus unprocessed foods. At least not that I remember. Let's be honest, I was a kid so I didn't really care. Food was food. And it was good, which made it fun.

Fast forward to college.

That's where I think I really started to become more aware of what I was eating. Not in an obsessive, disordered was just the first time I really had to feed myself. Mom wasn't there to shop for me, or to make dinner for me every day. I had to stock snacks on my own, and the dining hall laid out an array of things I had to pick for myself. So I started to learn about eating right. And I started to get into exercise.

Obviously the two go hand-in-hand.

But I wish more than anything that this emphasis on clean eating, this idea that healthy is cool and necessary (and important)...I wish it had been around longer. And maybe it had been, but perhaps I just didn't notice it.

Anyone else feel like the "clean, healthy lifestyle" market has just boomed in the last ten years or so? Things like CrossFit, fitness clothing brands, all the gadgets. People like Tosca Reno and the boom in fitness-based conventions and other events.

Maybe it's just me.
Maybe I've just been noticing these things more.
It IS a much bigger part of my life now.

Regardless, I hope this trend (which is actually a way of life) is here to stay. I hope it gets passed down from generation to generation. We so need it to. Which brings me to the concept of food education—I never once had a class that discussed the right way to eat. I had a health class in high school, but it barely touched on the food pyramid (or whatever recommendations were being made by the government at the time, if any). And my gym class? Just another hour of torture in my day, even in high school. (I hated it so much.)

So this infographic, I think it's interesting:

Bring Food Education Back

Source: visually 

I'm not sure what the school districts around me offer in terms of food education (if anything), but I certainly hope Hannah gets to experience SOMETHING in school that will place an emphasis on healthy living. If it were my choice, I'd turn "health" class into "healthy living" class and make it a requirement in grade, middle and high school—how fun would it be to plan that curriculum?! At the very least, I hope Hannah will absorb and appreciate some of the healthy decisions I'm making every day. I hope she'll grow up learning how to balance healthy living with unhealthy treats.

If you can do this, then you're doing something right.

And seriously, girl has to experience a Zebra cake at least once in her life.

Question: Do you remember your first encounter with healthy living? What inspired you to make some changes in your life? And, obviously I need to know what your favorite unhealthy thing is!

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