Thursday, April 12, 2012

Work With What You Got


I had a Kids In The Kitchen session yesterday. Most of the volunteers, including me, don't have a background in nutrition or even teaching children. What we do have is an interest is helping children making smarter choices for a healthier lifestyle. The longer that we do the program, the more we learn about what works for the kids and what does not. One thing that we have learned is - work with what you got. We can't expect to change all of the kids eating and exercise habits by working with them only five times. That is just not reasonable.

What is reasonable is to expect to teach the kids how to make small adjustments. As far as working with what you got - well, the kids at this school eat a lot of fast food. Like it or not, work with what you got. It is not always up to them. It is often at the discretion of thier parents. It may be the only thing available or affordable to the families.

We added a new activity to yesterday's session. We printed off two pictures of different menu items available from a few fast food restaurants. We then held up the two pictures from each restaurant and asked the kids to identify the best thing to order. It was one of the better activities we have done with the kids and it was probably the most impactful. Example: if you go to Wendy's, should you order the Baconator or the Jr. Whopper? (pssssst, the right answer is the Jr. Whopper)

Sometimes I get discouraged thinking about whether what we do is making a difference, but yesterday was a day I left feeling like maybe we left an least on a few of the kids. I would be happy if I knew I had impacted at least one kid. That would be a worth it to me. It was fun to see the kids really think about the choices and talk it out.

What are your thoughts sweets? Have you ever tried to help someone, a friend, family member, coworker, etc. try to change their diet? Has it been successful or do you ever get discouraged?


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