It often takes special superpowers to get kids to eat their veggies and other healthy foods. Even with the best intentions, our busy lives and the fact that there are so many sugary and unhealthy options for kids make it almost impossible to choose the right thing to eat. For those who’ve seen me with my kids in public, you'll find me at the supermarket with my boys screaming at me to buy this potato chip or that flavored juice drink. I battle as hard as I can to stay healthy, but could often use a dose of kryptonite for strength.
We know that good nutrition helps children grow up healthy and strong. Well, we all know by now (I hope) how many health problems can be directly tied to our food choices. But did you also know it helps kids learn, and be more prosperous when they grow up? That's according to Save the Children's new report Food for Thought.
According to the report:
- Childhood malnutrition cuts future earnings by at least 20%
- Current childhood nutrition could end up costing the global economy $125 billion when today’s children are grown
- Malnourished children score 7% lower on math tests and 19% are delayed readers
The report also has some alarming stats that show how this impacts non-developed countries but there are plenty of children right here in the US who are also malnourished. They are malnourished either because they don’t have access to healthy foods or they are being fed substandard, nutritionally empty foods. Whatever the reason, children all over the world are suffering and being dealt a bad hand that will impact their future and their ability to care for themselves and their families down the line. We cannot allow this continue. President Obama and the world leaders who will come together at two global nutrition summits (known as the G8) on June 8, need to address this issue.
Let’s raise some awareness via social media and get the attention of our leaders by tweeting our concerns. Here is an example of a prepared tweet, ready for you to copy and paste.
@whitehouse let's make sure all kids get healthy food in their #next1000days so they can reach their full potential. #Nutrition4Growth
Addressing child malnutrition, especially in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life when their bodies and brains are growing rapidly, needs to be at the top of the President’s agenda.
In addition to asking our leaders to take on this issue, we can all earn our own supermom capes by making sure our kids are getting the nutrition they need. I will kick things off with a healthy breakfast recipe because that’s the hardest time of day of me to eat healthy. I know we are all busy, but most breakfast food is pure junk. This cereal uses nuts and fresh fruit so it is crunchy and sweet, but also packed with nutrients and healthy fats (brain food!). In honor of the G8 nutrition summits we will call it a Gr8 healthy recipe. It only has 8 ingredients.
Gr8 Apple/Coconut Cereal
1 sweet apple, grated
1 banana, chopped
¼ cup almonds, chopped
¼ cup sunflower seeds
Handful of shredded coconut
¼ cup coconut or almond milk
1 tsp raw honey
Pinch of ground cinnamon or nutmeg
Mix all ingredients in a cereal bowl and enjoy!
The recipe and portions of this post were written by Tiffany Washko, a member of the Global Team of 200 a group of mom bloggers banding together to work for social good.