junk food

Soccer Mom On A Mission…Watch It!

by Sally on March 13, 2014

Two years ago, I tromped around the soccer fields in my community, snapping photos of the snacks I was seeing. I set the photos to music and turned them into a video slideshow called “Soccer Mom On A Mission”, with the hopes of raising awareness and mobilizing a new wave of Snacktivists to create change.

After a few computer glitches, the slideshow is back! It’s new and improved–and on YouTube.

Watch. Share. Get resources you can use, like sample coach and team emails, in my Sports Snacktivism Handbook.

Make change happen for your child’s team!

{ 8 comments }

OLYMPICS-MCNUGGETS

“McDonald’s is, like, the official restaurant of everything.”

That’s what my nine year old said to me as we were watching the Olympics the other night. That’s because every 10 minutes that McDonald’s commercial was on the screen. You know which one I’m talking about: the split-screen showing an Olympian biting their gold medal on one side and a person biting their Chicken McNugget on the other.

At first, I wondered: What’s the message of this ad? That if you eat enough Chicken McNuggets you’ll become a Olympian? That taking a bite of fast food is somehow as thrilling as receiving the highest athletic honor awarded on an international stage? Then I found out that the TV spot is called “Celebrate With a Bite”. So apparently, we’re supposed to celebrate someone else’s athletic achievement by eating a lump of processed chicken? I’m still confused.

A grown-up can see the silliness of this ad. A child? Maybe not.

That’s why I’m doing some deprogramming while we watch the speed skaters and snowboarders. Because while I love a lot of what the Olympics teach my kids–that hard work pays off no matter what your goal, that you can overcome challenges and setbacks, that there’s much to learn about other countries and cultures–I don’t love the messages they’re getting from most of the food advertising.

Here’s what I’m teaching them instead:

  • McDonald’s isn’t the official restaurant of the Olympics because it’s good food for the athletes or spectators. McDonald’s spends a lot of money to be there.
  • Just because an Olympian endorses McDonald’s or Subway doesn’t mean that the food is good for them or for you. It doesn’t even mean the athlete eats that kind of food. It means they’ve been paid to say they like it.
  • Athletes, even those on the college level, work with dietitians to develop an eating plan that will keep them fueled and focused. You don’t become a great athlete on a steady diet of fast food and junk food.
  • Coke is not what athletes use to stay hydrated. They drink water. (Some may use sports drinks, but most kids don’t need them.)

I want my kids to get the counter-message to all these commercials and become savvy enough to see through the glitz and fun that millions of ad dollars can buy. They’re capable of understanding these concepts. And hopefully if they understand those concepts, they won’t come to associate being cool and having fun with eating McDonald’s and drinking Coke. They’ll see it for what it is: People trying to make a lot of money.

How disappointing that athletes–including Olympic athletes–so often endorse junk food. An incredible 79 percent of the foods and drinks athletes endorse are high-calorie, low-nutrient foods like Oreos, McDonald’s, and Mountain Dew, according to a study last year. Wouldn’t it be nice if, instead, they endorsed products that were in line with the kind of healthy lifestyle they themselves are presumably living–the kinds of lifestyles we want our kids to be living too?

Wouldn’t it be nice if fruits and vegetables were, like, the official foods of everything?

I wrote this post as part of the Olympic Moms campaign, which encourages families to use the Olympics as an inspiration for better health, fitness, and family fun. Download the free Participant Guide for ideas, expert advice, and recipes.

OlympicMoms Logo 3

 

{ 10 comments }

A Call for Candy-Free Valentines

February 4, 2014

Remember Valentine’s Day as a kid? If your school was anything like mine, you found an old shoebox, cut a slot in the top, and decorated it with paper doilies and puffy heart stickers. You stationed it on your desk at school and made the rounds in the classroom, giggling and dropping valentines in your […]

Read the full article →

Why You Should Cut Your Mother-in-Law a Break

November 26, 2013

When hanging out with a group of fellow moms, there’s only so long you can go before someone starts complaining about their mother-in-law. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes there are legitimate grievances (“She told me I’m a bad parent and a terrible cook!”). But more often than not, the complaints feel a little thin (“Can […]

Read the full article →

Will The Real “Healthy Snack” Please Stand Up?

September 23, 2013

I’ve been known to gripe about the state of kids’ snacks (read: “Snacktivism“). I’m so tired of Fruit Roll-Ups, Capri Suns, and Cheez-Its being trotted out for every. single. kid-related. event. And I’m thrilled when I see parents, school administrators, church leaders, and coaches asking for better quality snacks–especially now at the start of the […]

Read the full article →

The End of Soccer Snacks?

September 17, 2013

More than two years ago, I finally gave voice to my feelings about soccer snacks–specifically, irritation that my kid was getting cookies and donuts and fruit punch and cupcakes after trotting around on a field for 20 minutes (read: “Soccer Mom Soapbox“). I vowed to speak up and change things. And since then, I’ve helped […]

Read the full article →

Why I’m Glad I Bought The Gatorade

July 26, 2013

It was a case of poor planning. My husband and I had taken our nine year old, Henry, to an outdoor center to play mini golf and hit balls at the batting cages. It was steamy hot, and while I had remembered the hats and sunscreen, I had forgotten water. There were no water fountains, […]

Read the full article →

Camp Snacks: The Sequel

June 21, 2013

I practically stood up at my desk and cheered when I read a piece by Caron Gremont yesterday on The Huffington Post about camp snacks. She writes: We send our children to camp and trust that the counselors and lifeguards will keep them safe, from the pool to the buses used for field trips. Shouldn’t […]

Read the full article →

Why is Healthy Food Such a Joke?

June 12, 2013

I saw a little boy wearing this t-shirt at the airport recently. I know this shirt is supposed to be funny. I get the joke. But on this young boy, who was also very overweight, it seemed almost cruel. And I couldn’t help but wonder: Who bought this shirt for the boy–and what kind of […]

Read the full article →

Fear & Loathing on Facebook

May 22, 2013

Here’s what I’ve been learning lately on Facebook: Packaged bread is poison so you should make your own. But wheat is also poison, so don’t bother. You should never, ever, ever drink milk. Unless it’s raw, then maybe it’s okay. Never mind, it’s bad. If you’re feeding your kids non-organic fruit while slathering them with […]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Read the full article →