After attending the Food Power Conference to Reverse Childhood Obesity hosted by MomsRising.org, I walked away with a whole new perspective. The inspirational and empowering conference had me analyzing the demographics where I live and contemplating the things we place in our bodies due to certain life circumstances.
We were given a wealth of information and there were many magnificent speakers including Migdalia Rivera from Latina on a Mission. Many spoke about the connection between unhealthy eating in their homes and reasons for choosing to trade in unhealthy choices for healthier ones. Migdalia made an important connection to her and her son when their way of eating became a routine in their life. When his health began to suffer from this way of life, she kept it real and spoke to him about the impact it would have on his future. She explained, “We began cooking together and changing our lifestyle together”. Tanya Fields from The BlkProjek shared how demographics played an important role for her, leading her to create Fab Food on Food Stamps Budget. She emphasized, “young folks in the hood don’t have good food” and “the food isn’t appealing and the fruits and veggies aren’t at eye level”. She talked about ways that you can use meals purchased with food stamps, not spending a lot of money, and still have a healthy meal for your family. I decided to buy a vending machine to preserve the food, luckily I found this site https://www.royalvending.com.au/vending-machines-brisbane/ where I can buy quality vending machine.
We were also given the opportunity to watch the documentary, “Soul Food Junkies,” by award-winning filmmaker, Byron Hurt. Watching the film reminded me a lot of my hispanic culture and our love of food. Within the film you hear a lot of people speaking about the seasoning, which is usually high in salt, and the significance of such good food symbolizing family and “coming together,”,by cooking together, and the “love” behind it all. It took you to various parts of the South where you were able to see how many people live to cook and the meaning behind soul food.
I was able to relate to the concepts on so many levels but the one that stood out the most was the making of food in the kitchen with the family. It reminded me of my Abuela preparing pasteles with my mother and my Tia right by her side. It was a family affair to cook with one another, and as you cook, you taste, and the tasting becomes contagious. It’s always a must to go to a family member’s house and eat or drink, and never to turn down food as that may be a sign of disrespect. I was also able to relate to being on the go and maybe picking something up on the street or at a drive-thru instead of planning ahead and using better judgement. All of these things play an important role on the foods we choose to place in our body.
What we don’t realize is, when we have children, we are our child’s first role model. They eat what they see us eat. We can make better choices and save the lives of our children by introducing them to “better choices” right from the very beginning. Instead of running for those potato chips, a piece of fruit is a far healthier choice. Instead of eating things that are fried, let us bake instead. We can still eat those delicious foods but it’s all in the preparation, as well as planning. I also went to my local bodega where I remember the fruits NOT being at eye level and the owner had made some changes- so grateful he did. The fruits and veggies are now appealing and at eye level and I knew I’d be more likely to choose them in the future.
The conference was a great eye opener to some of the things we have already implemented in our household. We have to quit making excuses of illness, money, and demographics, and get up to make a change. Let us not wait until it is too late and we (or our children) are diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes, or anything else that is associated with being overweight. Let us take a step toward being healthier, living longer lives, and perhaps be empowered to stop promoting those unhealthy brands as bloggers so that we can be the model for our children for years to come.
How are you making healthier choices for your children?
One thing that I have changed in my children’s eating habits are the types of snacks that I buy. I try my best to purchase fruits as a snack now. My son doesn’t like all types of fruit so applesauce or dole fruit cups do him well. It makes me feel better as a mom when they’re eating something that’s healthier.
Thank you so much for reading and commenting.
I completely agree with you. I am doing the same–I work off of what my son likes.
I also stopped giving him a snack after dinner.
We are on the same page mama
Thanks a million,
Love this. And I can’t agree with you more, Eileen. Coming from a Cuban and Puerto Rican family there was so much about “Soul Food Junkies” and the event I could relate to: the special place that delicious (unfortunately fattening) foods have in our families and how it is considered disrespectful to turn anything down. I learned a lot in this conference, too, and there have been many changes I have made in my own household: I cook dried beans as opposed to cooking out of a can that has more sodium; I was struck by Migdalia’s story on how she steams and bakes as opposed to frying foods. I admit that I still fry my tostones. I am definitely going to play around with that to help my kids establish good eating habits for life. Thank you for this report back!
Yes about role modeling! I pay attention to my own reactions to food and what I reach for in front of them because I know it makes a big difference in what they’ll want to have. I try not to completely ban things, but we just talk about it. “Yes, it’s ok to have a cupcake at someone’s birthday, but when you’re having 30 birthday parties at school, that’s a lot. It’s also ok to skip a cupcake and go for a better snack. You’re still celebrating!” That kind of conversation helps us.
Thank you so much for reading and commenting Anita!
I totally agree with you–I find myself more vigilant of what I eat when they are
around me and show them how much I truly do LOVE my veggies!
Great points–seems like we are both doing the same thing.
Thanks again sweetie and best,
Thank you so much for this amazing reflection on the Food Power! conference. We’d like to cross-post it on the MomsRising.org blog this week. If you’re interested, please email me.