Sunday, May 4, 2014

Finding the Foundation

fast food photo: fast food fastfood2.jpg
photo credit
     I am an educator currently focusing on nutritional education. While my focus is primarily children, the goal is also to reach each aspect of that child's environment including their teachers, caregivers, and family members. This role allows me the amazing opportunity to form relationships with people often overlooked as important to this child's future. While education is crucial to their future, there can be no future without health.
     As an educator, my goal is to find the foundation from which to build on; where do we start. Sometimes this information is revealed during activities, accidental encounters, or direct surveys/interviews. Herein, the realization occurs: families are not eating to nourish, they are eating to eat. Habits have developed leaving gaps in the generations where skills should be. A large task lies ahead of me and I can't do it alone; recruiting help becomes a priority.
     Volunteers are sought out to join the education process; just like the students, surveys/interviews reveal the foundation we are to work from. Another startling reality is revealed- young adults are also lacking the skills needed. Older adults are busy and falling into similar habits leaving yet another gap in the skills. So what is the foundation?
      How are the people around us feeding themselves and their friends/families? Fast food is the number one answer. We purchase our breakfast, lunch and dinner on the way to somewhere else; coffee stops, large carbonated beverage breaks, we even buy water. From the drive through to the microwave, the second foundational reality is convenience food. Prepackaged micro meals offer us dinner in 5 minutes at the expense of nutrition. These habits form out of convenience and lack of confidence. Then there is the misconception of expense- fast food/convenience food is cheaper. Is it?
       Here in we realize we must start at the beginning- at the place we are lacking. It is time to introduce ourselves to the kitchen, the market, and the reality of marketing. My goal is to share basic, simple steps to move out of the drive thru, away from the microwave, and into the grocery store while building the skills we need for basic nutrition and nourishment.
       Before you start beheading me, let me say: 1. I grew up with financial challenged, 2. I have lived as a single woman in an apartment on a tight budget, 3. I have lived as a single-income family on a very tight budget, 4. I am currently a very busy wife/mother/homesteader/educator with very little time for Martha meals. These experiences offer me a foundation to start from and a place to build on. I invite you into my kitchen, my cabinet, and my car as we travel a path to better habits and health.    

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