When it comes to nutrition and my kids, I tell it to them straight. I talk about what they need to be able to have the energy to accomplish all that they want to do in a day; lean protein, green vegetables, fruit, fiber and especially water. But like all kids they also want treats. (How could they not with all of the push marketing that follows them everywhere they go. But that’s a post for a different day.) I don’t want to deny my kids some of the fun treats of childhood, but I have to protect them from the lure of too many treats too. Which is why before I will give them permission to eat some of those sweets I always ask them if they have eaten their protein, their vegetables, and their fruit. I started this practice when they were very young. Educating them along the way about the food groups, and what a well balanced meal truly looks like. Gradually they started to police themselves. Now it is a habit that is so ingrained in them that I don’t even hardly have to ask anymore. Instead of coming to me and asking, “Mommy, can I have dessert?”They will come to me and say… “Mommy, I ate my protein and I had some vegetables. If I have a piece of fruit can I have dessert?” Eureka!
You see, I am a firm believer that if you arm your children with proper, very specific and supported information, they will make better choices most of the time. (Hey, we all have to have room for error.) That’s why I have spent the last four years not only arming my own children with healthy information, but other people’s children as well. In 2008 I created and an original 2 hour concert style musical all about the building blocks of good health and nutrition, (active play, healthy food and peaceful; sleep). Partnering with WTTW PBS Kids Chicago, that Summer we toured 25 shows around the Chicagoland area.
Then that went so well that we eventually combined the two tours during the next summer. Now, coming up on our 4th touring Summer we will bring 50 shows to the public, live! (Plus 20 Literacy tour shows in the winter.) All of the shows are free. All of the shows are stuffed with healthy information. All of the shows are fueled with my interactive songs and physically engaging style. And all of the shows support a brighter and healthier future for children and their families.
Now my kids are not just the inspiration for these shows of mine, they are also participants. They help me get the word out about healthy choices by singing and dancing with me themselves. So, I guess you could say health and nutrition isn’t just my mission, it is my entire family’s mission. And it is my sincerest hope that our lessons of good healthy choices become a legacy for our whole community.
We couldn’t do it without sponsors though. Over the years we have had amazing support from some very committed brands like;
Aldi, Whole Foods, Dominick’s, Jewel-Osco, Carl Buddig, Lifeway Kefir, Traditional Medicinals, Classic Cinemas, People’s Gas, Blackhawk’s charities, Catholics Come Home, VSP, Chicago Public Libraries, Westfield Malls, Borders, Square One Organics, Carlson’s For Kids, Matt’s Cookies, Better Oats, Three Sisters, Enjoy Life, Organic Valley, Mother’s Cupboard, Nature’s Hand GoNola, Arthur’s Smoothies, Sunland Peanut Butter, Good Belly, Chiquita, Brookfield Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo, Dusable Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Harlem Irving Plaza and more.
But we are always looking for more help. There are so may children and families that we need to reach. In order to keep the shows free and accessible, we have to find more sponsors. that way we can bring the dream of a healthier future for all to life.
Miss Lori can be found Musing from her Minivan at MissLori.TV , Wearetherealdeal.com , YoungChicagonista , ChicagoMomsBlog , and ChicagoMoms.com. You can also see her Activating to Be Great at Miss Lori’s CAMPUS on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.