March for Healthy School Food Recap

Yesterday I had the incredible honor of speaking at the March for Healthy School Food. We marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to bring awareness to the need for school food reform. With kids as young as 8-years-old on cholesterol- and blood pressure-lowering medication, and with 1 in 5 kids being obese, we need to create a healthier school food environment for kids. Instead of eating mozzarella sticks for lunch, children should be eating healthy, appealing, balanced meals and receiving nutrition education to live long, fulfilling, healthy lives.

 


During my speech, I spoke about my experience growing up as an obese child. There was no guidance at school to show me that the way I was eating was extremely unhealthy. Instead, I was offered large egg salad sandwiches on a roll with a side of chips, and I’d eat more snacks on the side with it. My parents did not eat well, so where was I supposed to learn to change my eating behaviors?

There are so many cases like mine, but there are also so many underprivileged communities where school meals may be the only food that kids eat in a day. Food can either be medicine or poison (over time), and it’s up to us to make a change and help this generation to thrive, not suffer.

At the rally, someone stated that according to studies, this may be the first generation that will not outlive their parents. 😱 This is terrifying and we need to make a change. This is not about telling kids they’re “too fat” or “not good enough as they are”. This is about helping kids to prevent disease and to live healthy, long lives.

You can watch my full speech here. I want to thank everyone that came out yesterday to march for school food reform. It felt amazing to be surrounded by so many powerful, inspiring kids and adults who want better food opportunities in schools. Check out the NYC Healthy School Food Alliance to get involved! I want to give a huge thank you to Andrea Strong who is the woman behind this movement and who gave me this incredible opportunity. Together, we CAN change the future of school food!

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