Society is constantly on the go. We move fast and we want things convenient. Which got us thinking about how this fast-paced everything convenient world is affecting our children’s health and wellness?
Far too many times, I have seen students come to school with a hand full of junk. Chips, honey buns, pop, candy bars, you name it. They would gobble down some of their unhealthy snacks for breakfast. The rest they would save for lunch.
The convenience store was their after school supermarket as well. A friend that would feed them until their parents got home from work, school, or both. Not knowing how to pick healthier foods from the corner store, they once again turned to chips, pop, and candy for dinner.
Knowing this, we thought it would be a great idea to show them how to make healthier choices from their local convenience store.
So, Mark and I visited corner stores all around metro Detroit to see what healthy options were available for children. We discovered that the majority of them sold the same foods.
Here’s a list of those foods: Bread, both white and wheat, eggs, tuna, salmon, ramen noodles, baked beans, canned peas, canned green beans, canned mixed vegetables, peanut butter, jelly, mushrooms, tomato soup, fruit cups, mackerel (surprisingly), sardines, pickles, Simply Orange juice, and pasta sauce.
They also had bacon, sausage, and baloney, however, the goal is to teach them healthier options beyond what they may be used to.
After categorizing the list of foods available at convenience stores, we decided to put a few go-to meals together for children whose only option for feeding themselves is eating at the corner store.
Some meals may be out of a child’s comfort zone, but that’s the whole point!
Baked beans, eggs, and wheat toast
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Salmon sandwich with orange juice
Egg sandwich with orange juice
Tomato soup with toast
Tuna or salmon sandwich with a pickle
Tomato soup with green beans
Ramen noodles with a can of mixed veggies
Salmon, mackerel, or tuna sandwich with a pickle
Ramen noodles with peas and mushrooms
I think it’s time for us to teach our children how to choose a healthier lifestyle, no matter where they have to eat. The rise in obesity, diabetes, and depression is too alarming. We are what we eat. Let’s help them know better SO THEY CAN DO BETTER!