This subject means a lot to me, not only because I have children, and they will have children, but because the health of our children is truly of utmost importance for our society as a whole. Sick, hyperactive, overweight or depressed children are not the sign of a healthy society. We must all take action to reverse this sad trend, starting with our own homes.
Currently there are 42 million obese children in the world (Source : WHO). This figure is simply shocking. This is what urged Irish born mother of three Fionnuala McKenna to launch a European campaign in an attempt to « Fight Child Obesity ». Together with her three children, she will drive through ten European countries in a camper for the entire month of July to demonstrate healthy eating habits to local children.
Stopover in Morges, Switzerland, at Simply Raw
On Sunday 8 July 2012, we will have the pleasure of welcoming them at Simply Raw, in Morges. Fionnuala’s project moved me. I admire the courage of this Irish single Mom who is raising her 3 children in Italy and who has decided, along with her children, to spend all summer raising awareness around this key theme. They will be traveling to meet other parents and children to convey to them this precious and generous message.
The workshop will take place in Morges on Sunday 8 July 2012 from 3pm to 6pm and is open to all ! It is free and its sole purpose is to encourage children to eat more healthily, to say no to the many unhealthy options that surround them constantly and to learn to make their own healthy snacks, which are easy and delicious.
A workshop organized by chidren, for children!
The demonstrations will be given by the raw food chefs and teachers hosting the workshops, along with Fionnuala’s children, Roadhan (10), Calum and Luke (9). The children and Fionnuala have also agreed to eat a diet low in salt, sugar and fat during the entire month, a diet primarily comprising of 80% raw fruit and vegetables. “We are very excited about the idea of eating as much fruit and vegetables and uncooked food as possible, we want to show other children how easy it really is”, comments Roadhan. “We are currently preparing for our long trip, Mum has been making a lot of fruit smoothies and green vegetable juices”, says Calum. Luke mentions that “none of us liked spinach when Mum cooked it before, but when she adds it to a juice with beetroot and other vegetables, we can’t get enough of it!”
All three children want to excite and inspire other children to partake in these workshops in the hope of introducing them to foods containing only natural sugar, and low in salt and fat. “We want other children to taste for themselves delicious fresh vegetable juices and fruit smoothies and to encourage others to say no to commercial drinks which are mostly sugar”, the children add.
Fionnuala McKenna explains: “As a mother I found it very difficult in the past to always have to say no to the children’s requests to buy soft drinks and other sugar laden products which fill our supermarket shelves. It’s not easy appearing as the bad guy to your kids all the time when it comes to food, especially when there are so many commercials on television advertising new sweeter and saltier products all the time. I want to encourage other parents to fight this battle of child obesity with me and learn how to substitute common unhealthy foods and drinks with more exciting, adventurous and natural ones. We need to stand together and to share our determination to put a stop to the marketing of unhealthy food targeted at children”.
The « Fight Child Obesity » Campaign
The campaign Fight Child Obesity grew out of the need to start communicating with other parents and the idea that children can act as enthusiastic facilitators to inspire other children across Europe. Fionnuala and her children believe that a ‘direct hands on’ approach may yield longer lasting results for all those attending the workshops. While attempts are already under way to reduce the advertisements of fast food and drinks during children’s television programmes, and new regulation is coming into play regarding the listing of all ingredients on food products, there is nothing like live demonstrations, food preparation and tasting to really capture the heart and soul of a potential food convert!
The campaign itinerary will start in the south of Italy and will include Switzerland, France, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, England, and Ireland.
In the past two months the Fight Child Obesity campaign has captured the interest of many raw food chefs and teachers who have generously offered to share their time and resources by giving public workshops to children and parents. A core group comprising Fionnuala and seven of the hosting chefs and teachers has already been created. This campaign will continue to work hard to keep the Fight Child Obesity project alive within Europe long after the July 2012 journey.
Call for Public Support and Sponsors
“We call for public support, so come and join us at a workshop near you”, said Fionnuala McKenna. The entire Fight Child Obesity campaign is currently funded by Fionnuala and her children, so any financial or material contribution to help towards the many costs involved in a project this size would be greatly appreciated. Contributions can be made through the donate button on the Fight Child Obesity Facebook page through a secure Paypal account. A documentary of the journey will be released later in the autumn.
To attend the workshop in Morges, Switzerland
Parents and children who wish to attend are most welcome in Morges on Sunday 8 July 2012 from 3pm to 6pm. The workshop is free, anyone who pleases can make a donation. For organizational reasons, you must however absolutely sign up with Simply Raw. If you have ideas or questions, or contributions to make, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Thanks also for posting your comments here below!