October is a big month in the world of food. Here in Idaho, it is Hunger Awareness Month. For the American Culinary Federation, it is the month when Childhood Nutrition Day is celebrated (October 16th). Every October, the Center for Science in the Public Interest also hosts a Food Day on October 24th. And for kids across the country, October 31st is (often to the horror of dentists and mothers alike), the biggest candy fest of the year: Halloween!
Don’t get me wrong. I like a good Halloween treat (or trick!) here and there. But this month’s newsletter will have some links to ideas on how to make Halloween just a little healthier. You know, the whole “moderation” thing. And don’t miss the opportunity to learn how YOU can host your very own Food Day event at your child’s school, community center, or even at your home. Just think of the fun you can have!
Let’s start with Halloween. Let’s celebrate with some candy, but can we do so in moderation?
- I’d love to link to my friend’s (Laura Carlin) blog about Halloween treats. Laura and her sister write about how you can Celebrate Halloween with Natural Sweets. Don’t miss the beautiful photos taken by Laura’s 10- year old son, James. Very inspiring indeed.
- A friend back in Chicago, Katy Heider, wrote this column (from “the Mom Next Door”) in 2010 to explore the challenges of Halloween candy overload and suggests some strategies for balance. Read her tips and insights here. The article links to two great recipe ideas during Halloween (that don’t involve candy and have a little protein for balance):
- Monster bites
- Creepy crawlers
Now I’d like to move on to Food Day. You still have a chance to create your own event for this national celebration next week, where hopefully over 5,000 events will take place across the country. Even if you just gather a few friends and their kids in your kitchen to make a few recipes, you can be a part of Food Day, too! Here’s what I did last year (a healthy grocery tour—following the link will get you to the recipes that we served. The Pomegranate and Pumpkin Seed Tabouli was probably the favorite!). This year, I’m taking part in an amazing film screening of the movie “What’s On Your Plate” by award-winning film producer, Cat Gund.
I’m so excited for next week’s Food Day (and Halloween too!). I hope this newsletter builds up a little excitement for you too. Have a great month of October!
See below for
* – What is Food Day
* – How Can you Get Involved?
* – Resources
What is Food Day?
Food Day is a year-round nationwide celebration of and movement toward more healthy, affordable, and sustainable food culminating in a day of action on October 24 every year. Created by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest and driven by a diverse coalition of food movement leaders and citizens, Food Day aims to bring us closer to a food system with “real food” that is produced with care for the environment, animals, and the women and men who grow, harvest, and serve it. Join the national Food Day movement to connect with other food activists in your area; get access to free resources to help children and adults “Eat Real” and promote your events on our national map; and have fun celebrating the progress we can make when we work together to change the American food system. One focus area for Food Day 2013 is on food education. Get Food Education in Every School is a national initiative launched by Food Day and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation in May 2013 to raise awareness about the critical importance of food education in schools across America.
How can you get involved?
Sign up to host an event or coordinate for your area, and connect with coordinators and events at www.foodday.org/get_involved. Events and activities can be anything from a healthy potluck, a local food taste test, farmers market walk-over, or movie screening, to a campus conference on policy, or a district-wide challenge to eliminate junk food from schools. The goal is to educate, raise awareness, and advocate for improvements in the food system.
See the 2012 Campaign Report, featuring 3,200 events that took place in all 50 states, for more ideas. Joining the Food Day movement may also mean taking small steps over the year to introduce more fruits and veggies into your diet, getting involved in your local food policy council, or teaching children to make healthy recipes.
The website offers organizing guides for general organizing, schools, campuses, faith communities, film screenings, and more atwww.foodday.org/resources. They also offer a limited amount of free printed promotional materials to event hosts. Thanks for considering passing this along to friends, family, or colleagues. Sign up for email updates through www.FoodDay.org, follow @FoodDay2013 on Twitter, and “Like” Food Day on Facebook (www.facebook.com/
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This column is for information only, and no part of its contents should be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, recommendation or endorsement by the author. You should always ask your physician for his or her recommendation before starting any new health-related activity.