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    Posted January 7, 2014 by
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    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Talking to teens: Healthy bodies

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    Pack their lunch

     
    James Prichard
    Oak Grove, Oregon

    1. Many parents are fighting an uphill battle against the school system that serves whatever is cheap. The reason I pack a lunch.

    2. Teens have lost much of their discretionary 'time' because of all the athletics, clubs, homework, dance, etc. their parents have them involved in. Time for exercise, unless incorporated into the previous list, is low. Sleep is the big key to success and it is a balancing act.

    I am a type II diabetic. I worked for Education Week as a picture editor and have two kids of my own: 8 and 5. In going to community meetings at the high school I graduated from, I noticed the 'hot lunch' has not changed since I went to school: pizza line, burger line, etc.

    There is no way (if there is no political will, funds, time or desire by the school district) to ensure kids are getting a healthy lunch or breakfast unless you pack it yourself, and even then it may find its way into the trash or someone else's mouth. Having a degree in marketing, I show my kids how grocery stores put all the worst cereals right at their eye level and how all the healthy choices are top shelf. I have been having my kids look at the nutritional content of everything we bring home. It is my hope that by the time they get into middle or high school that they will have a desire to do what is best for their body and be able to distinguish between foods that will provide them the nutrition and energy they need.

    I have to coach my kids teams because there are no other volunteers and the teams wouldn't exist if they couldn't get volunteers to coach. It's absolutely crazy the amount of money parents have to shell out to keep kids on teams and aerobic exercise levels up.

    Material is attached. In the past year, even though we're a suburb of Portland, we've come to embrace a lot of the 'home-steading' movement: knowing how to make things and knowing what it is that we're putting in our bodies. So, as one of my daughter's two long-term projects, we got chickens (layers for the eggs, not meat chickens). There's a couple pictures of that. And then this past summer, we built a cider press to share at community events but we freeze fresh apple cider in clean two-liter plastic bottles (Coke bottles to those in Atlanta) in the fall so we have it throughout the year.
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