Let’s face it, vegetables take a hit at most dinner tables across America.
It’s a bigger problem than most parents think and a contributing factor to growing childhood obesity rates in Michigan.
The USDA recommends that school age kids should have at least three to five servings of vegetables and two to four servings of fruit daily.
The majority of kids fall far short of that goal, according to Christina Miller, M.S., RD, a healthy living adviser for Meijer, who reports that most kids barely consumer two servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
An Ohio State University study revealed that when kids do consume produce, they are more likely to eat French fries, than nutrient-rich green and orange vegetables.
These facts don’t surprise many parents who have been trying to tempt their kids to consume healthier foods for many years.
A different approach is needed, according to Miller who helped head a Meijer-sponsored 30-school tour of Jump With Jill.
The national rock & roll show, which features upbeat music and dance segments, transforms traditional ho hum nutrition education into memorable messages.
“We’ve found that Jump with Jill messaging really sticks with kids,” says Miller.
Many parents report that healthy eating habits improve following the performance.
“The truth is, people know what it takes to be healthy,” states Jill Jayne, MS, RD, founder of Jump With Jill. “Even a child can tell you to eat your vegetables and drink more water. But the gap between knowledge and action is widened by the cues to unhealthy behavior that inundate us every day.”
Today’s generation of kids need to develop brand loyalty to healthy habits, according to Jayne.
Armed with catchy songs, upbeat dance moves, and a hip hop wardrobe, Jump With Jill uses the same tools normally used to sell junk food and keep kids sedentary to get kids engaged, moving and learning about healthy habits.
Easy-to-remember messages like “Enjoy Nature’s Candy” dominate the performance which has kids up on their feet and singing along from the first note to the last beat of the 60 minute show.
Ultimately, the main message of the performance is to show our bodies the respect they deserve.
The cool, catchy part is the icing on the cake, according to Miller.
Editor’s note: Christina Miller is a part of the Meijer Healthy Living team, which provides smart and healthy food choices from healthy recipes to special diet information. To learn more visit: http://www.meijermealbox.com/healthy-living