HEALTHY KIDS START WITH HEALTHY FOOD

Q&A Fighting Childhood Obesity


The Seasonal Sammy team interviewed a select group of nutrition experts to get their perspective on combating childhood obesity through tech and traditional methods. Here is what the experts say.

Thomas McQuillan, Baldor Specialty Foods, Inc.

At Baldor, they process over 1,200,000 pounds of produce a week. As a result of this production there is food remaining. This is food and it needs to be treated as a valuable asset that we can consume, feed to animals or compost. The Baldor team feels food should never be wasted.

Q. How do you think kids can get involved in reducing food waste?

A. Children need to be taught to utilize 100% of all food. There is so much food that is wasted unnecessarily. Children need to be taught that we should never send any food to landfill for any reason. Children are learning that food that is wasted wastes all the energy and human capital that went into creating that product. WE can work together to completely eliminate all food that is currently sent to landfill. We can find more nutritious food to those who are food insecure, protect our environment and help create additional profitability for farmers. Children can help solve this problem.

Imperfect produce is any produce that does not meet very specific characteristics for selection in a farm's packing house. Produce that is not selected is often composted or discarded. There is normally no taste variation and this produce provides the same valuable nutrition.

Imperfect produce is any produce that does not meet very specific characteristics for selection in a farm's packing house. Produce that is not selected is often composted or discarded. There is normally no taste variation and this produce provides the same valuable nutrition.

Maria Biondi, RDN CDN, New York-Presbyterian

Maria fills the role of both adjunct professor in the Queens College Nutrition and Dietetics department and holds a full time position at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens as a NYPBeHealthy Wellbeing Coach.

Q. Why do you think it is important to educate children on healthy eating patterns?

A. So many of our behaviors and habits can start in the early stages of life. I think it is a great start if parents can try to set the standard and get their children involved in preparing and experiencing different foods as early as possible. When I worked in pediatric nutrition for a short time, I was amazed to see parents serving foods they would never eat themselves. If you wince at the smell of broccoli, why would you expect your kids to enjoy it? Don't be afraid to try new foods with your kids and have fun experimenting with new fruits, vegetables, or whole grains. Cooking does not need to be as daunting as many feel it is; if you have an extra set of hands, use them!

Dr. Alan Sheer, Northport Wellness Center

The Northport Wellness Center is a premier wellness provider on Long Island dedicated to helping people lead healthier and happier lives through various healthcare services.

Q. What is the best tool/method you use when working with children?

A. Children are very intuitive. My approach is gentle, calming and non-aggressive. I always maintain eye-level, and eye-contact where possible and ask permission to precede with any treatment. When children feel respected and safe, they are more receptive and responsive to treatment altogether.

Q. What's your best advice for parents regarding the health of their child?

A. Set a good example; your child will follow your lead. Commit and follow through. Praise your child for making healthy choices for their body, mind and soul. Nurture their health both physically and emotionally. Give them your time, as well as your heart.

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