OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

Profile

Recent contributions

(1)

Contribution list

Recent comments

(1) View all

Some of the biggest problems that I have noticed about the "Food Industry" is that often junk food is seen as cheap, easy, and readily available in most households. I think that it is important to step away from all of the processed foods and ask yourself, "If this bag of chips really is capable of being consumed two years from its packaging http://date....do I really want to ingest something with those kinds of chemicals added for the sake of its shelf-life?"

Because the minds of children are malleable, it is obvious to begin at an early age. Unfortunately, some of the biggest influences in a child's life are not necessarily what is taught in school, but what is taught in the home. I therefore believe that it is important to move in on both sides of the problem, as early as possible.

With the growth of social networking, I believe it is one option that should not be ignored, and could be a very useful resource to unite soon-to-be and current parents of children, sharing ideas and coming up with a blog and/or newsletter that contains some of the lesser known facts that may be vital to a child's later eating habits. One example of this is that, prior to this year, I had no idea that using infant formula as opposed to natural breast milk, can raise the chance of a child having obesity problems later in life, as well as problems with tooth decay and others (http://pregnancychildbirth.suite101.com/article.cfm/hazards_of_infant_formula). Parents should be encouraged to take part of their children's lives and school, and reinforce school health programs.

There needs to be a culture established; a complete overhaul of the way school systems tackle food. When I was going to High School, they had installed vending machines with pop and other beverages filled with sugar. The Cafeteria was far from inspiring in their food choice. In fact, the only day most people chose to eat cafeteria food was on Pizza day; far from a healthy food choice. If schools could step up the actual flavor of their food, as well as the nutrient value (you can't tell me that those mashed potatoes were actually real!) I believe that all students would benefit. Also- nix the vending machines, or fill them with water or other healthy beverages.

From an early age, in preschools, kindergarden, and first grade, I believe it would be beneficial to classrooms to have their own window-planter gardens, in which students could learn how to plant their choice of vegetables, and watch as the little seedlings grow. I remember my own fascination as a child growing a little bean plant in early science classes. Schools should be encouraged to begin their own garden projects, which could be maintained by middle and high schoolers, which could go as part of their science classes or as volunteer work in which classes could be held during their upkeep. Volunteer work is a coveted thing among students desiring to go to college.

Finally, for kids and adults alike that have trouble with their weight should be able to sign up for a gym that could either be provided by the school or have a program in conjunction with the school that would provide activities as well as machines and weights to work with, and trainers to help them learn what exactly the students and adults need in order to become more healthy in their activity levels. Possibly a points reward system for those that are working out regularly and meeting milestone goals. A tangible reward is often more persuasive than a couple of pounds that are not as easily noticed.