Deadly extremes: The daily struggle for healthy food

Choices, choices! Children at the community center go “shopping” and find out if the food and drinks they chose were unhealthy or nutritious. 

More than 40 million children worldwide under the age of 5 suffer from this condition. Think you know what it is? If you guessed being overweight and obese, you are correct. But did you know that it’s possible to be overweight or obese AND malnourished at the same time? Seems counterintuitive, but it happens more than you think.

“It does happen because people choose to eat the wrong foods,” says dietitian Dee Sandquist in an interview with Discovery News. “When we don’t get nutrients, our internal functions don’t work as well and we are vulnerable to disease.”

Essentially, your body can surpass its necessary caloric intake while not getting the correct amount of nutrients if you don’t eat a healthy and balanced diet. For example, it’s possible to consume 3,000 calories in a day, well over what most people need, without getting enough protein or other vital nutrients.

Shopping for a day

The problem of being overweight and malnourished is especially prevalent in Mexico, which was recently named most obese country in the world. In fact, obesity rates in Mexico have tripled in the past 10 years alone. To combat this epidemic, CI created nutritional workshops at our Guadalajara, Mexico, agency about healthy eating habits. At these fun and educational sessions, children go “shopping” for a day’s worth of food, choosing between sugary treats and healthy snacks. Once finished, each child “checks out” with the community center nutritionist, who evaluates their choices and makes recommendations before serving them a healthy snack of fresh fruits and vegetables. After all, if you start kids on a healthy path at a young age, it will exponentially help their overall health later in life.

After the nutrition seminar, this little girl enjoyed a healthy omelet and fruit lunch that her mother learned how to prepare.

Fresh, easy and affordable!

Educating children about healthy food is important, but parents need to know how to prepare nutritious meals for their kids as well. Finding affordable healthy recipes that kids like to eat, however, isn’t always an easy task. So the nutritionist came prepared with some fast, easy recipes that kids actually enjoy eating! With the help of the nutritionist, the mothers learned to make vegetable omelet that are ready in just minutes. When paired with fresh fruit, they really enjoyed the delicious meal. By the end of the session, parents went home with fun, fresh and easy recipes to make at home that won’t break the bank.