As I walk down the hallways at school, I notice students devouring all sorts of snacks, from chips to chocolates, before they start their next class or run onto the athletic fields! I often wonder whether children & teens make snack decisions based on taste, ease of availability, or nutritional value. Depending on our main meals, snacking can “eat up” as many as 25% of the daily caloric intake. As students, these snacks are critical to maintain energy levels and enhance our ability to concentrate throughout the school day. However, many snacks, though they taste really good, have little to no nutritional benefit and are made up of “empty” calories. Even many granola and protein bars can be sneaky due to added sugars and chemicals that can be harmful to our health. The snacks we choose to eat during the day are our own decision; there are no parents or adults supervising us. We are on our own!! And therefore it is up to us to get educated to make a healthier choice.
In 2012-2013, schools across the country complied with the 2012 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which now provides nutritious meals and snacks that abide by federal standards. In 2014-2015, the USDA Smart Snacks and School standards were also passed. Although these actions are a good start, we need to educate ourselves on why certain snacks are better than others, and have tasty nutritious choices that are easily accessible!
I am now on a mission to help educate children & teens in underprivileged areas about the importance of healthy snacking, and supplementing our nutrition with a wellness program focused on yoga. I want to empower kids to want to make healthy decisions on their own. We teach yoga and meditation to encourage a peaceful mind in addition to a healthy body. Your kind donations will go towards purchasing the healthy ingredients for tasty, nutritious snacks.