I didn’t really know what to expect going into “A Week In Their Kitchen”. I’m about to share with you my greatest challenge and struggle on the program. Please don’t take any of this as me complaining, as this has been an amazing experience!
I’m a dancer, personal trainer and health advocate. Even though I don’t have the funds to shop solely organic , I do take time and care to buy my family as close to raw, natural foods as possible, and buy very few processed items found in the centre of the grocery store. I now see what a privilege that choice really is.
The food bank tries hard to feed its clients well by making sure they are receiving the standards put forward by the Canada food guide, but as you know, it’s become extremely expensive for families to eat healthy.
I see firsthand the effects of the amount of processed, sugary, sodium-filled foods consumed by families and kids when I teach hip hop in the school system.
I am amazed at 1) their lack of energy 2) the sugary snacks I see in their lunch bags.
So here I am feeding my own child many things I stand against. I’m constantly warring with the inner voice saying, “How can you do this to your son?”
Statements like this coming from him don’t help:
“I don’t know what to eat?!”
“I want an oreo! Can I have an oreo! Please just 1 more oreo!!”
“I’ll just have crackers…. again”
I see his energy levels hit the ceiling then come crashing down after his cereal and Sunny D. Our routine walks to the dog park have him begging to go in the stroller half way through our walk when he usually runs the whole way.
Personally, I have noticed more headaches and lack of energy. This week I have continued teaching my dance and cardio classes as normal. It has been a struggle to get through them. It’s in moments like this, I have to remind myself; “Its only for one week”. It’s when the test stands to confront me about how serious I am about caring what others go through.
This experience has shown me the full effects of what a family may go through with their children. People just like me, wanting to eat as healthy as possible, easily found in crisis only to do the best they can to feed their children what they need off donations.
Again, I feel the need to remind you I’m not complaining or saying the food bank isn’t doing a good job giving good food. The reality of what they can give is limited to what is donated. If our small family of 4 have a hard time affording healthy eating, how much more a place that provides food for many families!
41% of those who use the food bank are children. They need our best. They deserve our best.
Before I think of tossing my can filled with sodium or another box of sugary cereal into the donation box, I’ll be rethinking, and offer the health I would want for my son.