Who knows the barriers children have to healthy eating better than a school teacher?
I asked Ali for an interview because I knew that she had recently transitioned from one school to another, giving her a broad perspective of what kids are facing when it comes to healthy eating. She’s worked with recently immigrated children, which I think gives her an insight that we might not all have.
She hit a home run with these answers.
What barriers to healthy eating do you see children in schools face?
Some schools have access to food banks and free healthy meals but there are many that don’t have the access. There were students at a school I worked at recently who weren’t fed breakfast or given snacks for recess time. Then they would go home to eat [and have] very little at lunch which would affect their behavior and performance in school.
This school had a breakfast program but many parents were too proud to send the children to accept the food.
Shame, that’s really unfortunate. How do you think we can begin to fix these issues?
We need to educate parents on the value of breakfast programs. Communities can also be involved in setting up food banks and food donations which help.
What’s one of the biggest barriers we’re facing as a whole population to healthy eating?
I think that cooking healthy meals can be time consuming and expensive.
What is your favorite food that people may consider unhealthy?
If you were going to be stuck on an island for months and you could bring an unlimited supply of 4 foods, what would they be?
Chicken, bread, apples and eggs.
Who is your favorite person to cook with?
My boyfriend. He’s a great cook and loves to cook big extravagant meals. It helps that I get to eat them afterwards and he even cleans up too.
Do you have any horrible or hilarious cooking/eating experiences?
I’m an absolutely horrible cook so I avoid it as much as I possibly can.
Your favourite breakfast?
Breakfast is my favourite meal! I love big breakfasts with bacon, eggs, toast … I try not to eat like this too frequently.
What is your go to breakfast?
Oatmeal with half of a banana. I add a little cinnamon and greek yogurt, it’s delicious.
Does your job get in the way of what you eat?
I feel as though my job doesn’t get in the way of what I eat. I bring my lunch from home and have time to prepare dinner when I get home.
Read more about school nutrition here and here (the second link includes opinions from Dr. Norman Campbell, I’ve interviewed him, he’s got some strong opinions. I’m proud to say that I’ll be sharing our conversation next week).