Papa Glow: Congressman Tim Ryan’s Top Tips for Food Revolution
Healthy mealtime is something many of us take for granted, but not every dinner plate is created equal. There are some big steps we have to take as a nation to make healthier choices and Congressman Tim Ryan, father, mindfulness practitioner, author, and food activist, shares his top tips for a Food Revolution. Get his book: The Real Food Revolution: Healthy Eating, Green Groceries, and the Return of the American Family Farm to explore ways you can revolutionize your meals one bite at a time.
Congressman Tim Ryan’s 8 Glow Tips for Making Healthy Meal Time Choices
GOOGLE it– If you don’t have any ideas for healthy recipes visit Google online for ideas.
Plan Ahead- I know a number of people who sit down on Friday night and go through recipes and pick out four of five for the upcoming week to save the stress of having to figure something out at the last minute. This leaves them with ample time to get the groceries and prep things over the weekend.
Get Kids Involved- It’s helpful to get kids involved in grocery shopping and cooking. If they’re allowed to make their own healthy eating and buying decisions, it will not only teach them about food, it will expand your eating perspectives as well.
Keep healthy food on hand- make it easy to grab. We cut up fruits and vegetables and keep them in a colander in the fridge, and the kids eat them because they are easily accessible. If you make unhealthy food harder to get, they are much less likely to eat it. This not only keeps them healthy, it trains their palates so they make good choices outside the home, too.
Use Peer pressure- My wife Andrea started a small campaign to let her children eat in class, but only fruits and vegetables. Peer pressure can be a terrible thing, but it can also work to advantage. Now that kids have seen other kids with fruits and vegetables in class, they’re asking their parents for them. Ask your children’s teacher or principal to do the same as Andrea did.
Host a Party- If you aren’t able to convince people of wholesale change within the school, it may be possible to create at least a onetime event, such as a classroom tasting party. Here you can bring in healthy foods that kids may not be familiar with and create an atmosphere of fun and exploration around eating well.
Start a Food Revolution– You can also download one or more of Jamie Oliver’s toolkits to “start a Food Revolution at your own school”. This will give you ideas on how to bring about change on your own.
Take the USDA Food Challenge- The USDA has also been working to improve the food that our children eat in school. They’ve launched a Healthier U.S. School Challenge—that rewards schools for offering healthier lunch options. You can check with your kid’s school administration and encourage them to join and become a Team Nutrition School. The program offers training grants to school districts to assist them in promoting healthy eating.
Tim Ryan was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002, at the age of 29, and is currently serving in his sixth term representing Ohio’s 13th congressional district. He serves as a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, the committee that funds all federal departments and programs. He also serves as a member of the House Budget Committee; is cochairman of the Congressional Manufacturing Caucus; the House Caucus on Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery; and the Military Mental Health Caucus.
Ryan has been an outspoken advocate for changing the way our food system works and for promoting real food. He received the National Farmers Union Golden Triangle Award, the organization’s highest legislative honor, in 2006, 2008, 2011, and 2012.
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