Health

 

Jess Parsons

Jess Parsons

Posted September 24, 2011

Published in Health

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Children are our Future - Teaching Plant Food and Health

Read More: animal foods, b12, breastfeeding, calorie density, diseases of affluence, dr antonia demas, dr t colin campbell, education, genes, healthy food, milk, New Zealand, omnivores, parenting, plant based diet, processed food, protein

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My son's school requested "parent experts" to help their 12 year old students in various topics - including nutrition and health, and sports nutrition!  With my recently acquired Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition with Dr T Colin Campbell, I felt bold enough to volunteer my amateur and certified expertise.  

During my study, I was inspired by Dr Antonia Demas's Food is Elementary project, which takes a full curriculum on plant-based nutrition straight into the heart of schools.  So this offer was too good to refuse.

My offer was quickly and encouragingly accepted - my declaration of knowledge in Plant Based Nutrition apparently did not trigger any alarm bells.

What to Say?  How to Say It?

Starting from scratch, I enjoyed the challenge of creating a presentation that was comprehensive but not overwhelming.

I designed a friendly lead-in allowing the children to show what they already knew about healthy food.  When I asked, these smart kids already knew that an apple is healthier than a burger, vegie soup healthier than a meat pie, and a potato is healthier than chips.  What a relief!  We were already friends...

The Presentation

Essential topics included:

  • Food and New Zealand Health
  • Nutrition and Confusion
  • What makes a food healthy
  • Plant vs Animal food nutrients
  • Protein, Iron, Calcium Myths
  • B12
  • Milk as the Perfect food (got in the breastfeeding angle here)
  • Genes
  • Processed Foods and Food Extracts
  • Are Humans Omnivores?
  • Calorie Density
  • Healthy Eating Basics
  • Making Changes
  • Health in Later Life
  • Sports Nutrition (with Vegan Champions!)

...and more!

This was a special interest group of 7 children, which created a friendly atmosphere.  All the children were attentive and several readily responded to prompt questions as well as reacting to various points I made. 

Afterwards

This tested out as a full hour presentation and I did not have quite a full hour - it got quite rushed and there are areas that need adjusting.  There was no time for questions but it didn't feel like there were any - probably because there was so much new information to absorb and everybody had already heard the bell.

The teacher's response was very encouraging - she was able to relate very well to the health information I presented.  She seemed even more pleased after my presentation than before, and I admit I had some fears that my plant-based message might seem threatening.

Lessons for me

  • With handholding and encouragement, people can accept the new idea that plant foods are always better than animal foods.
  • This presentation was still aimed too old.  When I revisit this presentation, I want the kids to be as interested as the teacher.
  • This presentation would be great at other schools.


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3 Comments | Leave a comment

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Great job Jess Parsons. Hope you find more schools willing to hear the message!

Re healthy natural food: We just planted 4 misa luki banana plants at Kuku Woods and found a pineapple plant and three sugar cane plants too - we plant in November!

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On one hand I do see what kind of opinion you're maintaining. Notwithstanding, instructing individuals to love creatures won't prevent them from being inefficient. Instructing individuals that others on the planet don't and can't and will never have the opportunity to waste nourishment, instructing individuals to be keen and liberal will go much further.

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