Many people methodically realign their goals, intentions, attitudes and resolutions at the start of each calendar year. I was one of them — until I became a parent. In order for the rhythm of day care, nursery school and primary school became a natural part of the family routine, I reset my annual clock to caring for my family. The start of every school year is our family’s January 1st because it brings new beginnings, and I find myself much more focused on trying to incorporate better choices as each semester begins.
Now that school is back in full swing, I’m sure many other parents, like me, are vowing to be more attentive to school lunch items and snacking behavior. Whether your kids are in day care or high school, let’s face it: packing lunch for kids is a two-pronged challenge. First, there is the stress of keeping up with the latest information about nutrition. There is a constant barrage of studies, some conflicting, about what a child needs nutritionally, what causes or prevents cancer, why gluten can be a problem, various food allergens, and on and on and on . . . Second, a well-intended better nutritional choice is rarely practical for a number of reasons. Perhaps your child simply does not like eating carrot sticks, perhaps more nutritional choices are not packaged in the appropriate serving size for your child, or perhaps not convenient. Like parenthood itself, feeding your family is a constant balancing act. The last thing you want is for your child to throw out what you’ve carefully chosen to pack and then coming home ravenous.
I am pleased that many parents have found my efforts to address both of these challenges helpful. I have been passionate about children’s nutrition for and am devoted to efforts to improve the childhood obesity epidemic, both personally and through my company, Froose® Nutritional Brands. I currently serve as chair of the Advisory Committee of the Center for Obesity Prevention and Nutrition Education (COPE) at Villanova University. The Center, housed in the College of Nursing, is involved in research studies, educational seminars and developing and informing best practices.
I am dedicated to promoting children’s nutrition because it directly impacts many of the macro issues we are facing as a society, such as healthcare costs (how can an already burdened healthcare system address the complications that result from childhood obesity?), education (a brain that is not properly nourished cannot learn optimally), the military (a staggering number of recruits are rejected due to weight issues). Weeding through the constant barrage of information available on nutrition can be overwhelming. As someone who works on these issues daily and who knows all too well the demands on every parent’s time, I hope I can save you time and eliminate confusion by summarizing and sharing relevant, practical information on nutrition topics at the forefront of research and legislation.
My blog posts and Twitter feed (@denisedevine), as well as froose.com and @froosenutrition, offer a wealth of nutrition resources and information on Froose® fruit snacks. I developed our fruit snacks as a lunch box-sized solution in a fun, familiar format that kids love with the convenience and nutritional value that you require. They are gluten-free, allergen-free, high in dietary fiber and low in sugar — plus, they’re yummy! You can be confident knowing that your children’s empty lunch boxes mean they’ve received a good source of fiber, an excellent source of Vitamin C, and enjoyed a tasty whole grain snack that supports digestive health.
As we all realign our attention this school year and become better informed about nutrition and making better choices, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or @denisedevine and we’ll talk!