A good reason to shut off the TV and get the kids outside!

Posted September 1st, 2010

Children and teens are seeing fewer television advertisements for fruit drinks, regular soda and sweets such as candy, cookies and pastries, according to a study recently published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.  However, youths of all ages are exposed to substantially more TV ads for fast-food resaurants. 

What does this all mean? 

Self-regualtion pledges by major food and beverage companies to eliminate uhealthy TV ads targeting children ages 11 and younger must be monitored and assessed.  As the report indicates advertisers, despite self-regulation pledges, are finding alternative ways to build brand loyalty among kids.  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO, Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., said:  “Research shows that marketing has a strong influence on what children consume.  Yet unhealthy foods are still marketed to kids.  Restricting the marketing of uhealthy foods is one of the most powerful and cost-effective ways to change what children consume and reduce childhood obesity.  Studies such as this one will help us evaluate the impact of industry self-regulation.”   

Click here to view a summary of the study.

Schools starting and survey shows parents are ready to create healthier learning environments for their kids!

An online survey of parents of children in grades K-12 revealed what we (parents), already knew.  Parents nearly unanimously agree that schools should provide more physical activity throughout the day; and schools should limit access to unhealthy snacks and sugar-sweetened beverages. Nearly two-thirds of the parents surveyed believe schools play a major role in instilling healthy habits in students. 

School will start in just a few weeks.  Now is the time for parents to work with the PTA or other parent groups to make sure schools create a healthier environment for our children.  Go to the resource section of my websit www.parentactionforhealthykids.org for help in working with your school.  To get ideas, download a copy of the “Let’s Move” nutrition and physical activity toolkit.

The survey was conducted for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation by KRC Research.  You can read the report on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation website.

**This information has been shared with you by Barb Flis, mother of two and creator of Parent Action For Healthy Kids.

The First Lady’s “Let’s Move” toolkit for parents is here!

Posted August 16th, 2010

I am so excited and proud to direct you to the First Lady’s Let’s Move website www.LetsMove.gov where you can benefit from all the great tools just released for parents.  You might recall that last March I was honored to be one of 10 people invited to Washington D.C. to provide input in developing tools for parents for the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative to end childhood obesity in a generation.  I am so proud to say these great tools are a reflection of what the First Lady’s staff heard from those of us at the table who work with parents and families. 

The links for parents on Let’s Move recognize that parents are busy and benefit most from simple steps that include specific examples of what parents can do to help their families eat healthy and move more.  Whats more, the parent links give you direct, on the spot assistance.  If you are looking for a local playground, just type in your address and you will see a map of your community with all the local playgrounds; the same for nature, outdoor events, forests and parks.  Do you wonder how many fruits and veggies your child needs?  There is a place to type in their age, gender and amount of physical activity and it will give you the exact amount.  These are just a few examples of the support Let’s Move provides to parents. If you are determined or even just a little curious about whether you can help your family eat healthier and move more, then the Let’s Move website is definitely worth exploring. 

I would like to hear how the Let’s Move web site helped you!  Please email me at barb@parentactionforhealthykids.org or send me a message on Facebook.  Include a picture if you like.  I’ll blog about you on my website so that your stories can be shared with others.

Thanks Mrs. Obama for acknowledging the powerful role of parents. 

If you haven’t already, join my Call to Action to raise healthier kids!

Barb

Is your family up for the 100 days of eating right challenge?

Posted August 14th, 2010

North Carolina family takes the 100 days of eating right challenge.

After reading “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan, Lisa Leake realized all the junk she was feeding her family.  She and her husband Jason decided to take the challenge! They challenged themselves to eat only “real” food for 100 days.  Processed foods came off their grocery list and they only allow themselves to purchase items with five ingredients or less and nothing they buy is refined.
 
You can read more about the Leakes in this inspirational article written by Jennifer Rothacker at the Charlotte Observer. Read “100 Days of Eating Right”.  You can also read Lisa Leake’s Food Illusion blog at momscharlotte.com and her 100 Days blog at 100daysofrealfood.com.  Here you can learn about her 100-day challenge and see if you and your family might consider giving it a try.  Congratulations to the Leake family!

 

Creative and easy ideas for healthier schools and communities

Posted July 21st, 2010

What a great group of parent leaders at the Kentucky PTA Leadership Convention.  Here I am with Leigh McGuire (left) and Cyndi Gatman (right) from Kelly Elementary and Past Kentucky PTA State President Janice Jackson (center).  Our workshop about the importance of parents when it comes to school health opened the door to many creative and easy to implement ideas like healthier food at classroom parties and PTA meetings, getting kids more physical activity like doing recess before lunch, developing safe walking routes to school and Family Fun Days to raise money as opposed to selling candy. I know many of these will be implemented in the coming school year.

Leigh and Cyndi are anxious to go back to Kelly Elementary with their action plan to make their school and community a healthier place for kids.

Lucky for me, I get to return to Somerset, Kentucky to talk more about school health on November 6th.

Share ideas and learn more on our Facebook page! Look forward to talking to you there. Barb

Leigh McGuire, Cyndi Gatman, Kelly Elementary Janice Jackson

 

In the words of Erma Bombeck…”flies die from happiness” on the 4th of July

The 4th of July is a time to be with family and friends and get outside and play.  Take a bike ride, a swim, or toss a ball.  Let’s be real, this probably isn’t going to be the day when your eating is going to be 100% healthy. 

In the words of the late Erma Bombeck:   You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July everyone!

Ann Arbor Family June 25, 2010

A Woman of Action By Nora Feldhusen

Barb Flis makes changes in health education at a state and national level

A lifelong resident of Detroit, Barb Flis does not take her citizenship lightly. Known statewide in schools and communities as “the parent voice” for health education, she is an example of grassroots work at its finest. And simplest, because for Barb, her career is a self-proclaimed example of “doing what you love and everything falls into place.”

In this case, Barb loves people and working with them. Her career began in sales, where she was never happy with the work, but always loved the people. She was volunteering as PTA President when health education first caught her attention and jumpstarted a new career.
Speaking out
In the late 1980s, the Michigan Health Model rolled out and schools began to administer health classes for the first time. A group of vocal parents felt undermined by the health curricula and wanted the classes to cease altogether. Her first foray into politics, Barb “took a stand on the issue and became the voice for all the parents who were in support of the classes.” The debate went to Lansing and so did Barb. For the first time ever, she spoke in front of the Board of Education, who was so impressed by her gumption that they asked her to serve on the state level PTA.

After her first trip to Lansing, Barb was called back again and again to fulfill a role that she now sees as her niche market: to be the voice of parents. She became the parent representative at the Department of Education on HIV and Sexual Education. Barb describes her role as a “parent shortcut.” She takes issues that are important to parents, like sexual health, mental health, and nutrition, and translates the language into something personal and meaningful to parents. She began to develop workshops and travel between cities helping parents, teachers, and principals understand and communicate to their kids about the importance of healthy choices.

Throughout all this, Barb was still working in sales but, at the age of 48, decided to return to school and remedy her lack of a Bachelor’s degree. “I had to be an interdisciplinarian,” says Barb. “I was working double duty and it was the best time in my life.” After graduation, she went directly to graduate school and is currently finishing her thesis, which will pair the history of Sex Ed laws in Michigan with the socio-political climates in which they were written and implemented.

In the last 5 years, Barb has worked with Governor Granholm on a teen pregnancy prevention initiative, “Talk Early & Talk Often℠.” She is a parent liaison and leader in the Surgeon General’s Michigan Steps Up Campaign, and the Wellness Policy campaign to improve local initiatives on issues of nutrition and health in schools.  She still administers all the workshops herself under her organization Parent Action For Healthy Kids, traveling all over the state and the country.

“In our workshops, it’s an issue of spray and pray,” says Barb. Her dedication guides her into personal relationships with many of the parents she meets. After a workshop she encourages parents to follow up with her
personally.

Still movin’
Her grassroots work has proven successful not only for the parents she’s helped but for her own career. This year, Barb was invited to Washington D.C. to be the parent voice in Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” Campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation. After a meeting of some of Health Education’s most intelligent minds, Barb came home and said to herself, “why don’t I start a local campaign on this issue?” As if she didn’t have enough on her plate, she’s started a Call To Action —another support network for parents to learn about and echange ideas on nutrition and health in schools.

“Like everything else that has happened in the last ten years, if I have an idea, why wouldn’t I try? What do I have to lose? At the very least, I’ll educate some parents.” And that’s exactly was she does. Enables, empowers, supports, educates and inspires people all along her journey. And, as the sole employee of her own organization and an all around incredibly busy woman, the best part according to Barb is that “it just doesn’t feel like work.”

You’ve united your voices on behalf of healthier kids!

Posted June 17th, 2010

Dear Parents,

Thank you for signing on to my Call to Action for parents in support raising healthy, physically active children! As you know, I was honored to be invited to Washington D.C. to provide expertise to the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative. However, when I returned I realized that actually affecting change would require a grass roots effort on the part of the community’s most influential people – the parents.

By joining my Call to Action, you have taken the first step in becoming an advocate for healthy eating and physical activity and I am honored to serve you by facilitating this unified effort. Now we need to support each other by sharing stories of what we are doing in our homes, schools and communities. We also need to hear what is not working in order to address the barriers to change head on. Please email me stories of your successes and challenges so that we can all begin to benefit from each other’s experiences in working to raise a healthier generation.

I want to be a resource for you, answer questions, get needed information, blog your stories and bring our voices together to make changes at the state and federal level. To that end, I will be emailing you updates, blogs of what you and your peers are doing, and requests to take action on important issues.

Sincerely,
Barb Flis
Founder of Parent Action For Healthy Kids

 

 

 

Meet Ashley “Pregnant at 16 and gave up my baby”

Posted June 14th, 2010

I had a great trip to Indy.  It was one of those days when I am reminded how lucky I am to do this work.  I was asked to co-facilitate In the Know: A Conversation about Best Practices to Prevent Teen Pregnancy & STIs In Your Community, with Jonathan Stacks from Illinois.  We were brought in for the day long session to share our preventing teen pregnancy and disease expertise with teachers, ministers and those who work for youth serving agencies.  

The tone for the day was set by the opening presentation of a young woman, Ashley Wilkens, who became pregnant at the age of 16. Ashley works closely with The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy sharing her moving story with other teens, and telling them that adoption is a worthwhile option.

Ashley has been featured in USA TODAY and People Magazine, and has made appearances on Montel Williams, One Life to Live and Dr. Phil.

Here’s an excerpt from the People Magazine article.

GIVING UP HER BABY
ASHLEY WILKENS, 17

51% OF PREGNANT TEENS KEEP THEIR BABIES

Discovering she was pregnant at 16, Indianapolis teen Ashley Wilkens felt utterly alone. “It was,” she says, “like me against the world.”  With no support from the baby’s father, Ashley dropped out of high school, moved in with a friend and contacted an adoption attorney. Perusing profiles of childless couples, she was struck by one story that “touched my heart deeply.” The adoptive couple paid for Ashley’s living and medical expenses during pregnancy and provided emotional support. On March 28 Ashley delivered a baby boy, then relinquished her rights—to her mother Taunia Bowman’s dismay. “It had a devastating effect on our family,” Bowman says. “I would have raised that baby.” (Ashley has no contact with her own father, from whom Bowman is divorced.) But Ashley has no regrets. “I show pictures of [the baby] to people and they say, ‘Oh, I am so sorry,'” says the former track-team member, who is working toward her GED and considering a Naval career. “And I say, ‘No, I’m so proud of myself.'”  

The event attendees were all very passionate about working with teens which allowed for an interactive and rich discussion about their success stories and the barriers many have overcome in order to carry on do this work. It appeared to me that everyone left motivated and full of ideas to take back to their community!

Read more about Ashley:
People Magazine: http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20171136,00.html
USA TODAY: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-03-09-juno-pregnancy-main_N.htm

Please visit the Sex Education and Resources page of my Web site for information and tips on how to talk to your children about sex and other parent resources on sex education. And, as always, please contact me if you need to talk. – Barb

Michigan Mom on a mission to improve school meals!

Posted May 28th, 2010

Rachael Hilliker is bound and determined to find a school for her daughter to attend that serves healthy school meals.  She joined our Call to Action and is working in her Lansing Community to get other parents interested in doing the same.  She purchased the movie “Two Angry Moms” which is a documentary about food served in public schools and how we can change it through school gardens, nutrion classes, buying local farm foods, etc.  She will be showing the “Two Angry Moms” documentary onSaturday, June 26 1:00 PM at the Capital Area District Library, Downtown Lansing Location, 401 S. Capitol at the corner of Kalamazoo, Lansing , Michigan 4893.  Tickets are FREE. RSVP required.  For more details and to RSVP, please visit: http://twoangrymoms.bravenewtheaters.com/screening/show/14011

 

 

Rachael Hilliker

 

Join my Call to Action for Parents!

 

“Activist turns from sex ed to food ed for White House”

Thank you, Laura Berman, for supporting my Call to Action in your Detroit News column today! Read the column from today’s Detroit News below.

If you haven’t already, join my Call to Action for Parents and let’s work together, support each other, and raise healthier kids!

May 27, 2010         The Detroit News        http://detnews.com/article/20100527/OPINION03/5270408

Activist turns from sex ed to food ed for White House

LAURA BERMAN

It says something about these times in which we live that the state of Michigan’s go-to sex educator is turning her thoughts, and expertise, to another area that excites passions and desire: food.

Sex and food have much in common, says Barb Flis, including this central key to talking about either one: “You can’t blame them or shame them.”

Her sudden turnabout in subject matter is a direct result of a call from the White House in March, when Flis was summoned to Washington: The first lady’s team wanted to hear her thoughts about getting parents involved in kids eating healthier foods and exercising more.

At that point, Michelle Obama was preparing to roll out her “Let’s Move” program (www.letsmove.gov). Flis offered very specific expertise: For a dozen years, she’s been working with parents to help schools devise sex education curriculums. Her forte is defusing the emotion around a sensitive subject and getting people to talk — and to understand the importance of good information, rationally delivered.

What works for sex ought to work for food.

With childhood obesity rates at epidemic proportions, and the first lady campaigning to intervene, Flis opted to help: If her advice was useful to Washington, why not help with the effort, she reasoned.

“The government isn’t going to be able to create change,” says Flis. “Parents are going to have to.”

Now she’s reaching out to activists like Rachael Hilliker, a Lansing-area government worker and mom, who is screening “Two Angry Moms,” in Lansing next month — a documentary about two women who declared war on their local school lunch program and actually created change.

She’s made contact with a couple of Chelsea neophyte gardeners who named their community vegetable gardening effort, undertaken with the help of a master gardener, “Two Dirty Virgins and a Hoe.”

See? There’s that link between food and sex again. “There are a lot of similarities: It’s all about practicing good behaviors, good habits, thinking critically about how you act — or eat,” she says.

And she’s incorporated Obama’s official “Let’s Move” banner into her own website, Parent Action for Healthy Kids.

Flis is working on a statewide survey of parents that will canvas health habits, the state of school lunch programs, and how parents plan meals and snacks.

Activists like Hilliker — who sees herself launching a grass roots effort to force healthier school lunches — are part of her focus. But after a decade of talking about sex with parents and teens, she believes in the wisdom of a gentle approach.

As an advocate for making good choices, Flis was already a fairly healthy eater. But even she has adopted better habits over the past few months. She stopped eating sweetened low-calorie yogurt, switching to a high protein, unsweetened Greek-style brand.

She kicked the diet soda habit, after reading that artificial sweeteners can cause food cravings. Now she intends to quietly encourage others to change their behavior, in their homes.

Wary of being panned as a “food Nazi” or health nut, Flis is more educator than activist. She’s all in favor of small changes, duly rewarded.

So join the movement: Steam up a batch of broccoli and brown rice, exercise for 30 minutes, and congratulate yourself.

Laura Berman’s column runs Tuesday and Thursday in Metro. Reach her at lberman@detnews.com“>lberman@detnews.com or call (313) 222-2032


℠ Copyright 2010 The Detroit News. All rights reserved.

The Detroit News May 27, 2010

Activist turns from sex ed to food ed for White House    By Laura Berman

It says something about these times in which we live that the state of Michigan’s go-to sex educator is turning her thoughts, and expertise, to another area that excites passions and desire: food.

Sex and food have much in common, says Barb Flis, including this central key to talking about either one: “You can’t blame them or shame them.”

Her sudden turnabout in subject matter is a direct result of a call from the White House in March, when Flis was summoned to Washington: The first lady’s team wanted to hear her thoughts about getting parents involved in kids eating healthier foods and exercising more.

At that point, Michelle Obama was preparing to roll out her “Let’s Move” program (http://www.letsmove.gov). Flis offered very specific expertise: For a dozen years, she’s been working with parents to help schools devise sex education curriculums. Her forte is defusing the emotion around a sensitive subject and getting people to talk — and to understand the importance of good information, rationally delivered.

What works for sex ought to work for food.

With childhood obesity rates at epidemic proportions, and the first lady campaigning to intervene, Flis opted to help: If her advice was useful to Washington, why not help with the effort, she reasoned.

“The government isn’t going to be able to create change,” says Flis. “Parents are going to have to.”

Now she’s reaching out to activists like Rachael Hilliker, a Lansing-area government worker and mom, who is screening “Two Angry Moms,” in Lansing next month — a documentary about two women who declared war on their local school lunch program and actually created change.

She’s made contact with a couple of Chelsea neophyte gardeners who named their community vegetable gardening effort, undertaken with the help of a master gardener, “Two Dirty Virgins and a Hoe.”

See? There’s that link between food and sex again. “There are a lot of similarities: It’s all about practicing good behaviors, good habits, thinking critically about how you act — or eat,” she says.

And she’s incorporated Obama’s official “Let’s Move” banner into her own website, Parent Action for Healthy Kids.

Flis is working on a statewide survey of parents that will canvas health habits, the state of school lunch programs, and how parents plan meals and snacks.

Activists like Hilliker — who sees herself launching a grass roots effort to force healthier school lunches — are part of her focus. But after a decade of talking about sex with parents and teens, she believes in the wisdom of a gentle approach.

As an advocate for making good choices, Flis was already a fairly healthy eater. But even she has adopted better habits over the past few months. She stopped eating sweetened low-calorie yogurt, switching to a high protein, unsweetened Greek-style brand.

She kicked the diet soda habit, after reading that artificial sweeteners can cause food cravings. Now she intends to quietly encourage others to change their behavior, in their homes.

Wary of being panned as a “food Nazi” or health nut, Flis is more educator than activist. She’s all in favor of small changes, duly rewarded.

So join the movement: Steam up a batch of broccoli and brown rice, exercise for 30 minutes, and congratulate yourself.

Laura Berman’s column runs Tuesday and Thursday in Metro. Reach her at lberman@detnews.com

“Seven Dirty Virgins and a Hoe”

Parents are signing up and sharing their stories!  Angie, a mom from Chelsea, Michigan signed on to our Parent Call to Action and shared what she and other moms are doing to improve healthy eating and physical activity not only for their own families but for the community.  Angie and six other moms thought it would be fun to plant a community garden to socialize, get exercise and have fresh produce.  The problem, however, was none of them had ever gardened before.  They decided to ask an expert to show them what to do and, “Seven Dirty Virgins and a Hoe,” as they call themselves, are now busy in their garden.  This labor of love isn’t just for their families, it’s a learn-to-garden-to-give-back-to-the-community initiative.  There’s even a large playground next to the community garden so their kids can play.  Here are the “Dirty Virgins” hard at work.  Way to make a difference, Chelsea Moms!

If you haven’t already, join my Parent Call to Action today!

Seven Dirty Virgins and a Hoe

Seven Dirty Virgins and a Hoe

Honoring the Great Work Of My Colleagues and Friends

Posted May 26th, 2010

I was honored to be invited to celebrate with family and friends at the Motown Mansion for Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom and her family.  The setting was beautiful and the Wisdom family so very gracious and fun.  Here I am with friends and colleagues from our work with the Governor’s Talk Early & Talk Often℠ initiative — Nancy Combs, Dr. Wisdom & me; Nancy Combs, Tiffany Baker & me; and with new friends, Sharon Milberger & Cheryl Abaloz from Henry Ford Health System.  

From the Motown Mansion I headed to the Detroit Athletic Club for reception and dinner for my friend, and fellow MOASH (www.moash.org) board member Dr. Cheryl Gibson Fountain.  Cheryl was installed as the 127th President of the Wayne County Medical Society of Southeast Michigan.  She spoke so compassionately about the need for health coverage for all Michigan residents.  We were entertained by the Riverview Chorale who sang a beautifully and one song in particular entitled “I need you to survive.” ( “I Need You To Survive” by Hezekiah Walker ) Cheryl was surrounded by family, friends and esteemed colleagues who are passionate about providing the best healthcare possible.  Here are some pictures from a fun evening.  Congratulations Dr. Cheryl Gibson Fountain!  I am so proud to have you as a friend. 

Photos below include: 

Nancy Combs – Director, Community Health, Henry Ford Health System
Sharon Milberger – Interim Director, Center for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, HFHS
Cheryl Abaloz – Executive Assistant to Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, Vice President of Community Health, Education & Wellness, HFHS; and Michigan Surgeon General
Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom – SDOM,  Vice President of Community Health, Education & Wellness, HFHS; and Michigan Surgeon General   
Lisa Mason – Manager – “Save Lives, Save Dollars”, Greater Detroit Area Health Council
Tiffany Baker – Public Relations Specialist, HAP
Cynthia Taueg’ – Vice President Community Health, St. John Providence Hospital
Deborah Whiting – Health Center Administrator, Detroit Community Health Connection

Below photo: I feel like it’s Prom Night!

Barb all dressed up! 

Below Photo: Barb Flis, Nancy Combs, Sharon Milberger & Cheryl Abaloz

Barb Flis, Nancy Combs, Sharon Milberger & Cheryl Abaloz

Below photo: Tiffany Baker, Nancy Combs & Barb Flis
Tiffany Baker, Nancy Combs & Barb Flis

Below photo: Nancy Combs, Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom & Barb Flis

Nancy Combs, Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom & Barb Flis

Below photo: Nancy Combs, Dr. Cheryl Gibson Fountain & Barb Flis

Nancy Combs, Dr. Cheryl Gibson Fountain & Barb Flis 

Below photo: Deborah Whiting, Barb Flis, Senator Martha G. Scott & Nancy Comb

Deborah Whiting, Barb Flis, Senator Martha G. Scott & Nancy Combs Below photo: Barb Flis, Lisa Mason & Cynthia Taueg’ Barb Flis, Lisa Mason & Cynthia Taueg'

 

Join my Call to Action for Parents!  Let’s work together to raise healthier kids!

**This information has been shared by Barb Flis, mother of two and creator of Parent Action for Healthy Kids.

Have Faith! We Can Build A Healthier Tomorrow.

Posted May 21st, 2010

I had a great trip to D.C.  I visited museums, the World War II, Vietnam, Korean & FDR memorials, viewed the nations’ capitol from the top of the Washington Monument, and saw President Obama speak at the memorial for slain police officers on the lawn of the Capitol.    The tour of the White House and Capitol arranged by Congressman Gary Peters was inspiring.  Being surrounded by such rich history, I was reminded that our country was built on the strength and perserverence of its people.  I have a renewed faith in our ability to make this country a healthier place for our children to learn and thrive.   Sign up for my call to action for parents — with one voice, we can leave a legacy of good health for our children. 

Below photo: Portrait Monument to the pioneers of the Woman Suffrage Movement – Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, and of course, Barb Flis! 🙂

Portrait Monument to the pioneers of the Woman Suffrage Movement - Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott & Barb Flis

Below photo: Place where Lincoln’s desk was in the Capitol

Place where Lincoln's desk was in the Capitol

Below photo: Me and Laura, the intern of Congressman Gary Peters

Me and Laura, Congressman Peter's Intern

Below photo: President Obama speaking at a memorial for slain officers on the Capitol lawn

President Obama speaking at a memorial for slain officers on the Capitol lawn

Thinking About The Amazing People I Met In D.C.

Posted May 7th, 2010

As I mentioned in my blog on April 13, I was honored to be one of only 10 people invited to Washington D.C. to provide input in developing the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative to end childhood obesity in a generation. I was the only person at the table representing the parents’ voice.

I now have a few photos of this meeting and some of the amazing people that I met.

This is Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, Health & Human Services as she announced community grants.

Kathleen_Sebelius

Kathleen_Sebelius

 

Let’s Move meeting

Left to right, Leslie Bushara, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Annette Ferebee, American Public Health Association, Stephanie Ferguston, International Food Information Council.  

Leslie_Bushara_Childrens_Museum_of_Manhattan_Annette_Ferebee_American_Public_Health_Association_Stephanie_Ferguston_International_Food_Information_Council

 

Left to right, Barb Flis, Parent Action for Healthy Kids, Shelley Frazier, Healthy Native Communities Partnership, Lori Kaplan, Latin American Youth Center and Annette Ferebee, American Public Health Association

Barb_Flis_PAFHK_Shelley_Frazier_Healthy_Native_Communities_Partnership_Lori_Kaplan_Latin_American_Youth_Center_and_Annette_Ferebee_American_Public_Health_Association

 

Now I’m back from D.C. and taking this opportunity to launch my own urgent Call to Action for parents! Have you Signed Up yet? This just can’t be the first generation where the life span of our children is shorter than their parents! Let’s make things better for our children today and for the next generation.

 

You Won’t Believe These Sugar Stacks

Posted May 6th, 2010

Wonder how much sugar you and your family are getting from foods and beverages?  This web site gives good information and a great visual of the amount of sugar in our foods and beverages.  Eliminating a couple of the highest sugar items from our families diet will have big health benefits now and in the future.    www.sugarstacks.com

 

Sugarstacks.com

 

This information has been shared by Barb Flis, mother of two and creator of Parent Action For Healthy Kids.

Michgian Healthy School Environment Awards

Posted May 3rd, 2010

It was an honor to once again emcee the Healthy School Environment Awards with my dear friend and colleague and Michigan’s Surgeon General, Dr. Kimberly-Dawn Wisdom.  Dr. Wisdom recognized 77 schools with a third of those schools taking first place.  These schools made incredible changes to make their schools a healthier place for students to learn.  You can read their success stories by going to www.mihealthtools.org and select “Healthy Schools, Healthy Students.” 

Dr. Wisdom is also leading the way with her Generation With Promise schools, many of whom were receipients of the Healthy School Environment Awards. 

It was a fun day to celebrate the efforts of schools and families on behalf of the health of children.

Here I am pictued with Paul Yettaw, Food Service Director at Lakeview School District near Battle Creek, Michigan, and Dr. Wisdom.

Dr. Kimberly- Dawn Wisdom, Barb Flis, and Paul Yettaw, Food Service Director at Lakeview School District near Battle Creek, Michigan.

Here I am pictured with Barbara Blum and Deb Grischke.  These are two high energy woman giving their all to help the Generation With Promise schools to reach their goal of healthy eating and increased phsyical activity for all students.  

Here I am with Barbara Blum and Deb Grischke, two high energy woman giving their all to help the Generation With Promise schools.

 

Have you joined my Call to Action?

Great Things Are Happening In Michigan

Posted April 28th, 2010

Monday I was honored to be invited to speak to the Farmington PTA Council in Farmington, Michigan about joining my Call to Action for parents!  More than 30 parent leaders are now eager to sign on and start sharing stories on their efforts to improve healthy eating and physical activity for children.  And as if that is not enough, these tireless volunteers agreed to step up and spread the word to parents throughout their school community.  Great things are happening in my own backyard!  Thanks Farmington PTA Council — you are awesome!

Click here to join my Call to Action then start sharing your stories on our blog and facebook page.

Farmington, MI PTAFarmington, MI PTA