Looking at this picture, I can see how happy I was at this moment. I was at The White House with 65+ other Latina bloggers for the #TopBlogueras Retreat. Most of these women I have had the privilege of meeting before and befriending over the years. I was excited to see them, but more importantly, I was honored to be considered a part of this group. When I got the invitation to attend the (working) Retreat, I posted on Facebook how amazed I was by the doors that social media has opened for me and how many friends I’ve made throughout the years. The #TopBloguera event is the capstone of what that statement meant to me.
The weekend opened up new doors for me while giving me a chance to connect and bond with a dynamic group of women and mentors. While I left Washington feeling inspired and motivated by the other attendees, I also felt a responsibility to share with you all the messages shared with us during our debrief at the White House. We spoke on a number of important topics including education, student-loan reform, and food and nutrition. In my first recap, I’ll share with you some information that I think all of us can use, whether we are mothers or have mothers.
First Lady Obama’s Let’s Move Initiative
If you have read my blog before, then you know how much fitness and healthy living means to me and how I aim to instill healthy habits in my children as well. You also know how much I admire First Lady, Michelle Obama. We had an opportunity to hear from a member of the First Lady’s team about the Let’s Move Initiative and ChooseMyPlate.gov. For the first time in 15 years since the food pyramid was created, a new guideline for healthy eating has been created. That new guide is “MyPlate” which illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image—a place setting for a meal. The message is a simple one. Before you eat, use the image of the healthy plate to guide your choices. Half your plate should be fruit and veggies, the other half should have more grains than protein. Simple, right?
Something else I learned about. I was also thrilled to hear that something was being done about the lunch food options offered to children in schools. The Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative aims to offer salad bars to over 6,000 schools throughout the U.S. Finally, something besides frozen pizza and cheesy surprise casseroles.
As a parent, we want to do our best to help our children make good choices while eating, but we also want to encourage them to stay active. The Let’s Move Initiative reminds us that children should get at least sixty minutes of activity in each day. I was somewhat surprised to learn that on average, an American child will spend 7.5 hours a day doing a non-active activity such as sitting in front the the TV or using a gaming device. Imagine what we could do to tackle childhood obesity if more children turned off the TV for an hour and replaced that time with outdoor play? And adults, you should aim for at least 30 minutes of cardio a day, five days a week.
Good information, don’t you agree?
If you are feeling inspired by any of the information above, I encourage you to take action. Help spread the word on your own sites or visit Let’sMove.gov to find out what else you can do.