Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Join the #RealSchoolFood Campaign!

We want YOU! 

The Chef Ann Foundation is officially declaring October the month of Real School Food, and I am pumped to join the campaign for it's second year! They have lots of fun events and activities planned to get the word out so stay tuned in to Chef Ann's Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages! 

Why do we need a whole month dedicated to raising awareness about real school food? 

It’s ridiculously simple.

"Childhood obesity and diet-related disease are crippling our children’s futures. Over 30 million children eat school lunch every day, and many of their meals are processed, heat-and-serve items loaded with artificial un-pronounceables and mystery ingredients that are contributing to the problem.  Our kids deserve better, and that means real school food, cooked with healthy, nourishing ingredients." - Chef Ann Foundation

This quote hits home for me BIG time.

4.5 years ago I swerved my family swagger van onto the real food highway. I hit my trigger point with concerns about my daughter's social, emotional and academic performance at school. Abbie was performing a full year behind grade level in 1st grade and she could not pay attention, sit still, follow two step directions or get along with her friends in school. I was ready to try anything, have no regrets, so I tried real food first. I kicked out the fake food - preservatives, artificial colors and added sugar. I also kicked out gluten and dairy for awhile. After two weeks of eating more clean, real food, she was symptom free (I know, I still can't believe it) and it changed the course of her life, my life and our family's life forever. Let me be clearIt's not about perfection for us. We eat out and we certainly eat some processed food. Our goal is simple: 80% real food to 20% "whatever" food. Cuz I really love to eat my "whatever" food too. 

The incredible connection between our gut-brain lights up my world like a glorious sunrise and I geek out about the microbiome pretty much everyday. New research is emerging at a furious pace and I try to keep up with "What's New in ADHD" as this information impacts my family's health no matter how well now my children are now functioning in school.

Everyone EATS and it's time we inspire the guts + minds which gather everyday in the biggest restaurants in town - SCHOOL CAFETERIAS! 

Get involved! Here are some ways you can add your support:

1. Snap a selfie with a sign #realschoolfood.
2. Post the selfie to your social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) and use the #realschoolfood hashtag in your comment (Here's a good one to copy: "30 million kids eat school lunch every day. It's time we served them #realschoolfood. Join the campaign now: realschoolfood.org") 
**Don't forget to make your Facebook post public so that the Chef Ann Foundation can track the hashtag and count the post towards a matching donation!**
3. You can even make your picture your banner or profile pic for the entire month of October (if you're a food education goober like me)!
4. For every person who posts using #realschoolfood from now until the end of October, $1 will be donated towards healthy school food programming for kids across the country. This is an incredible opportunity for Americans to make school food reform a reality, thanks to the generosity of the foundation's sponsors (click here to check em all out!).

To the Mullies we go...

Here is a link to the Chef Ann Foundation's Project Produce Grant. I helped our school district apply for this (fingers crossed!) and perhaps you could help yours too!

Speaking of supporting awesome Food Education... I will be attending the Pilot Light Chefs Feed Your Mind Gala on Friday October 7th - Tickets are running out! One of America's finest chefs will be hosting - It's your chance to meet Chef Tom Colichio! The gala will be packed with Chicago's finest chefs, educators and foodie "movers and shakers." I hope to see you there!

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