10 Yr Old Video Food Blogger Meets JamieWed 26 Jan 2011
Story by Alexandra & Marshall Reid
When 10 year old Marshall Reid met Jamie on the Nate Berkus show it was a meeting of minds. Video food blogger Marshall is one of our Food Revoultion Heroes, his passion for learning about good food, cooking and eating better is a true inspiration. There are amazing kids out there, like Marshall, taking the initiative with the support of their parents, to live a healthier life through eating better food. Marshall and his mum tell their story.
What is a parent to do with an overweight sedentary child? Is it the fault of school lunches? Fast food chains? A poverty factor? Or have parents lost sight of the simple preparations, concepts and responsibilities of the family diet?
My overweight ten year old son, Marshall, was miserable, argumentative, lacking friends and changed schools to get a “fresh start” from antagonists. I have caught him sneaking food in the house as I have struggled to make regular meals while chauffeuring him and my daughter to extracurricular activities. I know this did not happen overnight and that there is some degree of a genetic factor but I have felt as hopeless as my son in helping him grow and mature in this area of his life.
One day in the summer of 2010 we spoke about the documentary movie “Supersize Me” where a man ate McDonalds for 30 days. Marshall announced, “We should do the opposite of that and be healthy for a month.” Brilliant! We sat down and made a simple plan: read the ingredients of food and make a conscious decision about whether or not we wanted it in our bodies. We agreed that it wasn’t going to be a stressful “diet” or program but rather we were going to take our time to relearn our roles and responsibilities with food and actively engage in decision making. Being active in that sense would hopefully remove the compulsory, habitual eating habits caused from stress and boredom. Marshall decided to video our meals and decisions and post them on YouTube. He coined it “Portion Size Me, 31 Days to Better Health” and shined on camera from the beginning.
After the initial 31 days Marshall dropped eleven pounds and two body mass index points. He was smiling and happy and ready to tackle the new school year. His new school was inspired and has reinvigorated their plans to include more healthy education and food at the school; in fact they recently applied for and received a grant to start a garden and have sent several teachers for additional “health” education.
Marshall was learning that he had “control” over what he ate and how he ate and that control became a new foundation for his self esteem. We added another thirty days to Portion Size Me: 10 days of healthy school lunches, 10 days of breakfasts and 10 days of affordable dinners. It seems so simple doesn’t it? Try to eat real, local foods and watch your portion sizes, yet for our family and many others it seems to escape us. The tick-tock of the clocks that we allow to govern our lives robs us the needed time to have a relationship with the fuel we put in our bodies. It’s the “pause” in Marshalls Portion Size Me that has brought us closer together as a family and closer to a healthy relationship with food. And we continue Portion Size Me because it takes a long time to change behaviors and our goal is to make the Portion Size Me simple concepts integrated into our lives.
It was last year that a producer from the National NBC hit show, Nate Berkus, found Marshall's videos on YouTube and contacted us. Teasing us with the prospect of a "big surprise" they flew us up to NYC where they did in fact give us a "BIG SURPRISE." Chef Jamie Oliver! Marshall melted on stage and fell into the Chefs arms in amazement. Having seen many segments of the first series of Food Revolution, Marshall knew Chef Oliver’s intentions: to inspire advocates of wholesome nutrition. To stand up and be heard. And to not put up with inferior foods, either by choice or provided to us by others. That experience has not only helped form the development of a young man but has also motivated our family to continue our advocacy of slowing down and returning to the kitchen.
2011 is set to be an exciting year for us. We are writing a book to inspire Moms and youth to get back into the kitchen with recipes, ideas, concepts and good feeling. We have also created a game called FreeSeedsForSchools. With fun and informational questions to educate youth on foods and nutrition when the question is answered correctly seeds are donated to schools that want to start their own gardens. To sign up for a copy of our book or for more information about this game please visit http://portionsize.me.
All of Marshall's videos can be viewed here.
About the authors: Marshall Reid and his mom Alexandra live in North Carolina, USA
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