Tampa Fit Kids Food RevolutionThu 01 Dec 2011
Story by Marisa Langford
Tampa is lucky to have sunshine all year long. Some Floridians can usually be found outside playing and enjoying our beautiful parks, beaches and playgrounds. And even though we know that we have year round access to exercise, we understand that more must be done to get kids (and their parents) up and off the couch.
The obesity rate in Florida has increased more than 80% over the last 15 years. Florida's adult obesity rate is 26% and rose from 14% in 1995. As a mother, the most alarming statistic is that 18% of children and adolescents in Florida are considered obese.
This means that we have some work to do in terms of educating our youth (and their parents and caregivers) about healthy habits, getting more kids physically active and reducing that screen time! And from this, a project called Fit Kids Playground was born. Our motto: Real Kids. Real Change. Really Simple.
Fit Kids Playground
• We host a free monthly event, Playin’ In The Park, in Downtown Tampa that encourages kids and their parents to get off the couch and come outside and play.
• We have a preschool curriculum that educates the youngest Floridians about very simple healthy eating concepts and gets them excited about eating their fruits and vegetables.
• Our online resource helps parents find out about all things healthy in the Tampa Bay area and beyond in our great state.
We have realized that being advocates about healthy habits is our most powerful asset. We like to bring groups together that have common goals. With our partnerships with We Can!, Truck Farm, Today I Ate a Rainbow, The Downtown Tampa Partnership and TUFF (Tampa’s Urban Food Forum) we are excited about what the future holds and more importantly, the amount of people we can truly reach with our efforts.
Tampa Food Revolution
We use our community page to share information and educate our community about healthy programs and events going on in the area. Starting in January 2012, we will be hosting monthly Food Revolution meet ups at local Chipotle Mexican Grill Restaurants. Our goal is to get more local conversations started; more people connected and educate them about all things healthy in the Tampa Bay area.
Education is the key to helping more people (especially the kids) understand why healthy eating and exercise is so important! And just as important is getting everyone excited to be participating. If we can get kids to try new things or eat a rainbow everyday, it will open up a world that they might not have known existed.
About the author: Marisa Langford is a full-time Mom to three young children. Her family is a green and healthy family that enjoys playing in the parks, visiting Farmers Markets and cooking together with the foods they grow in their garden! She founded the Fit Kids Playground project in 2008, and started the Tampa Fit Kids Food Revolution earlier this year. When she is not in Tampa, playing in the parks, you can find Marisa at their real farm, Sunshine Farms, in North Florida where they grow grapes and pecans.
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