What Do You Mean, “Whole Foods – The Store?”Tue 12 Nov 2013
Story by Joelle Gillooly
The Big Question
“What do you mean ‘whole foods’ – as in the store?” That is the question I get asked when I am talking to a group of people about food.
Yeah, Whole Foods is a store – it happens to be where I have found the perfect job as a Healthy Eating Specialist. But that’s all new, because educating people of all ages about real, whole food has been a passion of mine for years…hence why I am volunteering for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. What was the question again? Oh yeah - WHOLE FOODS – by which I mean food that grows from the Earth and is minimally processed.
Kids love to eat from a rainbow, crunch a color and learn where things grow. I love to go into local schools to promote food education. On Food Day this month, I went to a local elementary school to participate in the Big Apple Crunch, where students got a food education sheet to take home. FABULOUS!!
The Importance of Food Education
To me, the most important thing is that we all stand together. We need to know where our food is coming from and what is in it. I think food education is basic and essential - like potty training (yes, I said potty). It is a life skill that we need to teach from the beginning. I promise it works!!
As the Healthy Eating Specialist at Whole Foods, I can reach a broad group of people. I recently took a group of Girls Scouts on a tour of the store and talked to them about getting in the kitchen and sitting down for family meals. The Health Starts Here program that I work with has four pillars - Whole Foods (there are those words again), Plant Strong, Nutrient Dense and Healthy Fats.
Also, this year I am on our Wake County PTA Council as Health and Wellness Chair. I help schools to form wellness committees, healthy initiatives, and encourage food education for students and teachers. We will be holding a county-wide event in March to promote REAL whole food and physical activity. YIPPEE!!
I have been so fortunate to participate in the past two Food Revolution Days and focus my events around kids, from classes to education stations, to Zumba and green smoothies.
The biggest reward I get is when my five-year-old daughter takes out the kale to make her own kale chips. She begs me for pomegranates at the store and explains where different fruits and vegetables grow to her friends. But most of all, she is healthy and happy! It is possible to educate our kids and for them to be excited about it. After all, WHOLE FOODS are delicious!
About the Author: Joelle Gillooly is a passionate Health and Wellness Advocate for children. She believes in real food, food education and the mission of the Jamie Oliver Foundation: Cook it. Share it. Live it.
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