Food Fuels: MomsRising #FoodPower Conference Recap (Part 1)

by Migdalia Rivera

Let’s get straight to the point: Food Fuels.

It fuels our bodies, our brains, our emotions. It determines whether we function fully or half arse. So, what are you eating? Are you diluting your body with sub-par food or using the premium supply that can harvest your energy?

At the MomsRising Food Power conference in New York, I met women, and men, who are striving to unjunk food, in schools, and in homes. They are advocates and realists, striving to halt the rise in childhood obesity.

Unhealthy food choices passed down from generation to generation are the norm in many families, including mine. As a result, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetics have become the norm in our family circle. As a speaker, I shared my own wake up call, which occurred three years ago, when my then 15 year old son was diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The idea that my son could possibly have a heart attack and die was something that I could not ignore. It changed how I viewed food. It also changed how I cooked. Why? Because as the mother, I controlled certain aspects of my sons’ lives. I made the purchasing decisions, packing our cupboards with high fat, high sodium foods that placed my son at risk; consequently, I also had to change my ideas of what was “healthy” and how we related to it.

 Soul Food Junkies | Latina On a Mission

Soul Food Junkies, a documentary by Byron Hurt, was shown at the conference and high-lighted this very same generational tragedy. It appeared to be a consistent theme among attendees, reinforcing the trend among families to pass on their unhealthy living to their children. Exactly, the reason why I started Sabroso Saturday … to share healthier versions of foods my boys and I enjoy and also learn from other families who have been able to create healthier versions of foods we enjoy and even some we never tried before implementing this meme.

Sabroso Saturday | Latina On a Mission


Karen Showalter a MomsRising’s advocate, headed a very informative session titled Junk Food Marketing to Children: How to stop the onslaught of advertising through television, smart phones and the web!It showcased how the media aims advertising at our children. As parents, it’s important we understand the process so that we can protect our children an also explain it to them, in an age appropriate manner. Per Karen, “If left unchecked these practices have the potential to exacerbate a public health crisis – obesity and obesity related diseases.”

MomsRising Slide_3-15-2013

As a realist, I know my children, and I, will never entirely eliminate junk food from our lives. We will succumb to the occasional doughnut cart on our way to work/school. After a long day of work, I  may choose to bake a batch of pre-packaged breaded chicken, because it’s all I can muster that evening. I’m also sure that during a long day of traveling, we’ll head straight to the nearest fast food joint. However, I’ll make sure to reach for the packaged white chicken meat with less sodium and purchase the smaller kid’s meal. Because I’ve learned that  prohibiting junk food creates a rebellion, a sort of feast or famine type reaction, that is much worse than the occasional transgression.

As parents, we have the power to re-train our children and their palettes. Starting earlier is always best, but not always done, as shown in my own life. However, we can still implement changes, no matter how small, into their lives. We can choose to refuse the sugary juices and sodas, the trans-fat and the “soul food” our parents raised us with. We can also make an effort to become more active, jumping rope, dancing, and walking whenever possible. Small changes, because all big things begin with one small action.

Our children deserve it. They deserve a chance at a longer and healthier life.

Let’s talk! How do you incorporate healthier foods in your diet and your family’s diet? Do you hide veggies, as I do, in your dishes? Or, do your children embrace it willingly?


Disclosure: Latina On a Mission and MomsRising have partnered to raise awareness about childhood and adolescent obesity rates. This is Part 1 of said sponsored campaign.

About the Author

Migdalia Rivera, also known as Ms. Latina in social media, is a single Latina mother of a teen, tween and 2 Australian Shepherds. When not blogging, or chasing after her energetic bunch, she connects influential bloggers with brands and PR agencies via her blogger network, Stiletto Media.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alissa Apel March 16, 2013 at 1:15 pm

My kids have spinach with almost every breakfast. Except they don’t call it, “Spinach”. They say, “Yay I’m eating leaves!”
Alissa Apel recently posted..Feeling Lucky?

2 Migdalia aka @MsLatina March 16, 2013 at 3:22 pm

@Alissa I love that! I add to spinach to everything as well but don’t tell the teen! Tween has no problem with it since he was raised with healthier foods. Teen says its as if they were raised by two different mothers. I agree!

3 Rachel April 1, 2013 at 6:46 pm

So sorry I missed it. Looks like it was a great time.
Rachel recently posted..VECINITOS AL SOL 2013 Spanish Immersion Summer Camp

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