Archive for July, 2010
I’m not sure about you, but I spent a good part of the weekend patriotically reflecting on the state of our country. Given our recent debt binge, food crises and oil spills, I have to admit, I wasn’t quite as proud of the good ole U.S. of A. as I have been in recent years. But I am an eternal optimist, so I put my thinking cap on in an effort to figure out how to make some lemonade out of our recent handful of lemons, and here is what I came up with:
Our Founding Fathers were revolutionaries. In their highest form of patriotism, they revolted. Big time. How about that? So to the food revolutionaries, energy revolutionaries, educational revolutionaries and health revolutionaries, take heart. It’s in your genes.
Our country was also founded by entrepreneurs who envisioned a better way of doing things. And as I read the Economist over the weekend, I was struck by our country’s passion for creativity: it manifests itself in Pixar films, “and their unbridled enthusiasm for individualism,” iPhones and the occasional Wall Street mortgage derivative. Most of the time, we’re good at it (“though business history is littered with the corpses of corporate Icaruses that rose heavenwards on the wings of creativity only to plunge to the ground”). Thank goodness. Our creativity usually serves us well.
We are a nation of innovators, entrepreneurs, believers, creators and educators. We inspire each other every day. We revel in the brilliance and tenacity of someone like Steve Jobs and in the awe-inspiring rendition by 6th grader, Greyson Chance, of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi”. We thrive on triumph as we watch the World Cup, the atmospheric successes of Arianna Huffington, YouTube founders, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, and countless others whose stories of hardship and perseverance just might bare some resemblance to our own if only we had the courage to believe.
So we believe…in the face of enormous odds, hardship and headwinds, we believe. Just as our Founding Fathers believed in a better tomorrow. We envision a new model, a smarter system, an integrative design that creatively deconstructs our existing paradigms and replaces them with new infrastructures, new beliefs, new hopes, brighter dreams.
As Americans, it appears that hope has been genetically engineered into our DNA. Our country was founded on it – our Founding Fathers bravely showing us that in order to be patriots, we must also be pioneers. So perhaps, in an enormous burst of patriotism, it is time to fear less so that you can do more. Unleash your passion, leverage your unique talents, and “think different”. Humanity just may be depending on you.
This week, we said goodbye to a 10 year old little girl who lost her fight with cancer, embraced another friend’s cancer diagnosis with heartache and sympathy and celebrated the birthday of one of our children. In other words, we wore every emotion imaginable.
And that’s life. It takes us on a roller coaster of a ride, through changing landscapes and changing times, never promising anything but delivering everything. In the heartache, there is tenderness and in the triumphs, there is exhileration, ever more teaching us that we are here for the adventure.
So while the landscape of children’s health has changed, taking us on a journey that we never envisioned, so have our abilities to accomodate this ride. And as we work together, to restore the health of our families, we continue to celebrate the heartaches and triumphs, always remembering that life is beautiful, a blessing and never to be taken for granted.
In memory of Sarah H., whose smile now shines from above.
Jamie Oliver: If you’re looking for ways to have fun with the kids and keep them busy this summer there’s no better way than cooking with them. Not only will you get to spend time with them, you’ll also be giving them vital life skills.
It doesn’t matter how old they are, there are always ways for them to get involved.
Here are a few of my top tips:
- Start with simple dishes, especially if you have younger kids. A salad is a great place to start; anyone can tear up herbs or lettuce leaves and chances are if they’ve prepared it they’ll eat it.
- If your kids are older get them chopping, stirring, reading out the recipe instructions or measuring out ingredients.
- Let them touch and taste the ingredients where appropriate (of course I’m not talking about raw meat, eggs or anything else that’s going to make them sick!).
- Be prepared to make a big old mess in the kitchen and see that as part of the fun. Just make sure everyone pitches in and helps you clean up at the end because that’s all part of it.
- Praise your kitchen helpers (even if the recipe doesn’t quite go according to plan) and let them have the first taste of whatever it is you’ve cooked together.
- Involve your kids in mealtimes and ask them what they’d like to try making next time.
- Explain how important hygiene is and make sure they wash their hands before anything kicks off.
- As a parent I know this goes without saying, but keep an eye on your kids in the kitchen. Don’t assume they know when something is ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’, tell them.
- Enjoy yourself! If you’re having fun, your kids will too.
I’d love to see how you get on so please post pictures of your family and their creations on the Food Revolution community page on Facebook. There might even be a prize in it for you!
AllergyKids Foundation is proud to support Jamie Oliver and the Food Revolution and is enormously grateful for his work and that of our friends at www.MomsRising.org as together, we can inspire change in our food system!