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Naturally Educational » Bodily-kinesthetic, Health, Health, Home Arts » The Magic of Healthy Living #DisneySMMoms

The Magic of Healthy Living #DisneySMMoms

Trying to Eat Healthy

We try to eat healthy around here. Unlike some people I admire very much, however, it isn’t my main passion or cause. We buy some foods organic, others not. We buy local when we can, but we aren’t a member of our local CSA share (despite knowing a woman who runs an organic farm that serves as a the local distribution center) and we do not grow our own produce. There are vegetables or fruit at every meal but, every once in a while, that means applesauce…hey, at least it is unsweetened!

When my eldest two were toddlers, they were willing to try almost any new food and liked several foods that might be considered more acquired tastes. Over time, however, they seem to have both narrowed their menu selections. We still take them out to Indian and Thai food and add new items every once in a while at home but getting them to expand their culinary horizons has become more challenging.

Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living

One of the aspects of Disney’s presentations at the Disney Social Media Moms celebration that impressed me last month was the focus on the “Magic of Healthy Living.” “Disney Magic of Healthy Living partners with parents to inspire kids to lead healthier lifestyles.” They are doing this by “making nutritious eating and physical activity more appealing and fun.”

We saw this immediately at the parks. Apples, grapes, and yogurt were the default sides, fresh fruit was easier to find, and Epcot had lots of special items to try like this Wild Berry Slush that my kids sucked down in seconds.

Disney is the first major media company to establish nutritional guidelines and they have made a commitment to align all advertising promotions and sponsorships on their media channels with these guidelines by 2015. That’s huge. This means that healthy lifestyles will be woven into Disney’s media messages, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will offer more nutritious options as they menu defaults, and Disney is actively investing in research and partnering with KaBoom (to build playgrounds across the country) and Feeding America (to provide servings of fruits and vegetables to children and families in need).

This is nothing new for Disney as they’ve long featured agricultural technology in “The Land” in Epcot. I really wish I had more information about that as I have a lot of questions!

The two consumer campaigns that will be most visible to Disney Fans are the Try-It and the Mickey Check programs.

Disney’s Try-It

The message behind Try-It is that “trying a variety of new foods and fun moves is part of living healthy.”  I think of this as the “try it, you might like it” philosophy coupled with the idea that small changes add up. If you try one small healthy change in your lifestyle every day, or even every week or month, and some of them stick, that adds up.

If you visit the Try-It website, you are immediately greeted with Try-It challenge of three small changes you can make for a healthier lifestyle. For example, “TRYit Challenge: What will you TRY to make half your meal fruits and vegetables? (A) Add lettuce to my sandwich for a crunch; (B) Bite into a peach or nectarine for a sweet dessert; (C) Sip orange or pineapple juice with my meal.”

Disney’s Mickey Check

As part of our introduction to the Magic of Healthy Living at Disney Social Media Moms, we had the chance to try some Mickey-approved recipes, like Garden Spinach Apple Smoothie. Mickey Check is “a tool that makes it easier to identify nutritious choices in stores, online, and while on vacation at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.” Items labeled with the Mickey Check must limit calories, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar, and Kids’ Complete Meals must include at least three of the following food groups: fruits and vegetables; low-fat dairy; whole grains or lean protein, beans, eggs and nuts. You can find some of the Mickey-approved recipes at Spoonful.

Healthier Living, One Step at a Time

It can be easy to get wrapped up in being perfect–after all, our children deserve the very best. Perfection can be exhausting, though, even paralyzing, and certainly not much fun.

If you are trying to create a healthier lifestyle, small changes are likely to be more sustainable and Disney can help with suggestions for fun ideas. Substitute one television show for a physical activity, use whole grain bread instead of white on your sandwiches (or even just one slice of each if your children object), add some spinach into your mashed potatoes at dinner, and you’ll be on your way.

What steps will you take today for a healthier lifestyle with your family?

Disclosure: As an invited guest of everyone’s favorite mouse at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2013, for a small conference fee I received, in addition to access to the conference, a host of other magical gifts and amazing benefits to facilitate my learning and enjoyment of Disney World Parks with my family. I paid for my own transportation to and from Florida as well as for follow-on accommodations after the conference. As always, my time can be hired but not my opinions are not for sale.

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Candace Lindemann, Yale, BA, Harvard Graduate School of Education, EdM, is an educational consultant and published writer. She enjoys new learning experiences with her children, ages 6 and 4 and 1.5.

Filed under: Bodily-kinesthetic, Health, Health, Home Arts · Tags: , , , ,

One Response to "The Magic of Healthy Living #DisneySMMoms"

  1. I loved having healthier options while at Disney this year. My kids asked for cranberries to snack on at Animal Kingdom rather than sugar snacks. I loved that!

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