I’ve often wondered about the history and origins of Santa since I was a kid. Since then I’ve done more than wonder and actually researched how Santa came to prominence in the United States. Basically, Coca-Cola invented the Santa that you, your family, your kids and I know today. No joke. Fat, jolly Santa — the guy with the red suit and cap, the thick black belt and sooty boots, the rosy cheeks, the luminous eyes, the brighter-than-white teeth — is the product of an advertising campaign by Coca-Cola back in the 1930s. Keep reading to get the whole story on Santa Claus and full details on a growing nutritional health movement that’s Getting Kids Eating Healthy Real Foods Alongside Sustainable Santa®.
Here is an article published in The Boston Phoenix a few years back and it’s too good not to share. The author explains how fat, jolly, red-suited Santa is actually the invented lead character in a Coca-Cola advertising campaign.
Sustainable Santa® in the Community
When Santa and his helpers aren’t busy at the North Pole or delivering presents Christmas night you can find the jolly guys like Dr. Richard Eckfield also known as Sustainable Santa® at San Diego County’s Farmers Markets collaborating with farmers to encourage healthy eating. With support from the Real Santas United to End Childhood Obesity Sustainable Santa® hands kids carrots and Santa’s Food Rules cards promoting healthy eating instead of candy canes. His mission is to change the 21st Century image and message of Santa to one who promotes healthy eating and living a sustainable lifestyle.
Getting Kids Eating Healthy Real Foods Alongside Sustainable Santa®
“We want to help make kids healthy, happy and fit for life. Our goals are to inspire a cultural change that encourages kids to eat real food, to help parents understand what is healthy and to address the diet-driven health problems our kids face. We show kids how to “eat the rainbow” and give them seed packets so they can plant a garden with a rainbow of colored vegetables.”
The Impact of Nutrition on the American Healthcare System
Of the $3.4 Trillion the U.S. spent on healthcare in 2016, 75% went to treating preventable and diet-related diseases. These chronic conditions, from type 2 diabetes to heart disease and hypertension, have all been linked to added sugars and processed foods.
Real Food vs. Processed Food
Our bodies were designed to eat real food, not processed food. When you eat a diet that’s been stripped of micronutrients and fiber and flooded with additives like sugar, eventually your metabolic system can’t cope. Chronic conditions are the marker of an impaired metabolic system. The metabolic system is made up of several organs, hormones, and enzymes. These work together as a “cellular engine” that digests, absorbs, transports, processes and excretes the nutrients that are essential to life. When this system breaks down, your health suffers.
Take the First Step
The good news is that as more people realize that these food-related diseases are preventable, the more people are hungry for change. Doctors can try to cure diet-driven illnesses but they can’t prevent them. But you and I can by optimizing our nutrition and getting kids eating healthy real foods alongside Sustainable Santa®.
Improve your health with a Rainbow of Vegetables. Get your kids involved in selecting and cooking the colors you get at the Farmer’s Market or Grocery Store.
The fact is that each color of a vegetable can provide a high level of different vitamins and minerals. Eating a combination of them can optimize your health.
You can also use colors to enhance the fun of selecting fresh veggies with your children at the Farmer’s Market or Grocery Store.
They’ll love the bright colors and you can create a game at the Farmer’s Market or Grocery Store where you try to collect and eat as many red things one day – orange things the next and so on. Or you could grow or shop for your child’s favorite color veggies, making gardening, going to Farmer’s Markets and eating healthy more fun for them and you.
HEALTH in the RAINBOW – Getting Kids Eating Healthy Real Foods alongside Sustainable Santa®
RED In fruits and vegetables, red is usually a sign of lycopene, a powerful anti-oxidant that research suggests has cancer fighting properties and Vitamin C. Typically, red products are also high in manganese and fiber. Choose Red Bell Peppers for vitamin C. Did you know on average one cup of red bell pepper has more vitamin C than a medium sized orange?
ORANGE and YELLOW Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables signify a similar vitamin and mineral profile to red, often containing Vitamin C and fiber. Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables often also carry higher levels of Vitamin A (the eyesight vitamin), B6, potassium, and lysine which is an essential amino acid for building proteins. Try a Caro Rich Tomato for an orange tomato that has 10x the amount of beta-carotene as the average red tomato.
GREEN Green vegetables are excellent sources of Vitamin K, essential for blood clot development, folic acid which supports cell reproduction, potassium which aids in balancing cholesterol, as well as lutein, a naturally occurring carotenoid which is an antioxidant. Lutein also aids in eyesight and delivers needed omega-3 fatty acids. Greens also often contain isothiocyanates which induce enzymes in the liver that assist the body in removing potentially carcinogenic compounds.
BLUE and PURPLE When most people think of blue fruits and vegetables they think of blueberries which are loaded with antioxidants, namely flavonoids and anthocyanins which protects blood vessels and skin. Blue and purple fruits and vegetables also contain high levels of Vitamin A.
WHITE While white may not exactly be a color, white fruits and vegetables can still pack a high punch of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, and fiber. While vegetable such as onions and garlic also contain allicin, an amino acid which is an antibacterial substance that protects the heart and blood vessels.
THE WHOLE RAINBOW Some plants like Rainbow Chard are not only a healthy eating option but they add an extra pop of beauty to your garden. Most of the fruit and vegetable varieties are available in season at your local Farmer’s Market or Grocery Store. You can also order the seeds for your home garden.
PARENTS: Have your child help you COOK at least one healthy meal each week using the colored veggies they help you pick out at the Farmer’s Market or Grocery Store. This will give you both not only the opportunity explore the cornucopia of healthy nutritious real foods available to you, but it will also give you the opportunity to explore DIFFERENT COOKING TECHNIQUES which preserve both the taste and the nutrient values in your meals.
For kid-friendly recipes and tips try
Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food
by Jessica Seinfeld
The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals
by Missy Chase Lapine
With practice, this can grow into researching recipes and preparing and eating a lifetime of nutritious meals – providing good health and significantly reduced medical bills which the fast food and processed food options create. If you don’t do it for yourself do it for your kids, family or loved ones. Getting kids eating healthy real foods alongside Sustainable Santa® is the easiest way to create a healthy family atmosphere.
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