Saving the World, One Healthy Food at a Time!

Jill Jayne

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Jill Jane Nutrition Expert AdviceWe caught up with Rockstar Nutritionist Jill Jayne and the creator of the Get Me Goin’ Kids CD, to learn more about her unique approach to kids’ nutrition and how it can help your kids get excited about nutrition and fitness.

What do you think are the some of the most important things parents of school-aged children should do to help their kids form healthy eating habits for life?

  1. Make gradual changes.
  2. Make healthy eating a family effort.
  3. Stockpile up on healthy foods in the house that are low in calories like fruits and vegetables.
  4. Water, water, water, I can’t emphasize it enough, to replace the sugary beverages.
  5. Teach and provide kids with proper portion sizes, especially with dessert.
  6. Make fruits a dessert-, use them alone, baked (as in apple and pears), as kebobs and to top off frozen yogurt.
  7. Fill your house with what you want your kids to eat and involve them in the food process (setting the table, food prep, cooking, and clean-up)
  8. Talk positively about the changes. Making healthy changes is like running a public relations campaign in your own house. Talk up the benefits (“you’ll be stronger” “you’ll have more energy”) and downplay the drawbacks (“eating more vegetables can make you get the poops.”)

How do you get kids excited about healthy nutrition and fitness?

We rock. I’ve turned myself into a celebrity of rock ‘n roll nutritionist. I like to call it the Miley Cyrus effect. Kids want my autograph, they want to hug. They send me homemade videos dancing to my songs and they send thank you notes of glitter and glue. I make a real impact on kids and I love hearing that they remembered it. Mass media is very powerful, so why can’t we use the same tools that convince a kid to watch more TV to get up and exercise? I love working with kids because they say what they think, they are uninhibited, and they sing and dance. So do I.

What do you feel are the biggest challenges that kids face today?

Navigating the media environment. The awesomeness of video games makes it difficult for jumping jacks to compete. Commercial advertisements in forms that are often indiscernible (product placement, celebrity endorsements, web content, etc.) are beyond the developmental capabilities of a child to comprehend as an advertisement. Kids are under increasing pressure to perform, to have the right clothes and toys, a problem we’ve created by bombarding them with mega media exposure and little, if any, tools for interpreting the things they see. When kids find out that cartoons are used to trick them into noticing an unhealthy cereal over a healthy one, they are upset. I truly believe that our consumer culture-the need to have the next big thing and with so little factual information actually presented with product-is one of the major forces behind our obesity epidemic.

With so much media influence on youth what message do you send out to counteract it?

“Take ownership of your body.” This is a concept that is an adult skill, but many adults these days don’t take ownership. Starting this message with kids, and helping them understand it, can make a big difference in their future.

If you could only get one message out to kids, parents and teachers-what would it be?

“When you work for your body, your body works for you!”

How do you think we can overcome America’s obesity epidemic?

We can wait on the government policy to change our food subsidy laws so that we stop putting high fructose corn syrup in everything, but I would like to see the change in my lifetime. And frankly, even if the laws surrounding our food supply change, the bottom line is with a capitalist economy we will simply find another way to undermine the best interest of our food. So I’ve gotten in a van and am starting a grassroots movement across the country to get kids excited about health, to get parents wondering what they are serving, to get schools to execute their wellness policies, and to get cafeteria staff demanding better resources. My job is to ignite a passion in people to participate in this movement. We all have to do our part to improve motivation, education, and access to a healthy lifestyle. This can become our new normal if we are all doing it.

What is your favorite food?

Air-popped popcorn and homemade mashed red- potatoes

What is your secret for managing your weight?

I eat a TON of vegetables and I work out every day. I make sure I walk the walk or no one will listen when I talk the talk.

Jill Jayne, MS, RD, “Rockstar Nutritionist,” meshes her credentials as a dietitian and her experience as a musician to teach nutrition through entertainment. Jill is the creator and lead performer of the nationally touring rock ‘n roll nutrition show and CD, Jump with Jill. Learn more about her or purchase her great CD for kids at www.jumpwithjill.com.

You can view all of our expert interviews Here.



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