We have learned that when running programs for youth that seeing is always believing, or in this case; tasting is believing. For this reason we strive to present our signature desert for the youth which is banana, mango and berries (or some other frozen fruits) 'ice cream' made on-site with only freshly frozen fruits and our old and faithful champion juicer. Basically we just push fresh frozen fruit through the juicer with the juice extraction filter plugged so that all the 'juice and pulp' combine to form a delicious soft serve like ice cream. While the lectures are always of interest to the youth it can still be hard to retain their attention. However, the introduction of banana ice cream always that gets 100% of their attention!
Since Eating is Believing, it is always most effective to serve a meal when lecturing to youth. There is nothing like delicious food to get the attention of young people. We like to try to encourage the tasting of foods from the food groups of young people which consist of such illustrious items as burgers, fries, pizzas and lasagna. The difference is that we serve them wholesome substitutes prepared in a healthful and delicious way without the use of any 'fake meat' analogs. The kids are always amazed that the foods we serve are incredibly delicious. Their parents also are surprised. This helps to get everybodies attention. Changing lifestyle preferences without including the youth as well as their parents is very difficult. So, every family member needs to be on board!
Whenever the facilities allow for it, it is best to have the young people actually get their hands involved in some form of the food making process. This strategy also works for adults, who are really just older kids at heart.
Dr. Carney's presentations for young people address issues close to many of their hearts, such as Acne, Athletics and Academics. She is able to explain the relationship between dietary choices and acne which is a huge eye opening moment for many of the young people who had no idea to what extent their acne is in their own control. Dr. Carney also teaches them how their food choices will provide them maximum strenth and endurance, thus increasing their athletic ability. More importantly, the youth learn from Dr. Carney about how and why a whole foods low fat plant based diet improves brain funtion, resulting in better grades. And, then the icing on the proverbial cake is that they will also experience improved emotional intelligence.