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As a Naturopathic Doctor and mother I love the Rainbow chart. Engaging kids in healthy eating habits and establishing a heal...

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- Dr. Erika Holenski, B.Sc., ND-KW Health Connection

Rainbow Blog

12 Jun 2013

Kids Can and Do Make A Difference!

posted by: Kia

Can kids really be thoughtful, intelligent, brave and creative? Can kids really stand up and speak their mind? Can kids really make a difference?

Well that all depends on what you choose to believe…I believe that kids can be all of those things and so much more when they are given the chance, the knowledge and the respect they deserve.

What would happen if

Our daughter has been raised to believe that her opinion matters, that she should follow her heart and speak up when she feels the need. She has been taught that one person, no matter who they are or how old they are, can make a difference. Whether that difference only affects themselves, their family, their community or the entire world, everyone has the ability to be a change maker.

We are so very proud of Hannah and her decision to speak at the McDonald’s shareholder’s meeting as a guest of Corporate Accountability International.  She was never forced to do this, in fact she was the one the persuaded me to do it! She wrote out her thoughts and together we worked on her one minute statement and question. I’m sure that anyone with the opportunity to speak to the CEO of a 40 billion dollar brand for 60 seconds would spend some time thinking about what they would say. This was never an attack on anyone’s right to eat fast food, this was never an attack on parents who feed their kids fast food, this was an opportunity for us to talk to the CEO of McDonald’s about their marketing practices to children. Despite the headlines, the conversations were amicable on both sides and it was quite a pleasant experience.

Hannah has been raised on healthy whole foods, so eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies is just a normal part of the day and encouraging other kids to want to make healthy food choices is something she really enjoys. Hannah also enjoys public speaking and frequently asks her teacher if she can do extra speaking assignments because she thinks it’s fun! That is just who she is. I certainly was the opposite at her age: I was the kid trying my best to make myself as small and invisible as possible in class!

When you combine all of those things, along with the fact that we have made a deliberate decision to teach her about marketing and how it can shape the way we think and purchase products, you undoubtedly have the makings of a natural advocate.  The fact that she is only 9 years old makes it an interesting story, one that has literally spread around the world, but when it comes down to it, she is a person with her own opinions. When children grow up in families that are passionate about something, it’s bound to have an impact on who they are and who they become.

Thankfully Hannah isn’t the only example of a young person making a difference! Take a look at these amazing people that she is proud to share company with…

Martha Payne of Scotland was 9 yrs old when she started blogging about her schools’ unhealthy lunches. She’s raising money for the charity Mary’s Meals. Martha is Making A Difference!  

Birke Baehr was 11 when he gave a powerful Tedx Talk about what is wrong with our food system. He now has a book out called Birke on the Farm you can see all the amazing things he is up to by visiting his website. Birke is Making a Difference!

Severn Suzuki was only 12 years old when she delivered an inspirational speech at the UN Earth Summit in 1992. You can see all the work she is doing by visiting her website. Over twenty years later Severn Suzuki is Still Making A Difference!

Bindi Irwin is someone that Hannah adores and has looked up to for years! Bindi has grown up in a family of wildlife warriors and her whole life has been centered around helping animals and the environment. When her father Steve Irwin passed away, little Bindi was only 8 years old and she vowed to keep Steve’s mission alive. Was she forced to say or do that? Of course not! Bindi, along with her amazing mom Terri and her brother Robert have kept Steve’s passion alive. One of the reasons Hannah admires her so much is because in Bindi’s book series, she always reminds kids that they matter and that they can make a difference! Bindi is Making A Difference!

Hannah Robertson has been making a difference in the lives of so many children as the official Rainbow Girl of Today I Ate A Rainbow. She started eating rainbows of fruits and veggies when she was 4 years old. She has made special videos for kids that need some extra encouragement to try certain veggies and has taken part in a pediatric feeding therapy camp where she eagerly showed the kids how fun it is to eat fruits and veggies. She even made a video dressed up as Veggie Girl for a 5 yr old that was getting teased at school for her healthy lunches. Hannah enjoyed speaking to the CEO of McDonald’s and even handed him a card for him to email her if he wanted some more ideas on adding more fruits and veggies to their menu! Hannah has been on Good Morning America and in newspapers and websites from around the world. She is excited to keep sharing fun and healthy cooking ideas and she’ll be part of some great initiatives in the near future so stay tuned!! Hannah is Making A Difference!

These are just a few examples of kids that have been raised knowing they have every right to stand up and speak up for what they believe in. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact we need more kids just like them! Hannah and all these other young agents of change, will not be deterred by negativity, cowardice, or ignorant comments. They fall away like water off a ducks back. People that are making a difference in the world don’t have the time or the desire to pay attention to anything but their genuine passion for being the change we need to see in this world!

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss

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is a mom and the creator of the Today I Ate A Rainbow kit; a tool that helps parents establish healthy habits by setting the goal of eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day. Kia is passionate about creating tools that help parents raise healthy kids!


3 Responses to “Kids Can and Do Make A Difference!”

  1. I am so grateful for this blog post Kia! On behalf of all the children that I work with who have been so positively impacted by your daughter, I commend you for letting Hannah speak up!

    I remember how star struck my clients were when Hannah volunteered her time to do a video conference with my kids who struggle with feeding disorders! Their eyes lit up because “The Rainbow” girl that they see on TV took the time to encourage them to try new foods. Even though that happened last summer, my clients STILL ask about her and are so proud of her recent accomplishments!
    Big Rainbow hugs,
    Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP
    Speech Language Pathologist/Feeding Specialist

  2. Tiffany says:

    I love this post. So happy that you are standing up to the negativity, but so perplexed that some dont understand that little people like Hannah can and are making a difference and are trying to change the world one project at a time. Go Hannah! Keep it UP!

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The chart has been a great success. Liam is keen to eat a rainbow each day and often brings the subject up himself. It is not unusual for him to say in the morning, “Mommy, I want to eat a rainbow...Read More - Patti Kingsmill-

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