Taylor A. is a typical five year old little girl who attends Kindergarten at Sunny Hill Elementary School and church at East Pittsburg Pentecostal Church. She, like all five year olds, enjoys her afternoons with the occasional cartoons, T-Ball practice, and a “ready made meal”. With her parents’ hectic schedule, it is not always easy to have a healthy meal waiting for her when she gets home. All too often she is the victim of a McDonald’s Happy Meal on the way to church or ball practice.
I decided to interview Taylor to see what she knew about being healthy, eating healthy and being physically fit in her current life style. After school one day, she sat down in front of the television to watch Clifford: The Bid Red Dog with a corn dog and a soda in her lap. I started my interview:
Stephanie: Do you know what it means to be healthy?
Taylor: It means you’re not sick.
Stephanie: Can you name five healthy foods?
Taylor: Hamburger, chicken nuggets, French fries, corndogs, and milk.
I laugh. It sounds like she just read the McDonald’s menu.
Stephanie: What basic food groups can you name?
Taylor: What do you mean?
Stephanie: You know different types of food. Meat, bread…
Taylor: Milk, meat, vegetables.
Stephanie: Do you eat something healthy everyday?
Taylor: I think so, I don’t know.
Stephanie: What is your favorite thing to eat?
Taylor: McDonald’s? Can we go there now?
Stephanie: Not right now. You’re eating a corn dog.
Stephanie: Do you take your lunch to school?
Stephanie: Do you exercise everyday?
Stephanie: What kind of exercise do you do?
Taylor: I run, play, and ride my bike. I play T-Ball. And we exercise at school.
Stephanie: Do you practice good personal hygiene everyday?
Taylor: What’s that?
Stephanie: Do you take a bath, comb your hair, and brush your teeth everyday?
Taylor: I try to.
Stephanie: What time do you go to bed at night?
Taylor: When my mommy makes me. Usually when it gets dark.
Taylor asks her mother for another corn dog and tells me that she is trying to watch Clifford. I get the hint and leave her alone. I know my limits with a five year old.
I would like to reiterate my gratitude to Taylor for her open and honest answers for the purpose of this interview.
By doing this interview, I realize that today’s children may be on the go more than any other generation before them; however, what do they really gain from all the activity in their little worlds? They really suffer from lack of healthy nutrition. No wonder our five year olds bounce from one end of the house to the other. No wonder they run like wild chickens when it is time for bed. They are all jacked up on Dew and chicken nuggets injected with growth steroids.