We all know it’s hard to eat healthy. Busy schedules often lead us to settle for fast and easy meals. But those fast and easy meals are not usually the healthiest (with a few exceptions). That’s why education about nutrition habits and healthy eating is important. One New Jerseyan is working on just that, enabling children and their parents to practice better meal planning. Her idea became HealthBarn USA.
For this episode of Life & Living with Joanna Gagis, show host Joanna Gagis sat down with Stacey Antine. The founder of HealthBarn USA, Antine, MS, RD, is also author of 2012’s Appetite for Life. The two discussed the unique programs taking place for kids and adults at HealthBarn in Ridgewood.
HealthBarn USA Teaches Reinforces Healthy Eating Habits
A person’s eating habits can form at an early age (as early as two years old, in fact). For many, these habits consist of poor nutrition; this in turn has increased the rates of obesity-related diseases in recent years. Antine and her new program are determined to help this dire situation.
“HealthBarn was actually a concept that I came up with about 12 years ago, when I was working in a hospital doing my internship for nutrition, and I saw how kids were getting weighed in,” said Antine. “And I just felt like we were going in the wrong direction ― that it really was more about education as opposed to treatment.
“So HealthBarn is really that place,” she continued, “where kids and families come; they grow their own food; they learn how to cook, and they learn about why these foods are good for their bodies.”
Children today are more empowered to make their own decisions than previous generations. As a result, Antine created an environment where kids can learn and choose to make better diet and nutrition decisions. The end result is a tremendously positive impact on their health.
For more stories that impact New Jersey residents, click over to our Hot Topics in NJ series.
- Hero (Top) Feature Image: © Life & Living with Joanna Gagis / Caucus Educational Corporation