Have your child featured in a Ready 2 Grow healthy habit advertisement! Ready 2 Grow, a program of the East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC) is changing the corporate dominated food media diet by making healthy, fresh, local media of our own for the wellbeing of our children and communities. We invite you and your child to be a part of this delicious movement.

Youth are targeted by advertisers at a very early age. They study the way a child’s mind works, what shapes and colors most appeal, and exactly what images make children take on that blank stare in front of the television screen. Corporate campaigns create “friends” for children. Clowns, tigers, cheetahs and bears embed the kind of thinking that will ensure a lifetime of brand-loyal consumer choices. As it relates to food, many of these consumer choices are either highly processed versions of snack foods, pre-packaged lunches, and quick breakfast options or fast food menu items. Both of which have been linked to increases in dietary related illnesses such as cancer, hypertension, and diabetes.

The youth featured in the ads are all children from the Detroit community. Ms. Lottie Spady of EMEAC says focusing on Detroit youth is an essential part of the media campaign’s desire to empower youth with the support they need become producers within the food system, not just consumers. As Spady argues, “We are creating safe spaces for parents and youth to try new foods, make their own media messages, demystify the farm bill and other food policy, manage daily stressors with tools such as exercise, and nourish themselves within framework of justice. This will ultimately empower participants to co-create solutions to food injustices and take an active role in the long term health of the community.”

Families that wish to have their youth highlighted in the media campaign should contact Ready 2 Grow to obtain more information and to be scheduled for an orientation meeting at ready2grow@gmail.com or contact Lottie Spady, 313-556-1702 Ext. 701

The EMEAC Ready 2 Grow program is also a Child Health Impacts Research Project (CHIRP) partner and offers additional programming and activities to support nutrition and exercise for children and their families. EMEAC is one of eight partners in CHIRP which is supported by a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Childhood Obesity Prevention Program. Other CHIRP partners are Building Movement Project, Creative Community Pathways, Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, Feedom Freedom Growers, and People’s Kitchen Detroit.

To learn more about Ready 2 Grow programs and activities, contact Lottie V. Spady, 313-556-1702 Ext. 701 or Lottie@emeac.org. You can also follow Ready 2 Grow on facebook and at emeac.org.