Moms Hit Ground Running With Nutrition Campaign
By Marcia Scheideman
Wheat Foods Council
Wheat Foods Council
In a nationwide survey, the Wheat Foods Council (WFC) found that 70% of moms believe they compare to athletes when considering all of their daily activities. That same survey discovered that mothers have several misconceptions about both whole and enriched grains, nutrient and energy sources from which they can truly benefit as active women.
In an effort to maximize the stamina and health of moms across America, the WFC has launched “Mom, the Everyday Athlete,” an education campaign that seeks to recognize them as athletes and give them the information they need to nourish and energize their bodies accordingly. Customized nutrition and health guidance emphasizes the importance of whole- and enriched-grain foods. It also identifies ways in which grains can optimize energy levels and overall health for moms at different stages of life.
Motherhood requires always being on the run, juggling everything from family and career to household and community involvement. This athletic lifestyle is why healthy fuel, such as wheat, is essential to keep them going strong. The general public, however, remains confused about the role grains — both whole and enriched — play in the diet.
The perception that enriched white flour has little or no nutritional value is one of the major misconceptions addressed in the campaign. The survey revealed that only one-third of mothers are aware that enriched white flour provides important vitamins and minerals, such as B-vitamins and iron. They also don’t know it contributes to the recommended daily grain requirement and is made from wheat.
Enriched grains should not only be consumed as part of a healthy diet, but can benefit a woman’s health in different ways throughout motherhood.
The education effort divides motherhood into three stages: an expectant mother, a mom with young children and a mother who is an empty-nester. Each stage is represented in a free, full-color, downloadable Mom Trading Card, which delivers customized nutrition and health information, as well as snack and meal tips. The cards also help mothers to incorporate the government-recommended 6-oz. equivalents of grain foods, with half of those servings coming from whole grains, into their diets each day.
As part of “Mom, the Everyday Athlete,” the WFC enlisted Andrea Vincent, founder of seeMOMMYrun, to act as spokesperson on behalf of “everyday athletes” everywhere. Her non-profit organization is an online resource that helps moms throughout the country find running or walking groups convenient to their time constraints, physical abilities and geographic needs.
A mom herself, Vincent knows first-hand the physical demands motherhood can bring to bear.
“I am a true believer that moms are athletes in constant training, and they can enhance their health and performance with the proper nutrition knowledge,” Vincent explains. “Both ‘Mom, the Everyday Athlete’ and seeMOMMYrun encourage moms to do something good for their health by providing meaningful resources that are easily accessible.”
A mother’s athletic qualities also were acknowledged through an online search for one mom who exemplifies the “everyday athlete.”
Moms and those nominating their mothers were required to submit an essay of 100 words or less demonstrating that the nominee participates in a considerable amount of daily activity, incorporates wheat foods into her diet for healthy fuel and is similar to an athlete.
The winning mom will receive a spa gift certificate and gift basket worth $700 and be profiled on the WFC Web site this summer.
The WFC believes that “Mom, the Everyday Athlete” will inspire women to think of themselves as athletes and fuel their bodies with nutritious and energizing whole and enriched grain foods. The council will continue to grow this campaign by implementing new programs and providing additional resources to help moms fuel their inner athlete.
To view “Mom, the Everyday Athlete” campaign materials and for additional information on grains and nutrition, visit the WFC Web site, www.wheatfoods.org.