Childhood obesity is a raging epidemic in every developed country. The Association of Junior Leagues International’s Kids in the Kitchen initiative, begun in 2006, is doing something about it by raising awareness of healthful eating across four countries and in more than 200 communities, including right here in Dayton, Ohio.
The Junior League of Dayton, in partnership with ThinkTV, has worked extensively over the past two years to create a media campaign that promotes the JLD’s healthy families programming. Together, they created six professional public service announcements that guide children and their families to make smart, nutritious food and exercise choices.
“To build a healthy community, we need to make good choices. None is more important than a healthy diet,” said David Fogarty, president of ThinkTV. “We need to give our children the tools they need to make these choices about what to eat that can make a difference in their lives and in their future. Partnering with Junior League for Kids in the Kitchen gives us a special opportunity to help create and make resources available, resources that encourage habits that last a lifetime — a healthy lifetime.”
In addition to the informational spots, seven instructional “Time to Make a Quick Healthy Snack!” spots were produced that encourage healthy snacks while showing children in the kitchen making these easy and fun recipes. All television spots point viewers to the JLD website, www.jldayton.org, for full recipe instructions and wellness resources, like MyPlate guidelines.
“This project has been in the works for several years. It has been very exciting to watch our Junior League members and partnership with ThinkTV push forward in this endeavor, from the initial brainstorming process to the actual announcements coming to fruition,” said Stephanie Winquist, community vice president during the 2013-14 League year. “ThinkTV played such a vital role with both their television production expertise as well as their know-how to reach our target demographics. Because of this collaboration, we are able to greatly expand our Healthy Lifestyles/Kids in the Kitchen messaging to those in the greater Miami Valley, and we hope that this effort helps families in making healthy choices and opens a dialogue about healthy decisions.”
The Kids in the Kitchen campaign began airing on ThinkTV the first week in November 2014 during both children’s daytime shows, like Sesame Street, and adult evening programming, such as Downton Abbey.
Founded in 1920, the Junior League of Dayton, Ohio, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable, and it is open to women of all races, religions and national origins who demonstrate an interest in and a commitment to voluntarism.
For 95 years, the JLD has mobilized expertise and resources to make the Dayton area a healthier, more vital place to live. Working within a strategic focus area, the JLD systematically evaluates the critical needs of the community and determines where they can most make an impact. The focus area for 2014-15 is healthy families, which includes the League’s signature POWER (Program of Wellness Education and Resources) initiative as well as Kids in the Kitchen. Together, these programs have served more than 30,000 children and families in the Miami Valley during the past decade, providing thousands of properly-fitted bicycle helmets, correctly installed car seats, smart nutrition and exercise lessons and safe-baby workshops for teen parents.