What is Playing With Food About?
This entire idea was built on a sentence my youngest gamer said to me one time. I had made salmon for dinner and he said the only reason he was trying it was that, in Minecraft, you get a lot of hearts from salmon. Lucky for me, both my young gamers enjoyed the meal, but ever since then, I could not stop thinking about that sentence and how had it not been for that game, our meal may have gone much differently. Now you know why our podcast starts with Minecraft! Even as a Registered Dietitian, I am not immune to the food struggles at meals or the struggles of screen time versus outdoor time versus everything else we as parents worry about on a daily basis when it comes to the health of our kids. So I thought, let's combine things they love, like video games, and use it to HELP kids create a foundation for their own health and then, as they grow and eventually become adults, they hopefully have some knowledge and tools to guide them in their own choices about health and balance. Screen time looks very different for kids than it did even 5 years ago and so like the old saying goes, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." This is not to say let's play video games all the time. It is to say let's use it to get kids excited about other things, like healthy eating, or exercise. What I hope to provide is not only evidenced based information for parents, but education for kids as well to help you both create a balance of all the things we need, like nutritious meals and exercise, without losing all the things we love, like gaming and desserts. It's the continued choices about these things that we make over time that will lead us to a healthy balance in our lives and I hope to be a guide along the way for you and your family as we all find our balance.
Rebecca Zaborowski, MS, RD
I used to work full time as a Registered Dietitian at a local hospital. Well, let me start over. I used to be an Officer in the Air Force, but that seems like a lifetime ago. After graduating from Indiana University with a degree in Kinesiology, I happily accepted my commission through ROTC and fully expected to put in 20 good years in the military. Then life happened. I got married to the love of my life (13 years and going strong!), we had kids, and things changed. As my handsome man was also a military man, life got a little complicated and choices needed to be made. This presented an exciting opportunity for me to go back to school to explore my love of health and nutrition and ultimately, become a dietitian. After searching high and low for the perfect program for what I needed, I found the coordinated program at Eastern Michigan University, which provided me the much needed online learning so I wouldn't have to leave my family and the necessary supervised practice to meet the requirements to become a Registered Dietitian. After completing the supervised practice and earning my Master's degree in Dietetics, I took the grueling exam, got my license, and started working full time as a clinical dietitian at a local hospital, eventually transitioning to a more teaching role at the same hospital. Fast forward to 2020, life happened again and choices once again needed to be made. In the best interest of my family's needs, I left my full time job and became a stay at home mom. As we navigated online learning, being at home more, and working through all life threw at us, I couldn't help noticing we were falling into some habits that I wasn't excited about. Gaming, tv, desserts (compensating for soccer season being cancelled with ice cream nights, anyone?), and all too much. We needed to come back in balance. I am a firm believer that we can enjoy the many things we eat and all the things we do, but in order to do that, we have to also find balance in the things we eat and do. While I have since been lucky enough to go back to work in a more flexible capacity and teach nutrition classes, life is still always changing and we work to find our balance with it each day. So keep reading and hopefully you might decide to join us in our quest for balance.