Epic road trip to help fight childhood obesity
MORE than 620 Coast school kids have been given first-hand help in fighting childhood obesity.
Belinda and Israel Smith and their two children, Indrani, 11, and Rilien, 6, delivered their The Root Cause roadshow over two days to Bli Bli State School students this week.
What stemmed from a talk to students bullying their kids for having healthy lunch boxes blossomed into a two-year, Australia-wide trip to expose schoolkids to a new food education program aimed at inspiring kids to reach for fruit and vegetables, instead of packaged snacks.
"Fifteen thousands people have been to our events in person," Israel said.
Belinda spent 18 months studying to become a health and wellness coach, after Israel suffered a bout of depression following the birth of his son.
Belinda's research found a link between gluten and depressive moods, noticing a significant improvement in Israel's mental state when gluten was cut out of the diet.
They also noticed their daughter became much more settled when gluten was not in her diet.
It led them to overhaul their diets and take their message on the road.
They wound up their photography business, re-housed their cats and packed into a purpose-built, green motorhome named 'Kaley', leaving their Sydney home behind.
"I couldn't simply sit back and watch the children of Australia grow into a life of chronic illness and disease," Belinda, 48, said.
"As a mum, I want to do everything I can to stop childhood obesity in its tracks, and give my kids and their generation a healthy future.
"Kids eat too much 'pretend' food - food made in a lab for profits, instead of for health - which affects their weight, but also their emotions and concentration.
"We've experienced this first-hand with our daughter's volatile moods, which dramatically improved when we changed what she was eating," Belinda said.
Their new program is for 3-15 year old kids, and is presented through their The Mad Food Science Program, which they've presented to more than 70 schools already.
Israel said they'd reached about 60,000 people indirectly through the program, and hoped to make their 100,000-person target by the end of the year, before they settle back in Crescent Head.
He said feedback after their presentations had been incredible, with parents stunned at the transformation in their kids.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime journey," Israel said.
Israel said their kids had home-schooled while on the road, and have seen a huge swathe of Australia, from east-west, northern Australia, along the southern states and plenty of the outback.
"They (his kids) have just absolutely blossomed," he said.
"It's just an awesome experience."
The next stop is Brisbane on Friday, before heading to the Gold Coast and then further south with their important tour.