21 May 2007

Out With The Kids 1 Year Anniversary Party - Contest #4 (Can Do Kids)

I hope your weekend was swell. Thanks to all those who have entered the first three contests so far. Remember, you have until Tuesday May 29th to throw your name into the hat for cool stuff from The Pokey Pup, Gustafer Yellowgold and World's Fair.

Todays contest is a little different. For starters, you do not need to click around the archives to find answers. Today, you are afforded the comfort of staying right here and settling in to read the second interview in OWTK's history.

So what happens when the president of Annie's Organics leaves her post to persue a venture that promotes a Can Do attitude and self-confidence in young people? A wonderful new company is born from a children's book and goes on to produce delicious and healthy chocolate energy bars for young folks (and their parents). We had the priviledge of spending a few moments with Deb Luster, the woman and mom at the head of the Can Do Kid Company, Community and Movement, and picked her brain about the state of the American family, the major issues facing children today and the body image epidemic that our young woman (and young boys and parents) have to battle through in order to raise happy, healthy and bold young ladies.

OWTK 1 Year Anniversary Party - Contest #4

The Prize - A Can Do Kid Fun Pack containing a case of 15 Can Do Kid Nutrition Bars (your choice of flavors - Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Crunch or a mixture of both) and the I Can Do Anything kids book

The Instructions - Read through the interview below and discover what Deb Luster feels is the "greatest threat" to families. Then email the answer (with OWTK Contest #4 in the subject line) to:
OutWithTheKids@comcast.net before 11:59pm ET on Tuesday May 29th 2007. Don't worry about your email address, OWTK will never share it with anyone.

The Details - One winner will be selected at random on the last day of May. The lucky winner will be asked what flavor of Can Do Kid bars should be included in the case of 15. The winner's Can Do Kid Fun Pack will arrive at their doorstep.

Can Do Kid, Inc. - The OWTK Interview

OWTK: Please tell our readers a bit about the Can Do Kid mission and what impact your organization is having on the youth of today and on the modern American family.

Deb Luster (Founder and President of Can Do Kid, Inc.): Our mission at Can Do Kid is to inspire kids to know that they can do anything they put their minds to. My family and I launched Can Do Kid back in November 2004 with our first book called, I Can Do Anything! The book features a diverse neighborhood of kids and their unique families. We explore with them as they live life and learn to say the words, “I Can” instead of “I Can’t”, instilling the “Can Do” philosophy.

The company has grown with the help of my sister, sister-in-law and two good friends, all Moms, (except for one) who helped us launch our next Can Do Kid products – two flavors of all-natural nutrition & energy bars, specifically formulated with kids in mind. We hope that through our products, kids will constantly be reminded that they CAN and not that they CAN’T achieve whatever they want to.

OWTK: Do you see your company as one piece of a larger puzzle that represents a paradigm shift in the way we parent our kids?

DL: Sure – there are lots of wonderful companies out there that are trying to have a positive impact on families. We are fortunate here at Can Do Kid that so many parts of our extended family can be involved. I think it really helps cement all of our relationships and having a common goal in mind to present positive messaging to our kids and all kids, is a goal we can all stand behind. We’d love it if families, and companies, got behind that message, not just for us, but for their own benefit as a family.

OWTK: How can Can Do Kid nutrition bars serve as a gateway to a lifestyle change and help to create an open channel of discussion between parent and child about health, physical fitness and whole/organic vs. processed/fast foods?

DL: Hopefully kids and parents will realize that there are healthier and tastier all-natural food options out there for them. We support a number of events that promote wellness for families and children and we hope that while families are enjoying themselves together, they can feel good about giving their child a Can Do Kid bar as well as feel good about the message we are trying to promote.

OWTK: What do you feel is the most dangerous threat to young people today? Processed foods (fast food culture), sedentary life (video games/TV), or parents’ general lack of involvement/knowledge about the impact of both issues?

DL: These are all equally important threats to young people today, but I think the greatest threat is the lack of communication among families. It would be great to have families create specific “family time” where they all decide on an activity to do together, be that a hike, a family workout, all doing karaoke together, sharing a meal or even watching a movie together. The key is that the “family time” be intentional and deliberate so that all members feel a part and hopefully feel comfortable communicating with each other. The “fast food” culture has rolled over into all aspects of our lives, not just food products, and has created a false sense of urgency around life. We get caught up in the rat race of accomplishing things, instead of just enjoying life. It would be great, especially with family, if we could focus and be present when we are with each other.

OWTK: Increasingly, both girls and boys are being fed an unhealthy and unrealistic interpretation of what a young woman should look/act like. How concerned are you about body image when it comes to raising happy and healthy young people? What can Can Do Kid, the company and the community, do to stem this tide, allowing young girls to be filled with self-respect, self-confidence and a healthy view of themselves as women?

DL: You are right on track with this one and having two young girls myself, aged 9 and 11, I am very concerned about the whole body image and self awareness that takes place in girls at a young age and what they compare themselves to on TV. This is exactly what prompted us to write our second book, due out soon, called, I am Happy Just the Way I Am. We present kids of all shapes and sizes being OK with however they are and that beauty and grace all come from the inside and not the outside. We hope it will help kids to see the beauty in themselves and each other. Also, as a company, we support programs like, Girls on the Run and LOLA – Living Our Lives Actively that encourage kids to be active and build self-confidence through sports and community.

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