Sustainable Santa: Giving the Gift of Healthy Eating

Sustainable Santa is spreading the gift of healthy eating and teaching the “food rules” to children and their parents at farmers markets.

  • Sustainable Santa's goal is to refocus America's youth on the joy of healthful foods.
    Photo courtesy

They are calling him the “Johnnie Appleseed in a Santa suit” as he moves between chapter meetings of the various “Real Bearded Santa” organizations spreading the seeds about three “food rules” he encourages his fellow Santas to share with the children and their parents this coming Christmas season.

He calls himself “Sustainable Santa” (SS), anxious to draw a line between the Santa, he knows is needed in contemporary society and the fellow described in Clement Moore’s 1823 poem “The Night Before Christmas.”  It’s the image which was perpetuated as the tubby red-suited guy in the paintings by Haddon Sundblom for the annual Coca-Cola advertisement campaigns beginning in 1931.

His goal is to refocus America’s youth to the joy of eating an apple or a fresh picked bell pepper, or bite of broccoli—all whole foods—instead of wolfing down a cookie, soda, bag of Cheetos, pizza, or potato chips.

“That obese, jelly-bellied, likely diabetic old guy who smokes and blows smoke rings around his head is 191 years out of date,” says the modern concerned Sustainable Santa.  And he practices what he preaches, having lost more than 70 pounds in order to shed that old Santa persona. He did it simply by embracing a whole-food, mostly vegetables diet.

Today’s Santa admits that back two centuries ago, Clement Moore possibly had the imagery correct for the time. Back then, the few wealthy Americans demonstrated their wealth by being corpulent, notes Santa. The other 99 percent worked hard on their farms or in the factories, and were fit and trim.

That 1823 image, and Coke’s 1931 depression-era image, however, is now far out of sync with the needs of contemporary society, where one in three children is overweight or obese, and diabetes and other weight-prompted diseases are showing up in elementary school; and the weight-driven healthcare costs of Americans has bloated exponentially.

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