MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- In this edition of "Women to Watch", Trend Tracker® Tara Gilani talks to Nancy Easton, a woman with a mission to keep our children fit and healthy.
Easton is Co-founder and Executive Director of Wellness in the Schools (WITS).
Easton is a Miami girl; born in Coral Gables and raised in Key Biscayne. Now based in New York City, Nancy and her teams main objective is to combat the childhood obesity epidemic.
WITS implements educational programs that inspire healthy eating and fitness in public schools.
Gilani caught up with Easton recently at the Saint Philips Episcopal School in Coral Gables.
Easton was there to present a healthy lunch seminar to St. Philip's administration and parents.
"We work in public schools. We consult with all schools, we'll talk to others but really our work, poverty, and obesity are linked in New York City. 75-percent of the children live below the poverty level so we really want to work in those schools where that lunch may be their only hot meal of the day," explained Nancy. "Short term goal is we have a cook and we have a coach, kids have a healthy lunch, kids have a positive recess experience, back to class ready to focus and learn."
Veggies every day keep the doctor away.
"I originally started this work because when I was a school leader in the 90's in New York City I watched children have chips and soda for breakfast and I watched them be incredibly inactive and I was still very young but that triggered comparing my own life and I had all this energy and I thought maybe it has something to do with what I ate and did as a kid," said Easton.
Nancy's work has garnered respect and fans including famed chef Jamie Oliver.
"So Jamie Oliver named myself and our executive chef 'Food Revolution Heroes' and that was just such a big honor because he really has done so much to spread this word around the country and around the world, thanks to the television screen," said Nancy.
Nancy is also motived by great ladies and first ladies including First Lady Michelle Obama, who she met.
She said it was a "game changer."
"I was on the White House lawn when she launched the 'Chef's Move to School' Initiative where wellness in the schools was in the task force and then our chef, Bill Telepen went into the garden and made some food but I'm not a chef so I got kicked out but I did get to meet her," said Nancy. "She is lovely. She's so real. When she speaks she's like speaking to me and she just says things that like 'My grandmother wouldn't say that.' I just love how real she is," said Easton with a huge smile and obvious delight.
FLOTUS aside, Nancy's greatest inspiration are the children she serves.
"I get really inspired by it when I see a kid say 'I love this' and it's kale and they want more kale, I can't tell you how good that makes me feel," beamed Nancy.
In the lightning round, Nancy took part in Tara's fill-in-the-blank game.
She said, "I want to make a difference in this world. I will continue to fight for what I believe in. I won't ever take for granted the blessings I've been given in this life, starting with family and good health."
After her interview, Tara's parting words: "Cheers to a chick who has her WITS about her!"
For more on Nancy Easton and her positive WITS initiatives, visit www.WellnessInTheSchools.org
Like & follow Nancy on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/wellnessintheschools and on twitter: @WITSinSchools
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