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Fundraising chocolates, a sweet dilemma

Posted by: Julie Meek
Tags: nutrition ,

Delicious, delectable, smooth and velvety are just some of the words I could use to describe this sweet little treat.

In fact, the word association is so powerful that I don't actually need to say what the food is.

That's right, you guessed it, the mystery food is (drum roll please) chocolate.

Ok, ok, its time to settle down now.

I must admit that I occasionally enjoy chocolate as part of a healthy diet but I like to be the pilot and choose when and how I eat it.

Enter two main characters and close friends, the giant Freddo and the giant Caramello Koala. Like an army marching into war, these buddies often try to enter my home and workplace, always uninvited.

Each audacious frog and koala then expects me to find them a home in exchange for a few dollars. I know that most people can afford a couple of dollars and lets face it, the new owners certainly get something in return, but every time one of these animals takes up residence, the lucky owner gets a couple of teaspoons of fat and sugar. If you find yourself taking the box of 50, not selling them to anyone and eating the whole thing yourself, say hello to a whopping 500 grams of fat.

To burn this amount of fat and the accompanying calories, you would need to walk at a moderate pace of 4.8km/hr for 19.5 hours. I think that’s called an ultra-endurance event and one that a miniscule percentage of our population ever attempt.

I feel very strongly about the frog and koala. I know that their motives are pure – raising money for good causes, BUT they also attempt to make me ride over my values by forcing my friends and family to eat chocolate when I know that the price to pay is not just a couple of dollars.

It simply makes my blood boil to the point that now the prolific charity fundraising feast has been banned from entry into my home and workplace and I give a donation instead. We all know that it’s a tough market out there in the world of fundraising with so much ongoing competition, but the prevalence of unhealthy fundraising food in the form of chocolate, lollies and donuts is staggering.

You might find yourself in the same battle at your workplace with the ever-present charity chocolate lurking on desks and kitchens. Caramello, Freddo and their mates lie in wait for your afternoon slump and then pounce on you.

Or perhaps it’s the other way round. Its mid-afternoon, you’re at work and the idea of having a lie down on or under the desk has become extremely appealing. Your body is sending out no energy signals and you are wondering if your brain may have gone home already. At this moment there is never a more perfect time for the box of fundraising delights to entice you.

It’s a win-win for the confectionary companies but not for you, your colleagues or family. With 70% of men and 56% of women overweight or obese Australia-wide as well as too many kids on the hefty side, we need to be looking at healthier ways to raise money for worthy causes.

In the workplace, the fundraising goodies appear from external companies or from your colleagues who are parents needing to offload their fundraising commitment.

It's great to see that many companies now use cycling, running and multi-sport events as a healthy way of raising significant money for charity while encouraging their workforce to be fitter. Other companies are taking a different approach and allocating time per month for each employee to engage with hands-on volunteering within a charity. 

Portion packs of dried fruit and nuts or fresh fruit delivery are both food-based alternatives to the high sugar and fat charity chocolate. However, there are multitudes of profit generating non-food ideas that you will discover by downloading and sharing our Healthier Fundraising Guide

Check it out and your body and colleagues will thank you.

Until next time...

Julie :)



About Julie Meek

Accredited practising dietitian, performance specialist, speaker

View all posts by Julie Meek

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