No prom date? Go anyway!
"You don't need anyone's permission to experience life or like yourself," Kat Kinsman reminds her 17-year-old self.
June 3rd, 2013
05:00 AM ET

No prom date? Go anyway!

By Kat Kinsman, CNN

Editor's note: In 1990, Eatocracy's Kat Kinsman didn't have a date to her senior prom. Only opposite-sex couples were allowed to buy tickets, so she couldn't just pair up with a friend. She was terrified to go without a date, but decided she'd take a leap of faith. Here's the pep talk she wishes she could have given herself more than 20 years ago.

(CNN) - Dear 17-year-old self considering staying home on prom night because you don't have a date,

Oh, you poor, stressed-out, self-hating misfit girl, just suck it up and go.

It won't be the night of your life, as all those '80s movies and special TV episodes would lead you to believe. The boy you've had a crush on since junior high won't suddenly declare his hidden love for you as he twirls you across the dance floor (as it turns out, he'd rather ask someone in a tux to dance).

There won't have been a secret addendum to the ballot electing you prom queen. No one is packing pig's blood. Your "virtue" will remain thoroughly intact.

You'll eat a perfectly adequate chicken cordon bleu in the company of your coupled-up and cuter friends (one of whose "virtue" will undergo a status change after a six-pack of peach wine coolers).

You'll dance badly and happily to "Funky Cold Medina" while listening to your girlfriends whine about how their dates are ignoring them in favor of the lively card tournament at the corner table. You'll drink terrible schnapps in someone's cousin's hot tub afterward and comfort your tipsy pals as teenage romantic drama unfolds around you.

You'll also learn something pretty fundamental about yourself that night: You don't need anyone's permission to experience life or like yourself.

Read the full story

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Filed under: Prom • Voices
Study finds school breakfast is a key to future success
A new study shows the positive effect that school breakfast can have on a child's performance on standardized tests.
March 4th, 2013
11:30 AM ET

Study finds school breakfast is a key to future success

By Kat Kinsman, CNN

(CNN) - Breakfast might not just be the most important meal of a child's day – it might be one of most important meals of their life. A new study released Wednesday by non-profit group Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign shows the positive effect that school breakfast can have on a child's performance in class and on standardized tests, and what this can mean for their future.

Eleven million low-income students eat a school-provided breakfast. Share Our Strength partnered with professional services firm Deloitte to analyze third party studies and publicly available data to assess the impact of existing school breakfast plans on students' academic performance. They found some rather eye-opening statistics.

Students who ate school breakfast attended an average of 1.5 more days of school than their meal-skipping peers, and their math scores averaged 17.5% higher. The report, which was funded in part by Kellogg's, went on to share that these students with increased attendance and scores were 20% more likely to continue on and graduate high school. High school graduates earn on average $10,090 more annually that their non-diploma-holding counterparts and are significantly less likely to experience hunger in adulthood.

Read the full post on CNN's Eatocracy blog

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Filed under: Nutrition • Report cards • Testing