What happens when we invest time and resources in young kids? How does it impact their futures and the future of our nation? Legendary restaurateur Danny Meyer (Union Square Hospitality Group, Shake Shack) and child psychologist Emily Chinitz (Center for Child Health & Resiliency, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore) have answers on the latest episode of Add Passion and Stir. “Ages 0-5 years is a critical time in development of young children,” says Chinitz, who treats children with a variety of issues like anxiety, depression, trauma, parent-child relationship and attachment issues, and adjustment difficulties related to loss or other family/social stressors. “A lot can be done if we either prevent difficult things from happening, or support children and families when kids are still really young.” Chinitz has seen the benefits of early interventions like therapy, help with food insecurity, and giving parents new skills. “You don’t have to be fully defined by your experience,” she says.
Share Our Strength Board member Meyer uses both his business acumen and his passion for social justice to support causes like the No Kid Hungry campaign because he knows that investing in kids when they are young offers the best return on investment. “I am combining my love for food with making the right investments at the right time for people when they need it the most,” he says. His commitment to social justice comes from experience. “I have tried to show that doing the right thing is actually more profitable. Doing the right thing actually leads to more customers. Doing the right thing leads to attracting better employees… I want to work with people who care about things over and beyond the thing that they’re being paid to do. I believe that is going to lead to a better business.” Meyer, his restaurants and chefs have earned an unprecedented 28 James Beard Awards, so he must be doing something right.
Listen and learn about the importance of early child development in creating healthy children.