Are you a parent or teacher hoping to encourage children to eat more veggies and fruits?
It’s amazing how much my oldest daughter remembers healthy eating through books we have read since she was little and I’m going to throw out a few concepts we have learned that we were able to draw from in our newest book geared to healthy eating. Brooke still belongs to the ‘Two Bite Club“, which is when we have meals (usually this is our daily healthy dinners as a family and it’s a new-to-her meal), she will at least give it two bites before deciding if she likes it. I can’t tell you what a difference that little change has made to get her to try healthy meals and find out that a majority of the time she likes what she has tasted! Eggplant? Not so bad! Green peppers? Yum! We also enjoy tracking with Today I Ate a Rainbow which inspires kids to eat healthy foods full of colors. Now I have added a new book to our healthy eating habits stockpile and it draws parallels to eating healthy with colors once again, which we have found very effective.
Want to support healthy eating messages in a fun, educational and positive way? Looking for great educational messaging with peer-to-peer messaging? Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow uses the colors of the rainbow to discuss how eating healthy also makes you FEEL healthy. Last year at school, Brooke was excited to tell me about a concept she learned about foods in the categories of ‘Slow Food’, ‘Go Food’, and ‘Whoa Food‘, which I thought was very clever. Here is the breakdown:
- Go Foods – These are foods that are good to eat almost anytime. They are the healthiest ones. Example: skim and low-fat milk.
- Slow Foods – These are sometimes foods. They aren’t off-limits, but they shouldn’t be eaten every day. At most, eat them several times a week. Example: waffles and pancakes.
- Whoa Foods – These foods should make you say exactly that — Whoa! Should I eat that? Whoa foods are the least healthy and the most likely to cause weight problems, especially if a person eats them all the time. That’s why Whoa foods are once-in-a-while foods. Example: French fries.
‘Go Foods’ are the healthy food you eat that make your body want to get up and GO! Slow foods are still foods you eat that are somewhat healthy, but can weigh you down. Eating a lot of carbs, for example, can make you feel a little sluggish and SLOW if you aren’t mixing them up with enough GO foods. ‘Whoa Foods’ are basically foods that make you feel a little yucky when you don’t eat them in moderation. Foods with added sugar or too many carbs should be a treat – a once in a while food – so that you feel healthy and maintain a healthy weight.
‘Go Foods’ are basically the equivalent of foods that you eat that are the colors of the rainbow. Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow includes adorable illustrations by the author’s 12-year old son, Alexander Guylay, and is combined with real-life photography and simple rhymes by award winning nutrition educator Kathryn Kemp Guylay to create an augmented reality to talk to kids about how eating healthy gives you energy. Since Brooke is already familiar with eating healthy foods based on the colors of the rainbow and how ‘Go’, ‘Slow’, and ‘Whoa’ foods can affect your energy levels, Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow pulled both of these concepts into an easy to digest book that introduces a child named Blake who is feeling tired and wants to have more energy. His goal is to find good health and energy from the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and he does this by exploring the colorful world of fruits and veggies. Once Blake started eating healthy, he began to feel vibrant and energetic. The illustrations and simple concepts of the book make healthy eating engaging and positive for young children (early childhood and elementary age groups) that promote healthy habits in children. There are plenty of nutritional and health literature for parents and teachers in this book while it also gives you a platform to talk to kids about their health in a fun and easy way. Is the food your eating naturally colorful like all the different fruits and veggies that exist? Are you eating enough ‘Go’ foods to fuel your body and give you energy? Since we have been reading and using materials through the USDA and KidsHealth, the Make Wellness Fun book was simple to incorporate into Brooke’s memory bank of how to eat healthy and the importance of connecting it to her energy levels and wellness. Awesome concept, great read, and another useful tool at committing to a life of healthy eating and wellness for families. I dig it!
About the Author: Kathryn Kemp Guylay, MBA, CNC is a management consultant, Certified Nutritional Counselor, and proud mother of two. Kathryn has a BA from Emory University and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin (yay! Austin!). Kathryn writes frequently for blogs and publications (including her own Healthy Kids Ideas Exchange) and is the author of Mountain Mantras: Wellness and Life Lessons from the Slopes as well as the upcoming children’s book, Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow.
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