Kids are back at school, which means food packing healthy snacks and lunches.
Teaching kids where their food comes from- that healthy foods come from Mother Earth- is one of the best things you can do to lay a foundation for healthy eating habits for your kiddos.
This time of year, there are still many farmers’ markets in full swing, and I encourage you to bring your kids along to find a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables.
These photos are from some recent visits to farmers’ markets that I did with my son Alexander, the illustrator for the Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow series.
These kids are having so much FUN (yet we know they are learning about healthy nutrition)!
The books take the kids on an “augmented reality” journey (combining real-life photography with whimsical illustrations) that immediately draws kids into the story.
Kids are introduced to Blake, the main character, who feels sleepy (low energy) and wonders why he doesn’t have the energy to play like other kids. Blake meets a friendly, magical leprechaun who takes Blake on a journey to find the pot of gold (a metaphor for good health and energy). Blake is shrunk down to a tiny size and explores the colorful world of fruits and veggies. The colors (and fruits and veggies) lead to the pot of gold, where Blake feels vibrant and full of energy.
In the second book in the series, we meet Sammy the Bunny who takes Blake on a journey to discover where healthy rainbow foods come from. At the start, Blake feels lost and unhappy in a “colorful” word of unhealthy foods. Sammy takes Blake on a journey to fill Blake’s rainbow basket with healthy rainbow foods.
These books teach healthy eating, farm-to-table concepts, and plant identification (specifically fruits and veggies), in an engaging and positive way. When the kids can get involved and create their own Blake, they feel empowered and engaged in the decision-making process around food. Hopefully, they want to take Blake (and Sammy!) to many areas of the farmers’ markets or grocery stores to seek out new and fun colorful fruits and veggies.
Want to see fun nutrition education at your child’s school?
Over the past decade-plus, my non-profit, Nurture has been making nutrition lessons fun from farmers markets to libraries to social services agencies and schools.
We also put on programs called “Rainbow Days”. Rainbow Days provide an opportunity for kids to learn in a fun, hands-on way about the importance of eating a colorful variety of fruits and veggies.
Teachers and parents love how Rainbow Days change the behavior of the kiddos, who start enjoying more veggies and fruits in their snacks and lunches.
This is what a Rainbow Day looks like!
With the current pandemic, we are coming up with creative ways to deliver Rainbow Days and fun nutrition lessons online, so feel free to reach out to our team if your school is interested in Nurture’s curriculum
What about fun eating at home?
When kids come home from school and it’s time to plan a dinner that they will eat and enjoy, I encourage you to browse these fun cookbooks for recipes the entire family will enjoy:
Healthy Kids Winning Recipes-E-Cookbook #1
Healthy Kids Winning Recipes-E Cookbook #2