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Anderson the Music Man
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Fruits and Veggies Appealing
Creative Parents Interview with David Goldbeck
CreativeParents we’ve long suspected that fruits and veggies would
be appealing to kids if only they were presented the same way as sugar
cereals – say, with jingles and funny characters. We were delighted
to discover the new ABC’s of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond,
a book by Steve Charney and David Goldbeck.
David Goldbeck and his wife Nikki Goldbeck,
are co-authors of 9 books about food, Their website is HealthyHighways.com.
We asked David why the new book fills an important
What makes your children’s book on healthy eating especially timely?
It is no secret that there is an epidemic of nutrition-related illnesses
ranging from obesity and diabetes to cancer and heart disease. Nikki and
I have been trying for more than 30 years to help families improve their
diets. I decided that it might make sense to start with children by helping
them develop good habits before it was too late. This is the
genesis of The ABC’s of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond.
Why did you focus specifically on fruits and veggies?
Fruits and vegetables are the backbone of a good diet, but according to
surveys, sadly lacking in many children’s food repertoire.
The ABC’s of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond promotes
healthy eating by encouraging kids to eat better willingly.
We want children to develop a broad, easy-going relationship with food.
With all the talk about the alarming increase in obesity in the U.S.,
and the key role fruits and vegetables play in long-term health,
the need to inspire children to eat better is more pressing then ever.
There are other books about healthy eating for kids, and cookbooks for
parents that suggest disguising veggies in other foods. What makes this
If you want kids to learn things without resistance – languages
for example - start them young and make the message relevant and appealing.
The same goes for eating habits. If parents want kids to have a positive
attitude towards fruits and vegetables, it's time for a new approach.
Certainly the “eat your vegetables, they’re good for you”
scolding hasn’t worked.
work is introducing these foods early in life and in new contexts, creating
a kid-friendly view of vegetables and fruits as delicious and interesting.
How have you gone about making fruits and veggies appealing?
Steve Charney’s clever and zany alphabet poems set the tone. I fantasize
about toddlers being fed while they (and their parents) recite: C is for
the carrots/That rabbits like to munch. They eat them 'cause they love
the taste – Me…I like the crunch.
Why is there the "...And Beyond” in the book?
The second part of the book, which I was responsible for, takes kids to
a mixture of food lore, recipes, jokes, tongue twisters, unusual facts,
shopping tips, recipes, and other fun- and thought-provoking activities.
Children also discover where many fruits and vegetables come from, learn
some Spanish words, and are directed to related books and websites. The
goal is for them to translate their new knowledge into willful eating.
For instance, "Z is for zucchini/A word to flabbergast/Zucchini with
linguini"-- try to say that ten times fast!
Why do you think there aren’t more efforts made to educate kids
Actually there are many efforts made to teach kids about nutrition. However,
focusing on long term health doesn't tend to work since kids generally
don’t have a long term view.
What about competition to fruits and veggies from the unhealthy or questionably-nutritious
foods that are heavily promoted?
The marketing of food to kids is largely via advertising by large food
companies. Their interest is to sell their products, which are generally
processed, premade foods. There is a lot more profit in Cheerios than
oatmeal, fruit roll-ups than fresh fruit, potato chips and frozen French
fries than fresh potatoes.
2007, Dr. Istar Schwager
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