Thursday, April 09, 2009

Book Review: Janey Junkfood’s Fresh Adventure!


A recent study conducted by the National Center on Educational Statistics found that one in five American four-year-olds—more than half a million—is considered obese! Another recent study noted that this could be the first generation of children who actually have a shorter life span than their parents. They’re developing deadlier conditions at a much earlier age, such as diabetes. The culprit? Their diet. The average American child consumes more than 150 pounds of sugar each year. About a third of that comes from soft drinks. Clearly, we need some solutions for getting our kids off the junk food track. However, we also know that simply putting kids on a strict diet just doesn’t work. They’ll get the sweets they crave from their friends and at school. Instead, we need to start educating our children about how to make healthy food choices and develop good eating habits.

Barbara Storper, MS, RD, is an Emmy Award-winning nutritionist and national leader in children’s nutrition who created a nutrition theater and media company called FoodPlay Productions. Her company produces a national touring nutrition show that goes to schools and special events to help children improve their eating and exercise habits through live theater and juggling! One spinoff from this highly effective program is a new book called Janey Junkfood’s Fresh Adventure!

I am so impressed by this book’s creativity! The story is told by “Tobe Fit,” a young girl and self-dubbed “Ace Food Detective,” who tries to figure out why her friend Janey’s juggling act just isn’t going well. It turns out that Janey’s junk food diet is keeping her from having the stamina and energy she needs to excel. Illustrator Frances E. Schneid engages readers with a scrapbook-like format to accompany Tobe and Janey’s adventures. Together, the girls discover why a poor diet is so damaging, which ingredients aren’t healthy, and how to find good foods that taste terrific! This book even includes kid-friendly recipe cards, called Tickets to Fresh Adventures, for dishes like yogurt parfait, salsa sticks, veggie confetti and apple smiles. There’s a pocket in the back of the book to hold the cards, as well as other cards they can download from the Internet at www.foodplaykids.com. (There’s even a video on how to juggle!)

Janey Junkfood’s Fresh Adventure is highly entertaining and engages children in learning without being threatening to them. In focus group testing, parents, nutritionists, educators and children agreed overwhelmingly that Janey Junkfood’s Fresh Adventure made nutrition easily digestible and fun. Whether you’re a parent or grandparent, a teacher or other professional who works with children, I highly recommend this book for the children in your life. It’s more important than ever that we teach our kids to eat right from an early age so they can live long and healthy lives. Visit www.foodplay.com/janeybook/.



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