Posts Tagged ‘children and nutrition’

The Other “F” Word

January 21, 2020

The first line in my well-received new novel is, “I’m so fat.”

It elicits cheeky giggles whenever I used to read it out. Kids are not used to hearing that word anymore and are especially surprised that a major character in a kid’s book nonchalantly expresses such a candid self-reflection.

By the end of the first page, my audience grows to love the character and appreciate his honesty. Cheeky giggles are replaced with unabashed giggles. Finally, a character that feels comfortable to express the thoughts that many of us feel on a daily basis – seems to be the consensus.

When I first started reading the then-unfinished manuscript, a student approached me and told me how much the character of Jake meant to her. She told me that she had been ignored and disrespected because of her weight and it was inspiring to see those very same students that have ostracised her completely warmed to the fat character and instantly accepted him. She told me it gives her hope that the overweight kid can achieve some positive attention for a change.

I asked her what her name was.

“Nina”, she replied.

I told her I would name one of the major characters “Nina” because her words had moved me so much.

Nina is probably an adult now and probably has no recollection of that day and the origins of her namesake in my book. But her reaction has not been unique.

As a teacher, I’ve had the opportunity to read my book to thousands of students along the journey. There is a good reason why the word “fat” is frowned upon and there is a logic behind society’s reluctance to explicitly draw attention to weight.

But fat people know they are fat and are looking for a character that can own up to it and then prosecute the case why being overweight should never overshadow a person’s spirit, wisdom and achievements.

Enter Jake Archibald and the book, My Favourite Comedian.

Thank you, Nina!

 

Special Announcement:

I am donating 100% of the royalties of my hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian, during the month of January to those affected by the devastating bushfires in my country, Australia. This book is perfect for children aged 9 to 14 and the ideal class novel for Upper Primary students. Please leave a comment to indicate your purchase. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

 

10 Tips for Promoting Kids’ Healthy Eating

July 2, 2013

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Courtesy of livescience.com:

Don’t Ban Junk Food Outright

Once kids get their first taste of crunchy, sweet or salty foods, it’s hard to get them unhooked, according to pediatric psychologist Eileen Kennedy, of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Still, she recommended that parents limit the number of treats that kids are allowed to eat each day, rather than ban these foods completely. That way, kids won’t be as tempted to want what they can’t have.

Banning a specific food is also a bad idea because if the food becomes available to your child outside your home, he or she might eat it despite feeling full, Kennedy said. This can lead to a habit of overeating.

Parents should also avoid restricting desserts or other treats as punishment for bad behavior, because this can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food, she said.

Encourage Them to Eat Smart at School

Look over your child’s school lunch options many schools provide a printout of each month’s lunch menu, Kennedy said. Go over each day’s meal choices with your child, and challenge him or her to identify the healthiest option.

That way, your child will be aware of all the selections they have to choose from, and will gain experience in making nutritious food decisions.

As for snacks, rather than giving your kids money for the vending machines at school , make it clear to them that they can instead save their soda or candy money and spend it on nonfood items. To encourage them to not blow their pocket change on sugary or salty treats, give them plenty of healthy snacks, such as apples, to bring to school, Kennedy recommended.

 

Avoid Buying Unhealthy Foods in Bulk

If you want to buy a treat, buy the smallest possible package of that food, instead of the economy bulk-sized packages, Kennedy said.

For example, buying a bulk pack of small, single-serving bags of cheesy popcorn is better than buying one massive, bulk-size bag of the popcorn.

And store any bulk-size snack foods out of kids’ sight and reach , Kennedy said, so that they will be less tempted to mindlessly graze on it throughout the day.

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