Helene Fasnacht, Nutritionist
The connection between eating a healthy and balanced diet and long term health has been recognized for many years. Also, the benefit from eating a healthy diet, early in one’s life, continues to build and multiply, over a lifetime. The earlier a healthy diet becomes a daily routine, the benefits mount exponentially throughout a lifetime. The resulting benefits of living a longer, healthier and more active life can be realized.
In contrast, it is also recognized, those unhealthy eating habits developed in childhood; result in increased risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Furthermore, unhealthy food choices become increasingly more difficult to alter and change, the longer they are practiced. The importance of developing a healthy diet early in life is vital to it becoming part of a healthy life-style as an adult.
Current influences that challenge the goal of eating a healthy diet, at any age, are convenience and availability. The numbers of fast food establishments, offering “On the Go” snacks and meals continue to grow at alarming rates. The pre-made, frozen, pre-packaged foods and meal options are, for the most part, processed from their natural state, high in added fats, sugars, artificial flavorings, coloring, seasoning, salt and calories. These foods have long been known to cause many health risks and problems with long term consumption. The ease and availability of these unhealthy foods, coupled with the millions of marketing and advertising dollars spent to promote these food products, has a tremendous effect on individual and family food choices.
The enormous challenge facing us all, but especially parents, is how to help our children develop and establish healthy eating habits. There are very few practical and effective tools and resources available to help parents. The importance of creating and developing a taste and pallet for healthy foods, early in childhood, has never been more apparent.
As a practicing professional dietitian and nutrition counselor, I personally have witnessed how the goal of establishing healthy eating habits, has become increasingly more difficult to achieve. Also, as a parent of three children myself, this challenge has been truly realized. I have seen children arrive at school, eating a bag of chips, candy bar, drinking high sugared and caffeinated beverages as their “Fuel” to begin their day. I have counseled many families and individual children, struggling with obesity, eating disorders, fad dieting, fasting regimes and chronic illness resulting from poor eating habits. Nutritious food, containing a balance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, is the “Fuel” needed to prepare for the physical and mental demands that are required for healthy growth and development. I believe Making Eating Fun can help parents develop healthy food choices and habits in their children at an early age, which will continue throughout adulthood!
I value and recommend Making Eating Fun, as a resource and tool. It is a wonderful way for parents to provide a fun and interactive system, which encourages and nurtures development of healthy eating. It creates a systematic and educational method that teaches children about varieties of fruits and vegetables. It encourages, in story-book fashion, children to taste and eat these healthy fruit and vegetable choices. Familiarity and repetition are the two important factors in the development of a habit. Making Eating Fun adds the interactive fairy tale fun to familiarity and repetition, creating healthy food choices that will last a lifetime. Making Eating Fun stimulates a child’s creativity and empowers individual choice and consequence skills. To provide a fun way to encourage children to taste and eat more fruits and vegetables is not the only benefit realized. Making Eating Fun develops healthy food choices which become healthy eating habits for a Lifetime!
Jon Kramer, M.D., F.A.A.P.
It is common to see children become picky eaters. There are various explanations as to why this can occur, but often there is no specific reason. As a practicing pediatrician, I see many frustrated parents who, through no fault of their own, are faced with children who are eating poorly balanced diets, have very limited variety of foods and are at risk for long term health consequences. These parents expend great energy trying to trick, bribe, sometimes even attempting to force their children to eat a better diet. However, many parents learn that with some children, the more one pushes in one direction, the more children resist and try to push in the other direction.
Unfortunately, a child cannot understand the long term consequences of a poor, limited diet. As physicians, we know that poor eating habits can contribute to the growing epidemic of obesity and its consequences of hypertension, diabetes and many other medical diagnoses. Poor eating habits, combined with the availability of fast food, the pressures of working parents and busy schedules makes ingrained poor eating habits even more difficult to change as children get older.
When faced with a picky eater, there are very few tools that parents can use to try to change these habits. Make Eating Fun is an innovative, practical method that appeals the children’s natural creativity and love for games and fantasy. It gives parents a new tool to open their children’s eyes to the benefits of eating a more balanced diet.
As a parent and a pediatrician, I see how Make Eating Fun can be a great help in winning over the difficult eater and making a difference in their health and their overall well being.
Letters From you
Dear Make Eating Fun,
I am a mother of a seven year old boy, who I battled with every day to get him to eat fruits and vegetables. We used "Make Eating Fun" and I am amazed with the program. My son Damian ate all the fruits and vegetables on his placemat and had FUN doing it! He ate vegetables that he has never even tried before, he also ate fruit that he would only have nibbled on to make me happy.
After using this story and placemat system Damian was asking me for some fruits and vegetables the next day! He had told me that he never knew oranges and broccoli tasted so good, and that is because he wouldn't even try them before. I also loved the fact that the puppy at the end of the story ended up sharing his treats with the greedy dinosaur. What a great lesson to teach kids! Not only did my son eat his nutritious foods he needs to grow and be healthy, but we had fun with the story together. He was so proud of accomplishing a goal and we can't wait to "Make Eating Fun" again and again! I am so happy and relieved that I don't have to struggle anymore to get my son to eat his fruits and vegetables! Thank you for making eating so fun!
— Dayna Humphries, Mother of 2