- Two-thirds of K-8 teachers say students in their classes regularly come to school hungry and 63 percent say the problem has increased in the past year, according to a survey released last week. [read more]
- In Maryland, state lawmakers are considering legislation that would require public schools to publish calorie information for all school-lunch menu items. [read more]
- In Spring Lake Park, Minnesota, one teacher is leading the effort to provide healthier snack choices in the school’s store and vending machines. [read more]
GROOVIN’ IN THE GROCERY AISLE
As Lori Cook wandered the grocery aisles with her 3-year-old son Nate, she was struck by the fact that he was already responding to cartoon characters on product packaging. “I didn’t realize it started so early,” Cook thought. “Then I wondered why there weren’t advertisements for healthy foods that would get kids equally excited.”
One of Cook’s first thoughts was that memorable cartoon characters combined with catchy music could help get positive nutrition messages out to kids. That’s when Cook -- an award-winning lyricist -- teamed up with two-time Grammy Award winner David Blamires to create the characters and songs that comprise the timely and very affordable Groovin’ Groceries program. (Recognize Nutrition Month by giving each of your teachers a copy of the CD! They are sure to find ways to work it into their classroom curriculum.) The Groovin’ Groceries characters sing and dance their way to lessons about the five basic food groups that are part of the USDA food pyramid. The program’s cast of characters includes
- Bobby Broccoli and the Hip Hop Crops (hip hop music);
- Banana Jamma and the Fruity Party (reggae music);
- Betsy Bread and the Grainiacs (country music);
- Max Milk and the Disco Dairy (disco music); and
- Fiona Fish and the Lean Machine (R&B music).
Of course there are temptations addressed by characters such as Junk Food and the Sugar Monster (blues music) as well as a tune about the importance of exercise called Stinky Shoe – Peeyew! that gets kids plugging their noses and dancing about the room.
In addition to a music CD, the Groovin’ Groceries program also offers print materials, including stickers and -- soon to come -- a scavenger hunt perfect for a grocery store field trip and a Groovin’ Groceries placemat.
“Kids need help when it comes to making smart eating decisions,” says Lara Field, a pediatric dietitian who has endorsed the Groovin’ Groceries program. “Groovin’ Groceries is a fantastic way to promote healthy eating in a fun, entertaining way. The approachable reminders of how to make healthy choices in this well-designed program are a great way for kids to learn foods to choose and those to avoid.”
Groovin’ Groceries Program
Groovin’ Groceries Characters and Songs
Groovin’ Groceries Products