|Reviewers Comments: ||This colorful and engaging booklet was developed to help parents and children learn about good nutrition and physical activity together. The booklet includes several pages designated for parents, some for children, and some for both. Activity pages can be completed by children individually, with parents, or in a group setting, and consist of coloring pages, crossword puzzles, mazes and other games. Charts are also incorporated to track food intake and physical activity for parents and children. Simple, child-friendly recipes and snack ideas that children can make on their own or families can prepare together are provided. Nutrition information for the recipes is not included.
Social marketing techniques are used throughout the booklet to encourage parents and children to make positive changes. Parents are encouraged to be a good example by exercising and eating healthy themselves. Healthy eating tips and ideas from “Sharon”, a parent and nutritionist, are sprinkled throughout the book for parents. Both parents and children are given opportunities throughout the book to set their own goals and be active. The Food and Activity calendar is a great tool that suggests healthy activities that parents and children can try every day for a month. A Two-Bite Certificate recognizes children who have taken two or more bites of a new food.
The booklet features colorful cartoons and graphics identical to MyPyramid for Kids. It is easy to read and has a clean layout. It is only available electronically for educators to print at their own expense. Color printing is recommended for best quality, as black and white printing makes the booklet less attractive. Because the booklet is available as PDF, pages can be printed individually. Educators working with children may choose to print only certain activity pages, or parents may choose to print extra copies of some pages to post on the refrigerator or in a visible place at home.
The booklet is most appropriate for elementary school age children and may not appeal to older children and teenagers. The charts may be difficult for some low literate children and adults. The nutrition information and recommendations are consistent with MyPyramid and the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Several food groups are gone over in detail, however, additional information on the “Meat and Beans” group, as well as on oils and discretionary calories would be beneficial.
This activity book features an excellent assortment of handouts, ideas, and games. It encourages family interaction and cooperation. Overall, it is a terrific resource for educators working with families, parents and/or children.