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Healthy food choices with kid friendly app

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The subject of childhood obesity is a topic of interest for many parents. Childhood obesity is on the rise, and parents are looking for new ways to combat this growing health problem for their children. Many parents struggle with meal planning because young children will not eat healthy foods that their parents may choose for them. Children who are already at the point of being obese because of their food choices are often bullied at school or in a childcare center because of their weight. Schools have been in the news because children are refusing to eat the healthy meals that are being prepared in an attempt to change the way children eat at school. Children are also more sedentary now because of technology, and physical education classes along with recess periods are now often shortened or even nonexistent because of stretched school budgets and longer scheduled time for academics. All of these factors are contributing to childhood obesity.

Childcare centers can be an important beginning for healthy eating. As children return to school and childcare for the new school year, parents will want to check out menus for lunch and snacks that will be served. Healthy eating habits can be encouraged when children eat with peers, and young children can be influenced in their eating choices if the childcare center serves healthy meals and snacks. Kids R Kids in the Lakewood Ranch area of Sarasota prepares healthy lunches and snacks to meet new guidelines for young children. Fruits and vegetables are a part of the breakfast, lunch, and snack menus each week. 2% milk, 100% fruit juices, and freshly baked bread are all part of the menus that are served. Many childcare centers post weekly menus on their website, and the Sarasota County School District also makes its weekly menus available online. The school district has an unique system for helping children learn to choose healthy foods with its Green Light, Yellow Light, Red Light system. Green Light foods are to be eaten frequently, yellow light foods are to be eaten less often, and red light foods designated as less healthy choices.

Fun and entertaining tools are always welcome by parents and educators that enable them to teach children to make healthy choices in eating. A pioneering new app from the author Merilee Kern is now available as a great resource to use in helping children learn to eat healthy foods. "Kids Making Healthy Choices-an App to Promote Fit, Weight-Wise Kids" is based on her award-winning book about a child who is dealing with weight problems and learns ways to stay on track with new healthy eating habits. The App is available for I-phone and I-pad use, and is a great motivating tool for kids for choosing healthy foods. Merilee Kern developed the app as an alternate resource tool because children are intrigued with new, fun, and kid-friendly technology tools. There are hundreds of books that are available for teaching healthy eating and weigh management, but the app is mobile and kids are more likely to use this appealing tech tool rather than a book. Ms. Kern has also made the new digital app format available in separate editions for boys and girls. She feels that the app is more affordable and accessible to parents, caregivers, educators, and physicians. The app is targeted to children ages 4-14.

This new app bundles her illustrated storybook with fun games, resources, and kid-friendly recipes to provide an innovative tool to fight childhood obesity The app contains 6 sections for learning to eat healthy foods and maintaining a healthy weight.

*Her award-winning story that children can relate their own struggles with weight to the struggles that the main character experiences. The e-book is simple and an easy read for children. Access to the internet is not required for this delightful e-story since it is contained within the app.

*Prompts for discussing the story after reading are especially of interest because the questions provide a way for parents to talk to their kids about healthy eating in a non-confrontational manner. Early childhood educators will also find this feature to be a great way to introduce a class discussion with young children.

*Fun, interactive activities that are part of the app will be appealing to children. Educators/caregivers may print to create worksheets for the children to use when offline. Mazes, word scrambles, and connect the dots are all activities that kids will want to use.

*Kid-friendly recipes are an appealing part of the app with recipes that are alphabetized and keywords are provided for easy search. Teachers may also print the recipes to send home as part of the home-school connection when teaching healthy food choices.

*Tools and online resources as part of the app provide links to numerous activities that can be used by teachers and caregivers.

*Research and News section of the app provides teachers and caregivers with current information on healthy eating and weight management for children.

Ms. Kern plans to add a "Deals" section to her innovative app that will allow corporate sponsors and advertisers too offer app users price-reduction codes and discount coupons for products that promote healthy lifestyles for children. The app is very affordable at the price of $2.99. The app is available in gender-specific editions. You can learn more about this new innovative tool by logging on at www.KidsMakingHealthyChoices.com.

Parents and educators need all available resources for teaching healthy eating and lifestyle to children, and this innovative app "Making Healthy Choices-a story to Inspire Fit, Weight-Wise Kids" from Merilee Kern is a welcome addition to the toolbox.

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