Make Friends with The Taste Buddies!
Simon, Rosemary, Ozzie and Pedal,
the Taste Buddies
Teaching your children about healthy eating and an active lifestyle is fun and easy if you have the proper tools and the right information. That's where the Taste Buddies (www.thetastebuddies.org) can help.
The Taste Buddies site is designed to help children ages 7-11 learn positive habits that will follow them through adulthood. Based on evidence from AICR's expert report, the Taste Buddies delivers positive messages about eating a healthy diet and getting at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day through delightful characters who cook, garden, play games, tell fun facts and more.
Today, one-third of American children are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Since the 1970s, overweight and obesity among children ages 7-11 has quadrupled. Gaining weight over time is linked to some forms of cancer and other serious diseases, making prevention vitally important.
The Taste Buddies is all about:
- teaching your children to enjoy and explore healthful, cancer-fighting foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans;
- helping them find fun physical activities they want to do every day; and
- making their online game-playing time educational.
AICR's site can help set the stage for good health later in your child's life. For example, the Taste Buddies gives kids the skills they need to explore and try new foods – namely, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. These plant foods help to protect us against cancer development with their loads of nutrients, fiber and compounds called phytochemicals. They're also a lot lower in calories than sugary sodas, fatty burgers and fries and other unhealthful foods that are heavily marketed to children.
Meet the Characters
Take a journey through the Taste Buddies website and let your children be inspired as they learn about the tools for good nutrition and physical fitness. Kids can meet the Taste Buddies characters and be taken on a healthy learning adventure. These characters give children the opportunity to emulate healthy behaviors. Click on a character or a menu option to get started.
Rosemary the Gardener will bring kids to the great outdoors in the garden. Here they can learn where food comes from. Let Rosemary inspire your kids to become involved in a community or school garden project -- or you could start your own garden.
Ozzie the Chef helps motivate kids to get into the kitchen and become their own Top Chef. This is a great way to get out of the "short order cook" responsibility many parents fall into, while teaching kids how to read a recipe, assemble the ingredients and learn about different food groups and skills like measuring.
Pedal the Activity Girl encourages kids to be active everyday and has fun and creative solutions to keep kids moving.
Simon the Fact-Keeper provides facts and jokes about fitness and foods: he has the A to Z on fruits and veggies.
Try the Activities
At Play It, kids can Dump the Junk, quiz it, color it, name it and plate it. They can participate in interactive games that incorporate a variety of learning styles to help them apply their nutrition knowledge, giving them the opportunity to set healthful habits for a lifetime.
Grow It lets kids learn how to nurture a garden and grow healthy vegetables and herbs. Plant a container garden in your own backyard or on a sunny windowsill. Your kids will be inspired to eat more fruits and veggies as they see, touch and smell the real life results of their efforts.
Cook It is where kids can learn how to make quick healthy meals and snacks. When kids are involved in cooking, they tend to be more adventurous about what they eat. Getting kids involved in the cooking process takes away the mystery – and possible fear – of trying something new. Children get a chance to see and touch all of the ingredients in the food, and that makes it more appealing to explore the unknown. Your kids will also learn about food safety with reminders from Ozzie the Chef to wash their hands before beginning.
Move It helps kids get moving when they see what the fitness leader Pedal has in store for them. When exercise is fun, kids want to be physically active. To reach AICR's goal of at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day for cancer prevention, Pedal's games can contribute variety to your children's activities – and to yours. Soon your kids will be creating their own games. Play with them and rotate the games to keep their interest going.
Physical inactivity can lead to weight gain and obesity. Obesity has been linked to 7 different types of cancer. Getting moving as children leads people to become physically active adults – a key lifestyle factor in preventing cancer and other chronic diseases.
These sections also provide a variety of downloadable recipes, gardening activities and easy-to-make crafts to do together as your children learn about good nutrition and fitness.
Good habits start with you! Modeling healthy behaviors not only inspires kids to mimic them, but it provides the support kids need to maintain them.
Visit www.thetastebuddies.org today!