I just read a very interesting article on how the children’s book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle can be an excellent way to help children learn how to eat healthier and the consequences of eating unhealthily.
Here’s a recap of the story in case you have forgotten: From the moment the caterpillar pops out of his egg in the warm sun, he is propelled by his hunger to look for food. Between Monday and Friday, he eats his way through a great deal of fruit. But on Saturday, he is really hungry, and he eats through a piece of chocolate cake, an ice cream cone, a pickle, a slice of Swiss cheese, some salami, a lollipop, a piece of cherry pie, one sausage, a cupcake, and a slice of watermelon. Following his intake of food from Saturday, he ends up with a stomach ache which resulted the caterpillar to eat one nice green leaf on Sunday to make him feel much better.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has decided that parents can point out a few important messages about healthy eating through this book. Starting last March, more than 17,500 pediatrician’s offices received free copies of this book with CDC growth charts along with a reading guide to help parents use the story to help their young children understand the importance of eating healthier.
Children can view that the caterpillar is consuming very healthy fruits during the week, and can even suggest more for him to eat. I believe this is one very effective way to get younger children involved in healthier eating and realize the importance behind it as well.