The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the American Academy of Pediatrics have joined with the best-selling children’s book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and with We Give Books to help families learn about healthy eating habits at home. The Eating Healthy. Growing Strong. campaign is an important part of the Alliance’s mission to combat childhood obesity.
This spring, more than 17,500 pediatrician offices across the United States will receive free copies of specially created The Very Hungry Caterpillar books, together with growth charts and parent handouts that encourage doctors and parents to have meaningful conversations about the importance of healthy eating.
In addition to beginning the conversation on healthy eating between pediatricians and parents, the campaign also showcases ways to integrate discussions of healthy active living into family reading time. Tips for parents to discuss healthy active living using The Very Hungry Caterpillar include:
* Teach your child that apples, pears, plums, strawberries, and oranges are all fruits. Ask them if they can name other fruits.
* Talk to them about how fruits are good for your body.
* Talk about how when the caterpillar overeats, he gets a stomachache—so it is important to stop eating when you feel full.
“Parents should read with their children every day, starting when they are babies,” said O. Marion Burton, MD, FAAP, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “This campaign provides a wonderful opportunity to teach children about healthy eating habits at a very young age, while fostering a love of books and language.”
The materials are being provided to the campaign by We Give Books, a digital initiative from Penguin—the publisher of The Very Hungry Caterpillar—and by the Pearson Foundation. Visitors to We Give Books will have the chance to read a library of great children’s books for free, any time they like, and each time they read a book at http://www.wegivebooks.org/, the Pearson Foundation will donate a brand-new book to a leading literacy group.
Parents and healthcare professionals are encouraged to visit the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (www.healthiergeneration.org/veryhungrycaterpillar) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (www.healthychildren.org/veryhungrycaterpillar) websites for free resources and materials to encourage eating healthy at home including a reading guide on how to discuss healthy active living usingThe Very Hungry Caterpillar and a special growth chart to keep track of a child’s journey to becoming healthy and strong.