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Teach them well


Although it’s summer, I try and keep my kids learning every day.  I am having my 7 year old teach my 5 year old reading skills, my 9 year old teach my 7 year old to play the piano, and I’ll teach nutrition, of course. 

Ketchup boys preschool teacher taught them a unit on nutrition.  I thought it was so appropriate for the ages, and all my kids have since caught on.  The simpleness of it was great. She said, “We have ‘green light food’. This food you can eat anytime, and makes you ‘go’.  Then we have yellow light food.  These foods you eat sometimes, and makes you a little slower. Then there are red light foods.  These foods you should not eat, and they will make you stop!”

Every item of food I give Ketchup boy he asks, “mom, is this a green light food?”  Luckily, we have lot’s of green light foods.  We were talking yesterday about drugs and alcohol and the flip-flopper said, “are drugs a red light food?”  Yes! I told her. They totally get it.

So, get creative.  Every day this summer teach your kids something! Not just reading and writing, but history, nutrition, geography, Physical fitness, emergency preparedness, environmental awareness.  Think of things that may not be covered by your local school. traffic stop light

Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

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This is great and so simple. I have been using anytime and sometimes food but it needs a third category and seldom wasn’t something my kids got. I think the descriptions are very apt for children ‘makes you go’, ‘makes you slower’, ‘make you stop’.

Thanks for posting about this I shall start using it.

This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing it. I am a youth substance abuse counselor, and I get to help with our summer program – this year it’s for kids 10-13, and we spend some time teaching them stuff like conflict resolution skills and some time showing them (subtly) how to have fun without drugs and alcohol by going on a vast array of field trips – wish I’d gotten to do this as a kid! I’ve been assigned to do art therapy with them and I think that it would be great to do a nutrition day or two or more, using the green/yellow/red light concepts. We could learn about different foods and make collages of which ones are in what category and stuff! Always looking for inspiration… 😀

Hello Rosabel,

The red light foods you assign to foods that you would NOT want to eat, such as chips, soda pop, candy bars etc.. The Yellow light foods are foods you would eat SOMETIMES, such as store bought granola bars, yogurt with sugars added, muffins (with a lot of sugar and fat) etc. Green light foods are foods you can eat ANYTIME like fruits and vegetables.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!! I am a graduate student in Public Health and a few students and I are holding a Healthy Eating Fair at a local elementary school. I have been racking my brain for some good ideas for stations at the fair. THIS IS SUCH A GOOD IDEA! I was feeling frustrated until I found your blog. You have such great information and ideas. I hope you don’t mind me stealing some of them for our fair! 🙂 Thank you so much.