Health

Does Ronald McDonald Really Smell Bad?

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Fun ways to get kids to eat better.

Everyone knows that it’s healthier to eat fruits and veggies than it is to eat fast foods and junk food.

But how do you get kids to eat the healthy stuff and avoid the foods that are bad for them?

It’s especially difficult today when fast food firms like McDonald’s offer toys with their hamburgers, when fast food is packaged to attract kids, and when ads make junk food seem healthy and fun.

Parents, chefs and farmers are fighting back in some pretty unusual ways.

For instance, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain tells his three-year-old daughter that Ronald McDonald kidnaps children, has cooties and that he smells like pooh.

He says he young children don’t care about calories and nutrition. But cooties, they understand, he says.
Bolthouse Farms, which sells carrots and other healthy foods, has created new packaging that makes their baby carrots look like bags of chips. And their website has a commercial that’s a lot like a Cheetos ad.

Are these chips? Nope – they’re baby carrots, dressed up like
junk food to make them more appealing to kids.

Parents also need to help in the battle to get kids eating healthy food, say nutritionists. Simple things like making breakfasts more nutritious or cutting back on juice can really go a long way towards helping kids eat more healthy.

It’s also good to get kids in the kitchen, cooking their own meals. They’re more likely to eat healthy food if they cook it themselves. Toronto’s The Stop Community Food Centre offers a cooking program for kids aged 8 to 12. Kids are 20 times more likely to eat vegetables they’ve prepared themselves than ones that are just served to them, says The Stop’s co-ordinator.

This article was adapted from an article in the Globe and Mail by Wency Leung.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

Writing/Discussion Prompt 
Eating healthy foods is a huge problem in our city and country. What would you do to help people make healthy choices? What problems do you think you would have?

Reading Prompt
This article contains many words that we use every day in our lives.  These are called “high frequency words.”  Highlight or underline all of the high frequency words and read them aloud. 

Primary
Automatically read and understand most high-frequency words, many regularly used words, and words of personal interest or significance, in a variety of reading contexts (OME, Reading: 3.1).

Junior
Automatically read and understand most words in a range of reading contexts (OME, Reading: 3.1).

Grammar Feature: Writing Using “But” and “And”
Never say never! Children often start sentences with the words, “but” or “and.” This is generally a problem. However, in today’s article, the author starts three different sentences with these words. Explore and investigate why it works and why it shouldn’t be done all the time.

“But how do you get kids to eat the healthy stuff and avoid the foods that are bad for them?”

“But cooties, they understand, he says.”

“And their website has a commercial that’s a lot like a Cheetos ad.”