Need help getting kids interested in eating healthy? Smart-Mouth.org, a new Web site by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, is a fun and interactive site aimed at doing just that.
The homepage offers a carnival scene of options for young viewers, and the artwork is just funky enough to lure kids into viewing the secondary pages.
Clicking on the giant stomach takes you to the “Choose Ur Chews” page, where you can build a meal from a myriad of fast-food and restaurant favorites. Then the “sat-fat-o-meter” and the “cal-o-meter” calculate the total saturated fat and calories of the meal. Feel like eating Chinese food today? That General Tso’s Chicken and egg flower soup gives a whopping 50 grams of saturated fat and 7,460 calories.
Want to know how much sugar is in your soda-pop? Or maybe you wonder how much land and water it takes to raise beef compared to how much is used to grow rice. The “Snacktoids” section of the site offers a seemingly endless number of interesting facts about food, its production and how it affects our bodies.
Think the food industry tells the truth about the food it produces? Think again.
“The food industry’s job is to make money. Sometimes they stretch the truth to convince you to buy their products,” according to the site. “Gus Bogus is the industry’s spokesman. Can you trust Gus?”
“Trust Gus” is a true/false game that gets kids thinking about how the food industry sometimes tells lies in order to get kids to eat its products.
And if games help you learn, you will want to try “Feed the Face.” In the style of Hangman, “Feed the Face” challenges young visitors to fill in the answers to questions about nutrition and food.
Kids can also view short videos like, “Fatty food makes fatty blood,” “The ‘health’ food that’s not” and “Heart Vandals.”
Smart-Mouth.org also features articles about nutrition, and healthy recipes for kids to try.
Also, check out the “Links” page. It offers a healthy dose of options for information about nutrition and living fit.
Smart-Mouth.org even offers kids a chance to get involved in e-mail campaigns pressuring the food industry and government officials to raise the standard on food production.
Parents and kids alike can learn a lot from this fun and fact-filled site.
Jodi Mathews is BCE’s communications director.