Pinkalicious, by sister team Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann, is a unique and hilarious book about a girl who develops an acute case of “pinkatitis” after eating one too many pink cupcakes. At first, being completely pink sounds like a marvelous improvement to this little girl, until she gradually turns to a deeper shade of red. On doctor’s orders, she eats as many green foods as she can find in her fridge, the only way to return to her normal self. This book is a surefire winner, and not just with the pink crowd. The boys I’ve read it to have loved it as well!
After reading this book, I talk with the children about whether or not this scenario could really happen. Of course not! But then, I ask what would happen if they ate too many cupcakes. They certainly wouldn’t feel well, and their bodies wouldn’t be healthy. Then we talk about healthy and unhealthy foods. I prepare ahead of time, cutting out pictures of food from my local grocery store flyers and laminating them to cards. (Be sure to collect a variety, spanning the food groups.)
With the children I set out two plates, one large and one small. I explain that some foods are healthy for our bodies, and we can eat a lot of them. Other foods aren’t as healthy and we should only eat them sometimes. (Note: It is important not to describe food as “good” and “bad” as this can create dangerous attitudes about food. Reserve the term “bad” for truly dangerous things, like poisons and drugs.) I have the children draw a food card out of a bag and place it on the large plate for healthy foods we can eat a lot of, or on the small plate for less healthy treats we eat sparingly. As we go along, we talk about the foods, pointing out the ones with protein to make our muscles grow, or the fruits and veggies that give our bodies vitamins to make it healthy, and also noting the candy that would make us sick if we ate too much (similar to Pinkalicious) or the pop that requires us to brush our teeth really well after we drink it.
This activity promotes healthy food choices, encouraging self-help skills by teaching the children how to make those choices independently. Sorting also increases cognitive and mathematical skills, while the story presents a fantastic and enjoyable language and literacy opportunity.
So enjoy Pinkalicious with the children you love and teach! I promise you’ll be tickled pink! (I couldn’t resist!)
For more food-themed activities, click here!