Whether it is television, movies, vending machines or other activities children are seduced with a plethora of junk food. With video games in the mix, the lack of movement becomes a bigger problem. Working in education for 10 years I noticed a disheartening trend regarding childhood obesity. As a writer I knew something had to be done, I wanted to create awareness to encourage children to choose healthier habits. With a background in writing about lifestyle topics including health, I felt a children’s book would be a good fit.
My book Vernon the Vegetable Man is a book that encourages children to live a healthy lifestyle through eating healthy, setting goals, and exercising. Vernon is the community vegetable man that grows fresh produce from his garden while encouraging healthy habits. In the book, Marvin is a young boy who struggles to play basketball with his friends. Upon a disappointing walk home, he meets Vernon who encourages him to make healthier choices. By the end of summer Marvin is leaner and the star of the basketball court. I also felt it was important to show that Vernon grew his own fruits and vegetables, so children could potentially have their interests piqued in gardening and the importance of supporting local gardens and produce.
Again, this book is my effort to decrease childhood obesity and encourage children to live a healthy lifestyle. In order to change a generation, we must start with the youth. I hope that Vernon the Vegetable Man will encourage youth and families to collectively find ways to choose healthier options when it comes to eating and living. I have deep gratitude for organizations like Moms Rising that create awareness and have a strong collective voice for important issues such as childhood obesity.