June 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Teach Children About Healthy Eating

Highlighting: “Let’s Stay Healthy,” by Bracha Goetz.

We are all busy doing mitzvot and yearning to connect to Hashem, but this cannot be done without a healthy body. The Ramchal asks, “Why would a person eat unhealthy food if it will cause damage to our body and the taste is fleeting?” In certain ways, hundreds of years ago eating healthfully was much easier to do. The food was simpler, more natural and less processed.

Unfortunately now, our generation is drowning in unhealthy food choices. For this, we and our children need navigation and inspiration to make healthy food choices. “Let’s Stay Healthy” is a groundbreaking book that finally discusses what we have to do to keep our body healthy. Food is information, and we must give our bodies the right messages to program it best.

Bracha Goetz takes children on a journey following a boy who used to eat unhealthy food. He felt horrible, had stomach aches and cavities, and decided to do teshuva and change the way he eats. We follow the boy as he learns about healthy food choices, how the right food protects his organs and bones, where it comes from, and how to recognize it on the shelf. Occasionally he struggles to make good decisions, but he remembers how bad he felt before and continues on his journey. We see how much better he starts to feel when he eats healthy. “Let’s Stay Healthy” also teaches kids other important pillars of health such as exercise, sleep and good dental habits.

The book gives kids practical advice to find foods that come from the ground, to look at the ingredients on the package, to aim for the “colors of the rainbow” when eating fruits and vegetables, and even to floss while reading this book! There are great visuals that show the negative impact sugar has on our teeth, heart and stomach.

Hashem gave us a body in order to serve him well, so we must keep it functioning optimally. We need a strong body for our neshama to flourish. “Let’s Stay Healthy” encourages us to make health a top priority. Working to improve our health can even change the way our genes work during our lifetime.

Read this book to your children, keep it accessible for your children to reread whenever they want, and let it spark discussions about the mitzvah of taking very good care of our bodies. Brainstorm healthier snack ideas together, and you can acknowledge how difficult it is to make these choices at times. Give your children the courage to make changes and maybe even rewards for doing so! If they see that “Let’s Stay Healthy” is an important book in your home, that it is a mitzvah in the Torah to try to live healthfully, and that it is important to you, then they will value it more as well.

A big thank you goes to Bracha Goetz for working to improve the health of our children and for writing about a topic that needs much more education and awareness. Awareness is key! This book will have a positive effect on all children who read it.

“Let’s Stay Healthy” is available online at www.goetzbookshop.com and in Jewish bookstores.

By Tatum Stern, Registered Dietitian (RDN, LDN)

 

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