Is Your Hair Made of Donuts?
A New Children’s Book That is Definitely a Hit!
Readers, when I first read this amazing children’s book by Joy Feldman I was immediately transported back to a time when I first read The Lorax? No, this is not about environmental concerns, but this is a book that has something to say! It is not only fun, but it charms and enlivens kid’s spirits, while at the same time offering a ‘lesson’ embedded in the very cool illustrations and an entertaining plot they won’t forget!
Is Your Hair Made of Donuts? looks at the world of nutrition, just as The Lorax did for a world that needed to ‘go green.’ Nutrition is a definite problem in this country and, sadly, we know it. There are many overweight children who are growing up and having a difficult time – from being teased (which I know something about because I was an overweight child) – to health problems that come along and are seriously frightening. When we’re young, if we learn a balanced and nutritious diet right off the bat, we won’t have this type of issue anymore and obesity, as well as eating disorders could become a thing of the past. Yes, I know, McDonald’s isn’t going to close anytime soon, but we can find a way to ‘fit’ that Happy Meal in there only once in a while as a treat, instead of running there every night after work because there simply isn’t time to cook that well-balanced meal.
Is Your Hair Made of Donuts? is a true “5-Star” find and, hopefully, will be seen in every school across the country. As kids follow Maddie and Matt Blossom, who have a Mom that has always raised them on healthy foods, children will find themselves drawn into the story. Matt and Maddie are like the rest of us; they watch all their friends enjoy chips, soda and donuts all the time, and this truly makes them feel ’odd’ and left out. Seeing as that they’ve never had junk food, they beg ’old mom’ to let them have it just one time (one ooey-gooey donut). After all, where is the harm in that?
Although Mom tries to explain that junk food is bad, she DOES let them get whatever they want at the grocery sore (in a section called “The Wastelands” which I thought was priceless.) Matt and Maddie soon find out that the junk food, although really good going down, carries with it some serious negatives (which re told in a humorous extremely fun way)
This is one children’s book that offers a fun, entertaining, charismatic plot with a real point, ad we haven’t seen that in fiction in a very long time. My advice? THIS is one book that should be a children’s television series!
Another huge upside today is that we were able to sit down with this amazing author and speak to in “Inside the Writer’s Studio!” So sit back, relax, and meet Joy Feldman – a nutritionist, mom and seriously gifted with the written word!
Your first book, Joyful Cooking in the Pursuit of Good Health: Restore and Heal with Nutritional Balancing is truly dedicated to eating correctly. Can you give readers a bit of background on your career, such as what or when you became a part of the ‘healthy living’ and ‘optimal health and wellness’ industries?
My path has not been a ‘straight’ one. In college, I envisioned myself being passionately involved in the field of law and legislation, as I believed that was how I could make a significant impact on a large group of people. Studying history at the undergraduate level and then graduate training in the areas of public policy and education (both at the University of Pennsylvania), I believed it was my route to making a difference. To further my training, I then went on to earn a Law Degree at the University of Miami and worked in the area of Corporate Law, focusing on Mergers and Acquisitions, SEC filings and contract work. With a strong interest in the area of healthcare, I conducted legal research for a top tier medical institution working on healthcare-related issues. I enjoyed my work, but it was not personally satisfying, so I sought out a different opportunity in the field of legislation and public policy. In my new role, I worked on writing legislation for a Fortune 500 Healthcare Company, overseeing a successful house bill from start to finish, lobbying at the state capital, setting goals with legislators, and authoring legal documentation regarding auxiliary healthcare professionals.
But soon after I began working in this area, I became pregnant with my first child. Months after giving birth, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition that caused constant fatigue, weakness and pain. Prescribed powerful medications to treat the symptoms, I was plagued with horrible side effects that left me feeling even more debilitated. When told that I would just have to ‘live with my illness,’ I decided to take matters into my own hands and began my own search on how to improve my health.
When I became acquainted with a physician who had studied with Dr. Paul Eck, the founder of nutritional balancing, I decided to give this healing paradigm a try. After I submitted a sample of my hair for testing, my physician recommended a new diet, along with multiple modalities that would compliment my healing. Within a few short months, I was off medications and on the road to recovery. Several months later my blood tests showed normal results, and within a year I was back to feeling like myself.
My recovery prompted me to consider health as a new career path. Having successfully launched my own pursuit of good health, I was inspired to help others by working with clients worldwide and, later, upon my clients prompting, created Joyful Cooking in the Pursuit of Good Health. Based on the science of nutritional balancing, Joyful Cooking in the Pursuit of Good Health operates on a simple premise: We are what we eat, and is a comprehensive guide to total healing and restoring balance both to the body and the mind.
There are so few outstanding children’s books on the market today, it was a true pleasure to receive yours. Is it difficult to get your ‘point across’ to younger children about eating right?
No. The beautiful thing about working with children is that they are so open and receptive to learning new ideas and trying new foods. My goal here is to provide the children with information and motivation about eating good foods, because it’s not just in the home that food choices happen; children are faced with making their own choices every day. If we begin with the very young, we will give them the information they need to become powerful consumers, making healthy choices and changing the ‘junk food world’ we all live in.
Will you be holding events or book signings where people can ask more regarding healthy nutrition?
Absolutely. I plan to travel to schools nationwide, bookstores, as well as ‘not for profits’ that deal with children’s health concerns, literacy programs, community health centers, food banks, and organizations that focus primarily on children’s issues. My first large event will be held at the Boys and Girls Club of East Providence, RI, where I will be reading to the children with my delightful donut hat on, as well as doing some cooking and writing with the children – planting the seeds for excellent health and optimal nutrition. If your school, or after school program is interested, please contact me. I hope to make a difference in what our children eat by empowering them to make healthier choices for themselves and I would love everyone to join me on this mission!
Is this a ‘method’ that you used to teach your own children healthy eating? Did this idea come from something that happened in your personal life?
My children grew up with this information and by watching and learning right along with me. In my home, planning meals and cooking is something everyone is part of. When children are part of the process they’re more likely to try new foods. And this is an opportunity for us all to have fun, which is very important in reinforcing the message. Taking excellent care of our young ones is one of the best gifts a parent can give a child.
You might be wondering, “How do I get my kids to eat new foods?” I recommend that you go slowly and introduce these items to your kids in a fun and creative way. For example: “We’re going to try some new recipes today. Come and help me!” You’ll be surprised by how eager children will be to dive in and help cook with you after enthusiastically introducing them to cooking. They’ll soon put their fingers into the new foods and taste them as you prepare the new dishes.
Your site, www.joyfeldman.com, is incredibly informative. Are there future books in the works for parents? And can they visit your site and perhaps send emails or questions to you regarding nutrition?
Yes, I will be writing a series of children’s books featuring Matt and Maddie, as they continue on their adventures learning that they are what they eat. Matt and Maddie will also have their own cookbook featuring only healthy and nutritious items. But best of all, the recipes will be absolutely scrumptious. I love hearing from parents and, yes, please feel free to email any questions you might have regarding nutrition. Or, you can send me questions on my Facebook (www.facebook.com/jhfnutritionalconsulting) and/or Twitter pages (www.twitter.com/#!/sunnichild) which I use to reach out to people all over the world.
Your methodology and innovative approaches to nutrition and family meal planning are extremely successful, do you speak about nutrition at schools in your area?
Absolutely. Because Rhode Island is my home state, I have offered to visit any school in the state for free, where I will read, cook and write with children in grades preK through third. I am so excited about this. Presently, I have many schools lined up for the Spring launch, which should be lots of fun. My very first was the school my daughter attends. She’s in high school, but sitting with the kindergarten class the other day also made me realize how quickly time goes by and how important this message is to these young ones.
The recipes in the back of this book are scrumptious to say the least. Is it hard to convince kids that healthy eating is the ‘right thing’ when you have so many fantastic items that can be made in any home?
It isn’t hard to convince kids that it is the right thing to do. What can be a bit more challenging is teaching kids to consistently make healthy choices when they are always surrounded by poor quality junk foods.
Just between you and me – do you ever ‘sneak’ a donut? J
No, my hair is not made of donuts. LOL! My hair is made of Brussels sprouts and broccoli. But, as a kid – boy oh boy – did I love glazed donuts with a dash of rainbow sprinkles on top. I best check my hair! I hope there are no sprinkles in it.
How did you come across the artists that did these amazing pictures for your book?
I am so fortunate to have had two amazing and talented illustrators. A dear friend of the doctor who assisted me in regaining my health twenty years ago recommended her daughter, Amanda Mueller, who had just graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. She’s the artist who’s responsible for creating the cover illustration and picture of Matt and Maddie piling their shopping cart high with junk food in “The Wastelands.” Beth Slocum, another very talented RISD graduate designed Joyful Cooking in the Pursuit of Good Health, illustrated many of the pictures in Donuts, and also designed the entire book.
Can you tell readers a bit about the incredible site www.IsYourHairMadeOfDonuts.com and what’s found there?
Animated and fun, there are educational games for kids to play where they will learn about healthy eating; excerpts from the book; healthy and delicious recipes; and all the information about school visits, and a teacher guide to accompany the book – so my information will stay long after I visit a school.
For a fun part of our interview that readers truly seem to love, we add a few James Lipton-‘esque’ questions with every author:
What is your favorite book?
Memoirs of a Geisha
Who is your favorite author?
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What sound or noise do you love?
What sound or noise do you hate?
Nails on a chalkboard
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
What profession would you never like to attempt?
Sky Diving Instructor
And if readers can come away from your book with one lesson learned – what would be that lesson be?
I hope readers will learn that they are what they eat. Choose your food wisely and honor your body.
Readers, I can’t you how intelligent, kind, funny and entertaining this lady is – and I am so thrilled and honored that she has brought Is Your Hair Made of Donuts? into the marketplace! In addition, you MUST see the ‘Donut Hat’ that was put together for Joy to wear when she reads to her students. Go check it out on MSNBC/NBC News at: http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nbc-news/46642796/#46642796
You will absolutely love it!!! Although…it makes me really want that donut.
Until Next Time, Everybody,