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A useful companion for D modern families

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Primer The Chickin Feed

A useful companion for modern families

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by Mother Hen and The Chickin Coop Michelle Newcome, Editor Chick


Introduction The Chickin Feed Primer is a simple, fun book that is meant to be shared with your chickins (children). We hope it will serve as an introduction (or revisit if needed) to a healthy lifestyle. It covers just the basics for creating a healthy kitchen and home. The Chickin Feed Primer gives a basic understanding of what a BALANCED DIET looks like, what PORTION SIZES should be and why each of the foods we eat is important. Also, we’ve provided some fun ways to keep your chickins ACTIVE and thrown in some great RESOURCES to further the mission. If it proves to be a whole lot of “DUH” to you – then keep up the good work!

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The idea for Chickin Feed started when I (Mother Hen) became very frustrated with the daily struggle of what to feed my chickins (affectionate term for my children). My lack of nutrition knowledge was deeply

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rooted. Our family joke growing up was that we knew what was for dinner when we could see the color of the bag (we ate a lot of fast food!). Not wanting to pass along this “food apathy” to my children, I set about searching for a simple and fun way to access good nutrition information.

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for the LONG STORY SHORT version - skip ahead

The solution came about when I went back to the most basic info I could find – the food pyramid.

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It suggested how much of each food category you should have each day to get a balanced diet. That

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seemed simple but it was terribly un-fun and you had to keep up with what you had eaten all day long – too much for my “ADD mom-brain.” I started to deconstruct the food pyramid to find out exactly how

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many servings of each food category you needed each day. When I had that laid out, it seemed a little simpler to understand. Then I thought that if there was a simple way for us to mark off or track when

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something had been eaten, I could keep up with our progress and plan better meals. I started out with a rudimentary board (a sheet of paper and a bunch of magnets) and soon had a “Eureka!” moment. This board would not only help me keep up with what I was serving but, even more importantly, it would also be a simple way for my chickins to keep up with what they were eating. They could easily learn about what their daily eating should “look like,” what they really NEEDED versus what they WANTED, and they would be able to keep track of it themselves – Wahoo! The Chickin Feed Nutrition Tracking Board was born.

(pick it back up here)

The Tracking Boards immediately seemed to strike a chord. We started selling boards at a neighborhood festival and within six months had been featured as the first in a series of Incredible People (regular folks who are doing something to help kids and families eat healthier) on the Rachael Ray show. That wonderful exposure, combined with a great website designed by Papa Chickin (Don Grant @ www.craftllc.com) has generated sales throughout the U.S. and Canada and as far as Australia and New Zealand!


The title and content of this book, The Chickin Feed Primer | A useful companion for modern families, is meant to recall a simple old school primer or textbook. Just the basics – nothing too difficult to understand. And just enough to get you interested in some very important subjects that you can delve into more deeply as you need. The whole Chickin Feed brand is consciously designed to evoke a simpler time, back when decisions about what to eat were simpler. You ate what was fresh and available – fast food and this crazy mass marketing of sugared-up “foods” had not yet occurred and the idea of an obesity epidemic was unthinkable. Chickins ran around all day, did their chores, and played outside until dark. They weren’t in front of a TV or computer screen all day.

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The Chickin Coop – a group of very talented moms and a P.E. Coach – assembled this book to be a simple reference

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that can be shared with all members of the family. What it’s not meant to be is an academic tome on nutrition, a complete recipe book, or a fitness text. It will provide some starting points for each of these areas. We hope that you will supplement the information in this book by investigating the websites and books listed in the

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reference section – once you get the basics down.

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Bottom line: Chickin Feed is on a mission to help busy modern families keep nutrition & fitness a priority

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in their daily lives. We hope The Chickin Feed Primer will become a helpful tool to teach your little chickins the importance of good nutrition and their own role in making healthy choices.

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Mac-n-cheese is not a veg!

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Table of Contents 1.

Chickin Feed Nutrition Tracking Goods Simple, Fun, Effective Solutions 7 Nutrition Tracking Board 9 Chickinware 10

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Feed Groups – Nutrition 101 by Nutrition Chick, Emily Harrison Grains/Bread/Pasta Veggies Fruits Calcium/Dairy Protein Fats and Oils Sweets and Extras Snackin’ Supplement

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Building a Nutritious Kitchen 101 Measurements & Equivalents Emergency Substitutions Pantry Tips Refrigerator Organization Basic Food Safety Kitchen Safety Tips Chickins in the Kitchen Kitchen Equipment Table Setting Table Manners & Chickin Pop Psychology PORTION CONTROL Kitchen Tips from The Feed Mill

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11 12 15 18 20 22 25 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 37 39 40 43

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45 48 49

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Recipes By Chef Chick, Sheri Davis Breakfast Morning Snack Lunch Afternoon Snack Dinner Desserts/Treats

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5. 6.

Activities I: Old School P.E. 91 By Head Yard Bird, Randy Brookins

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Getting Everyone On Board 123 Parental Modeling & Blended Family Life 124 Involving Your Caregivers, Schools & Grandparents 125 Peer Pressure 128 How to Say NO at the Grocery 129 Where to Shop – Fun Food Adventures 130 Eating Out: Chickin Feed Certified 131

57 64 66 73 78 86

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Activities II: Drama-Cize By Drama Chick, Amy Handler

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8. Meet The Chickin Coop 9. Resource Guide

133 137


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Talk about your mouthfuls! (just not with your mouth full)


Chickin Feed Nutrition Tracking Goods Simple, fun, effective solutions from Mother Hen. Before making the Chickin Feed Nutrition Tracking Board I’d never seen anything like it. I knew about the Food Pyramid. It was taped onto the back of the cafeteria door at Idlewood Elementary School in Tucker, GA. Obviously it made some kind of impression since I recall it 30 years later. It seemed like straightforward enough advice. So when I went looking for a good teaching tool for myself and my kids the Food Pyramid came to mind. But alas, I found no simple way to make it work for us. I found lots of other great information about nutrition but little that was interactive – save for computer programs. I really didn’t want to increase the amount of

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time we spent in front of the computer!

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I know that keeping a food journal can be successful for many folks who can stay on a diet. The concept of tracking food is not new and there are many ways to do it. In order for it to work for

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our family, it had to be something we could see without having to log on to or find (said food journal would inevitably be chewed up by our dog or doused with sticky juice.)

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So I set about to find an in-your-face format that was designed to be in the kitchen, 24– 7. Having something that was nice enough to look at so that we wouldn’t mind giving up some

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of the visual real estate in our kitchen was also important. (Not that I’m that picky, but the front of our fridge already looks like the junk drawer threw up on it). So for our new nutrition training to be effective I needed to come up with some way to put the basic information in a

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well-designed, interactive format that could be readily accessed. FIRST STEP was to break down the balanced diet into its component parts (serving-sized portions for each food category). SECOND STEP was to arrange them in a simple way so that we could see what we NEEDED and what we’d HAD each day, like a chore chart. The prototype for Chickin Feed’s simple, fun, effective SOLUTION #1 – The Nutrition Tracking Board was hatched. From the early stages it was clear that I was not alone in my desire to give my kids a nutritional leg up. Let’s face it, we really do have an epidemic on our hands. American children are headed for a dangerously unhealthy future. We have heard from families all around the globe that are desperate to re-educate their children. After sharing the prototype with a nutritionist who said “I’ve never seen anything like this – what a great idea,” we began looking in earnest at how to explain the concepts behind the nutrition tracking board. We knew it would be helpful


to put together information that gives a better (and more thorough) explanation of the different foods we should eat each day and why they are important (Nutrition 101). Providing some yummy recipes to demonstrate how foods are put together and how the food on our plates relates to the Nutrition Tracking Boards seemed a logical step. Throwing in some good “mom-sense” to keep in mind while you are shopping and planning your kitchen was important too. And why bother unless we were going to provide some fun ways to keep our chickins active! That served as the basis for what you are now reading: Chickin Feed’s simple, fun, effective SOLUTION #2 – The Chickin Feed Primer | A useful companion for modern families. The third piece of the puzzle came after I had experienced another moment of, “I’m too tired to think … could someone please just tell me what to serve for dinner!” I came up with the initial

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idea for a meal template. I wanted something that would dumb down the whole menu planning process and give me some ideas about portion sizes as well. We all know that the portion sizes

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we are serving have gotten way out of control! I thought if I could make it simple to plan individual meals and relate them to the Nutrition Tracking Board it would be easier for my chickins to

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understand how the food on their plates relates to the “chicks” they were moving. It all ended with a day’s worth of healthy eating printed directly on your plates – oooh, how loverly! This is

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the genesis of Chickin Feed’s simple, fun, effective SOLUTION #3 – Chickinware. It’s still in the

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hopper (meaning we’re workin’ on ’em!) and we’ll roll them out very soon.

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Chickin Feed Nutrition Tracking Goods

Nutrition Tracking Board The Chickin Feed Nutrition Tracking Board was invented as a way to help families learn together about healthy eating. The Tracking Board provides both ACTIVE and PASSIVE learning for your family. The kids can actively be involved in making choices and moving their chicks, and the board continually serves as a passive reminder to make healthy choices.

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The Chickin Feed Nutrition Tracking Board works by providing two identical columns.

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The left side is what they NEED each day and the right side is what they’ve HAD each day. Children are involved in tracking their food

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choices by figuring out what they are eating

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(parents, this is a wonderful learning opportunity to talk about your mouthfuls!) and then moving their chicks to the other column. It becomes a very effective "game." Tip: Start each morning with your Extras/ Sweets chicks on the right side of the board. Since the goal is to end up with as many chicks on the right hand side, your chickins just might be encouraged to leave their sweets on the table.

One of the nicest side effects of the board is that it takes the pressure off parents to have to conjure up endless explanations about why chickins have to eat their veggies! Just have them check out their boards and see what they’ve had for the day. “See that lonely little veggie chick...he wants to join his friends – please help him.” Who says a little bit ’o guilt isn’t a wonderful thing sometimes?

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Chickin Feed Nutrition Tracking Goods

Chickinware Chickinware is simply a template for good eating. The dishes will be sold as a set of six – three meal plates (breakfast, lunch & dinner) and three snack plates. Eating six smaller meals is much better for your health. Nutrition Chick says so. All the little chicks from the Nutrition Tracking Board have a home on one of the plates and portion sizes are suggested.

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So if you give your “protein” chick an

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egg, your “dairy/calcium” chick some milk, some whole wheat toast for the little "grains/bread/pasta" chick and

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give the "fruit" chick some strawberries,

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“Voila!” – you will have eaten a well-balanced breakfast! Note: Some small portion-sized cups and bowls will be helpful for those who don’t like their food to touch! And of course, always encourage your chickins to MAKE GOOD CHOICES!


Feed Groups – Nutrition 101

We thought it would be helpful to have a great big list of WHY

The Chickin Feed Nutrition Tracking Board

you need t o eat fr om eac h

is a terrific tool to help get kids and families

different food group and WHAT

on the right track. It’s based on sound, evidence-based nutrition information and

foods are in each group. Our

the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans,

Nutrition Chick, Emily Harrison,

the same guideline that the USDA’s “My Pyramid” is based on. My Pyramid is the

has provided some simple,

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new and improved version of the old food

very basic information that

guide pyramid that we were all familiar

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with, but didn’t necessarily use on a

addresses each of the food

day-to-day basis as it was intended. NOTE: The Chickin Feed Nutrition Tracking Board is designed for children ages three

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to eight (3-8), but chickins of any age can

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use the board – just go to www.mypyra-

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mid.gov and plug in your info if it differs

from the Chickin Feed Nutrition Tracking Board. Remember, chickins and their parents can have a range of nutritional needs depending on their age, physical activity level, and gender.

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When using your Chickin Feed board to track your progress, know that it is designed to help you get the recommended variety of foods without making things too difficult or confusing. If you aren’t certain which category the foods you are eating fit into – be flexible! Consider what you need overall for the day and move two magnets for something if need be. For example, many dairy products are high in protein so you could move two magnets (Calcium/Dairy and Protein) for one serving. If your dairy product is a milkshake, then be sure to move your Extra/Sweet magnet too since milkshakes are high in fat and sugar. A milkshake has calcium and protein, but it also has much more fat and sugar than a cup of 1% milk. KEEP IN MIND. Portion control is one of the most important pieces in healthy eating.


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Š copyright 2008 Chickin Feed Press, LLC all rights reserved

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