Good Nutrition Goes Hip-Hop

When Julie Salomon, clinical nutritionist at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, was asked to make a presentation to a second grade class, she did what she always does - she donned her fruity blouse and hat, a la Carmen Miranda, and shared with the youngsters 3 important messages on nutrition.
Julie and the other nutritionists at UW Hospital and Clinics often take their message of nutritional wellness to community and school events and wellness fairs. At those events, and for this group of second graders, Julie boils things down to 3 key directives:
  • Colorize - The more colors you eat, the better
  • Minimize - Cut down on junk food, large portions, sweetened beverages, etc.
  • Mobilize - Exercise

To reinforce this approach, she brought along some exotic ethnic fruits and vegetables to illustrate just how diverse fruits and vegetables can be.


A few weeks later, Julie was surprised to receive an invitation back to the class to pick up a gift. There, she was presented with a new customized hat, featuring the students' names with a corresponding fruit or vegetable. There was Gabe the gourd, and Jack the jalapeno. Julie was moved to tears, as she realized how her message had been embraced by these students and had fostered further discovery.


A few weeks later, Julie was invited back to the school again, this time for an end-of-year assembly. To her amazement, Julie and the rest of the school were treated to a full-length, choreographed hip-hop song - performed by the students with lyrics featuring her nutritional message of colorize, minimize and mobilize. What had begun as a class visit with a simple message grew into a fun example of just how easy healthy living can be for both kids and adults.


Here is a sampling from that song:

fruit hatsFollow our example - please imitate,
Healthy eating you can celebrate.
Make your style totally elite
And wish someone bon appetite.

Friends, listen to our cries,
It's something you should memorize,
When it comes to food you gotta -
When it comes to food you gotta -
When it comes to food you gotta -