Healthy Eating Storybook: Stargold the Food Fairy


To celebrate the end of Nutrition Month, I caught up with fellow dietitian Claudia Lemay, RD to find out about her new nutrition children's storybook. It's available on Amazon. And, the e-book version is free today and tomorrow!

KY: Claudia, how old are your children now?

CL: My happy-go-lucky son is 9 years old and my CEO/corporate lawyer in-training (I swear!) daughter is 5 1/2 years old.

KY: Why did you write the book?

CL:I wrote it because my daughter, who never takes "no" for an answer, started asking for candies at every single meal and snack. She is a very insistent person and just explaining why she needs to eat healthy wasn't enough, so I had to think of something else. I made up a story for her (Stargold the Food Fairy) and when I saw the spark of real understanding in her eyes, I knew I was on to something.

KY: What ages is the book for? 

CL: Children of elementary school age is who it was written for, but I would say anyone from age 4-12 would enjoy and learn from it. The story is also available on my website as a PowerPoint presentation for teachers to use in a classroom setting.

KY: What is the book's message?

CL: The story is about a young girl, Lucie, who travels to a magical land of elves called Growland after she gets a "no" from her mother at her request for a candy dinner. In Growland, Lucie learns from Stargold the Food Fairy that every food she eats becomes a different building material for a house that is being built for her. The main message is that a house in Growland actually represents the body of a person, and so, by eating a healthy, balanced diet the house (and hence her body) will grow up strong and healthy.

KY: What's your favourite part of the book?

CL: Well, many of the people who have read my book said that their favourite part is when Lucie truly "gets it." Near the end of the story, after Stargold explains that every part of her body used to be the food she ate, Lucie looks down at her hands and has that "wow" moment where she truly "gets it."

KY: Where can people buy the book?

CL: On my website at, under the Shopping Corner tab or directly on (search for Stargold the Food Fairy). It is available in hard copy and ebook, in both English and French. The ebooks will be offered for free for the last 5 days of March as a promotion for Nutrition month.

KY: Are you writing any more books?

CL: Yes, I am working on my second book for children to teach them about diabetes. It also involves Stargold the Food Fairy helping a boy named Brody understand living with diabetes.

KY: Anything else you want to share?

CL: Part of the proceeds of this book will go to Malala's fund, which helps promote children's education worldwide.

123's on the ABC's (Guest Post)

iStock_000000982062XSmallToday I'm sharing with you a guest post from child literacy expert (and my friend), Nicola Lott. She has great news on how to support your child to love learning. Also she has some great games and books for sale if you're looking for last-minute Christmas gifts. Enjoy! Kristen


There is conundrum facing all parents of kids aged 0-5years. You want to make sure that your child is prepared for school but you don’t want to be a “pushy parent”. A profusion of myths have sprouted over the past decade around the skills kids need to start Kindergarten, leaving parents trying to do their best with very little more than guesswork and gossip as a guide.

Everyone has met at least one parent in the playground with a 2 year old who knows the alphabet and appears to be on a trajectory to read War & Peace by Christmas.

Fact: In BC the learning deliverable upon graduation from Kindergarten is that kids will know at least 20 letters. Kids are certainly not expected to know the alphabet upon entering Kindergarten. Some do, but not all.

The truth is that learning to recognise the letters is just one of the many vital pre-reading skills that kids need in order to become accomplished readers. The best way to build these skills is to expose your child to a wealth of books from birth onwards. Be sure to read a range of non-fiction, fiction and rhyming books to help build a broad vocabulary. Modeling how much you enjoy reading has a profound impact on your child. Use the dinner table and car trips to work on listening skills by clapping out word syllables and playing sound games like “what sound does ‘car’ begin with?” That way, when your child is ready to learn the alphabet he or she will already have an understanding of language and how it goes together making letter learning meaningful.

Kids typically come to a place where their brain is ready to 'easily' learn letters sometime between three and a half and six years old.

When your child is ready to learn letters, he will be able to spot the difference between the shapes of the letters and be excited about learning them. Start by teaching the letters in his name. If that goes well try some other useful words like 'Mummy' & 'Daddy'. If it's going well, keep going. If not, wait for six months and try again. Studies show that children who learn to read at their own pace in a home where parents share their passion for reading are more likely to read for pleasure by the time they are ten years old, and in the big picture, that's far more important than learning to read early.

The next time you feel unsure about your child’s literacy abilities, take comfort in the knowledge that the path to raising a child who loves reading may not necessarily be the shortest one.

Nicola Lott is a Family Literacy Specialist who helps parents navigate early literacy in a fun playful way. Check her out at or on Facebook.