Photo Credit: Bracha Goetz

Title: Let’s Stay Healthy!
By Bracha Goetz

 

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We are all busy doing mitzvos 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 teshuvah and change the way he eats. We follow the boy as he learns what healthy choices are, how it protects his organs and bones, where the food 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 teeth habits.

Let’s Stay Healthy gives kids practical advice for finding foods that come from the ground, to look at the ingredients when buying things, 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 genetics expresses itself during life!

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 acknowledge how difficult it is to make these choices at times. Give them the courage to make changes and maybe even earn 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 too.

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

Let’s Stay Healthy is available in Jewish bookstores and on the website: www.goetzbookshop.com.

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Tatum Stern is a registered dietitian (RDN, LDN).