DALLAS North Texas mom Tania Boughton has used a simple phrase to launch her healthy recipes far beyond the confines of her household.
'Check the light before you bite,' she says.
That line bounced off the pages of her kid-centered cookbook, which aims to make healthier meals appealing to children. She pairs specific foods with traffic lights: avoid 'red' foods, they're high in sugars and fat. 'Yellow' foods should be eaten occasionally. 'Green' foods mean go: these are fruits, vegetables and other nutritious choices.
'My oldest son came home one day and wished more of his friends ate healthier,' Boughton said. 'I thought, 'there has got to be a way to help.' After I wrote the book last year, I thought, 'You know, I can help here; I can make a difference.'
Boughton is a single mother of two young boys. She wrote the healthy cookbook and then came up with the phrase, which got the attention of the Dallas Independent School District and the Dallas Stars. Both are working with Boughton to help children make good eating choices.
Elementary school student Carter Sito, 10, said the phrase made an impression on him 'by knowing which food is right for you and which food you can't eat that often.'
Boughton's son, Tristan Theeringer, agreed.
'It helps me because it gets me to eat healthier,' the 10-year-old said.
'Check the light before you bite' has its own website, which offers guidance and incentives like free Stars tickets to help motivate kids and their parents.
'We are getting into the homes of the parents and so they are also helping the kids make better decisions,' Boughton said.
Dallas ISD and the Stars are also sponsoring a ticket giveaway for middle school families with students in the district that includes four free tickets to a hockey game. Head here to learn how to enter.