Ever since Jan. 30, 1980, the day my daughter was born, I have been interested in good nutrition for children.
Observing plastic bottles with laboratory-produced formula inside, and baby food containing overly processed food with various carcinogenic additives, I decided to do something about it. My first inclination was to produce a purely organic baby food. I stewed steamed some vegetables, mashed them up, and fed them to my daughter. She liked them more than the store-bought varieties, and seemed to enjoy good health. Step one was complete when I realized I lacked the few million dollars necessary to accomplish step two: testing, manufacturing, getting approval and bringing my product to market. I scratched around to get money, got shut down and gave up on that idea.
But I never did give up trying to make a difference in the world of children’s nutrition. I had no money, but I did have a pen and paper and I began writing a children’s book titled, “Attack of the Energy Vampires.”
The story opens in the mythical town of Famish where Crispy, a young girl, finds herself too tired to accomplish even the most basic of tasks, such as walking all the way to school without stopping. She is on the path leading to school one day when her lunch pail explodes and the food packed within begins to attack her. The foods which consist of chips, cookies, candy and sandwiches made of white bread and processed cheese come to life, capture the girl and take her to the Prison of Deficiency, where she is imprisoned with other children from Famish.
At the prison, the children are stuck inside of pop bottles, doughnuts, pies and jars of sugar. The head vampire, Count Chokeula, is a caped cigarette who stands guard over the prison and keeps the children of Famish sick and sedated by blowing clouds of smoke in their faces.
All seems lost until a caped carrot, Captain Carrot and his troop, The Legion of Good Health, fly onto the scene, do battle with Count Chokeula and the other captors, defeat them and rescue Crispy and the other children.
With that, Captain Carrot places Crispy on his back while The Legion of Good Health pick up the other children. Together they fly to Health Mountain where Crispy and the other children are nourished into good health.
It’s been well over 30 years since I envisioned this story. I have hired several illustrators, but the book remains unpublished. Nonetheless, I am heartened by the improvement in children’s nutrition that I have observed in grocery stores everywhere.
Crispy, which was my daughter Chrissy’s nickname as a child, now has two children of her own. The children, Lucas and Marley, are being raised to eat the best food available, and at this point do not require being carried away by the foods they are well acquainted with.