Healthier Choices for Kids: School Nutrition Guides

In 2008 I wrote and produced this series of nutrition guides for KC Healthy Kids and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City:


Exploring New Flavors: How to Shape Kids’ Food Preferences at Home and at School explains how teachers, school staff and parents can help kids learn to enjoy healthy “new” foods at home, in the classroom and in the cafeteria. This guide features Kiersten Firquain, who implemented the first Farm to Cafeteria program in Kansas City, plus resources and how-tos for helping students develop new food preferences.




Healthy Alternatives for School Celebrations, Rewards, Fundraisers and Snacks helps parents, school staff, and students put a healthy spin on school celebrations, rewards, fundraisers and snacks. The guide explores low-cost options, good-better-best choices, tips for easy preparation, recipes, and cross-cultural concepts.



Marketing Healthy Choices in the School Cafeteria was created for food service directors and managers who want to increase revenue while serving healthy foods.


The grant also included funding for this colorful place mat (shown front and back), which was created to encourage kids ages 2-5 eat their colors (also known as vitamins!) and get moving.

Special thanks to Liz Nord for designing the guides, and to Brian Grubb for designing and illustrating the place mat!


Cutie Coconut

Coconut is a licensed character from American Girl, and these were the first gift products Hallmark produced for Coconut. I was thrilled to serve as editorial director for the team charged with creating product for preteen girls. (Even when Hallmark gift product isn’t editorially intensive, editors are still very involved, keeping strategy, consumer need and end use in the forefront of the creative process.)

To get started, the art director and I led an idea-generation workshop for 15-20 designers from across the company. From an amazing list of innovative ideas, we developed the following products, basing our choices on cost requirements and audience appeal: