Singer-songwriter (and The Jew & The Carrot contributor) Jay Mankita recently teamed up with The NY Coalition for Healthy School Food to create Eat Like a Rainbow – a “rocking, funky, danceable collection of quirky kids songs about healthy food and sustainable living.”
Sounds great, but would kids actually listen to a CD about eating fruits and vegetables? Last weekend, I tested it out on the experts, my three daughters.
On Friday after school, I left two of my daughters (6 and 4) in the minivan with their babysitter while I picked up their older sister (who is 8). I casually suggested they try listening to the new CD until we returned. When my oldest daughter and I got back, the tunes were cranking and there was a bonafide dance party in the car.
6 year old: “This is the best ever!”
Mankita’s music is heavy on rhythm with some great electric guitar riffs. The songs range in style from calypso to rock and have catchy, kid-friendly titles like: “New Food Attitude,” “Everybody Likes Vegetables,” and “Junk Food Man.” The last song, Sun, Wind, Soil and Rain is a beautiful lullaby about seasonal cycles. My 8-year old critic, after hearing only the beginning of the first cut, said, “I like the music, but I don’t like the words.” Then she proceeded to listen to the entire CD and changed her mind.
Fast forward to late Sunday afternoon, back in the car for the drive home to New York City from our summer home in Fire Island. My 8-year old immediately asked, “Can we put the Jay Mankita CD on?” I had to apologize – it was packed it in my luggage and irretrievable.
My husband rooted around in the glove compartment and found an older Jay Mankita CD we’d bought at the first Hazon Food Conference. We toured through every song, but the kids were disappointed – they preferred Eat Like a Rainbow’s R&B and rock to this CD’s spoken word feel. Now that we’re back home, however, and their beloved new CD has been unearthed from my suitcase, my girls are ready to turn up the volume and dance. Yes, even to songs about vegetables.
Win a copy of Eat Like a Rainbow for your kids – or yourself! Tell us which vegetable you loved most – and hated most! – when you were a kid.
Listen to samples and purchase Eat Like Rainbow here.
Check out The New York Coalition for Healthy School Food here.