About Tummy Ninjas
I am the author of Tummy Ninjas vs. the Stomach Virus. I have been an elementary school teacher for 15 years, and I LOVE it. My husband Brandon and I have two amazingly adorable children of our own. I have a bachelor's degree in health and physical education and a master's degree in special education. I am a NESTA certified Childhood Nutrition Specialist and a NESTA certified Fitness Nutrition Coach. Finally, I am the chair for the Wellness Committee for my school district. It is a blessing to use my skills as an educator and my passion for health to teach, motivate, and encourage young people and families to lead healthy lifestyles.
The things I am most passionate about are fitness and nutrition. I love serving the world by spreading my love for healthy foods and helping others get on track with their health. As an educator, I love working with children. In my experience, learning to love real, healthy foods starts at an early age. I work with families who want to grow into fit, healthy families. I work with mothers and fathers who need support and ideas on ways to get their kids to adopt a healthy diet. It is my desire for all kids to have healthy, strong Tummy Ninjas so that they can feel amazing and fight off sickness.
As a teacher, I have worked with thousands of children. It has been exciting to observe how easy it is to be a positive role model and set a good example for them. I have had countless parents send me messages thanking me for motivating their children to drink more water or try a new fruit. Yes, I am THAT teacher who doesn't give candy. I do make fruit salad for my students several times per year, and I encourage healthy snacks. I have found that my students appreciate this. Plus, they feel better throughout the day and are ready to learn.
It is in the classroom that I first created the Tummy Ninja story 7+ years ago. I had a group of adorable 2nd graders pulling out their snacks for the day. To my astonishment, most students had a bag of candy as their snack (it was the day after Halloween). I always eat snacks with my students. This is just a very subtle way that I like to inspire them to make healthy choices. On this special day, I was eating egg salad wrapped in a Romaine lettuce leaf. We had a very brief talk about how the candy would make them feel after they ate it. The students all agreed that they would feel "kind of yucky". We then discussed how apples, bananas, or something with less sugar would make them feel. They all agreed that those foods would give them more energy and make them feel great. From there, I told them that when we feed our Tummy Ninjas fresh fruits and vegetables, they get strong and can fight off germs.
This really made an impact on the students. The most exciting part of this story is that on the very next day, the students brought apples, bananas, carrot sticks, and even egg salad for snack. They were all talking about the Tummy Ninjas and how they were feeding them to make them strong. How cool and simple was that?
Still here? Let's connect. You can find me on Instagram where I share meal ideas and family adventures.