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Moms know best

By LAURIE ARENDT

 

Joelle Lefevre and Mindy Dorff started a Web site where parents can find healthy snacks for their kids.


If we are what we eat, then parents should listen carefully to two local moms when it comes to their children’s health.

Oconomowoc’s Joelle Lefevre and Delafield’s Mindy Dorff (aka the "Yum Yum Sisters") have started a new Web site called www.yumyumsnacks.com. The site is a one-stop shop and parent resource for families seeking healthy nutrition choices.

"We’ve both always been into organic and natural foods and, because we had to shop around, we’d visit three or four different shops to buy the food we wanted," says Joelle Lefevre, a mother of two and registered dietician. "Mindy happened to comment that it sure would be nice

if there was one place where we could buy everything and literally, we were in business the next day."

The watershed moment occurred in April 2005 and by October the sisters’ Web site went live. The "one-stop, guilt-free snack shop" offers the Lefevre and Dorff families’ kid-tested healthy alternatives. The site also provides solid nutrition information and a place for parents to share information about improving their families’ diets.

"I think parents do understand that there are many ingredients in what we eat that aren’t very good for us and can put our children’s health at risk," says Lefevre. "But they don’t necessarily realize how prevalent some of these ingredients are."

None of the products carried by the Web site include high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), preservatives, hydrogenated oils/trans fats, genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) or artificial flavors or colors. The sisters sell the items at their manufacturer’s suggested retail price, which keeps them competitive with traditional grocery stores.

"Compared to five or 10 years ago, there really are a number of healthy alternatives on the market, particularly in snack foods," says Lefevre. "There are good alternatives that are fun, taste good and that kids will enjoy."

Introducing healthy alternatives to a family that’s used to a fast-food and snack-food fueled diet can be a challenge, but it can also be done. Lefevre offers a few suggestions besides logging on to their Web site.

"Depending on the child’s age, they can understand that improving their diet will make them healthier, keep them from getting sick and give them more energy for play time," she says. "And any changes that are made really need the commitment of the whole family — everybody in the family should start making healthier choices, including mom and dad."