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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Nutri Ventures teaches kids about good nutrition and food diversity through an engaging, adventurous story about kids on a quest to return healthy eating habits to their homeland. As the characters visit color-coded, food group-themed kingdoms, they learn how each different category helps their bodies stay strong and healthy. They also must fight the clutches of eating habits that have the opposite effect, including junk foods of all kinds. Deeper themes touch on issues like governmental oppression (Grandland's tyrannical leader keeps the population under control by cutting off their access to healthy foods and rationing a nutritional supplement of his own design) and caste systems. Some scenes show physical struggles that include hitting, slapping, and other mild violence, but there are no visible injuries. Ultimately this series boasts an exciting story, positive heroes, and a wealth of educational value in its "nutritional" content.
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What's the story?
NUTRI VENTURES chronicles the adventures of a group of kids who embark on a mission to locate the sources of the various food groups and return them to the nutritionally deprived city of Grandland. Years ago, Grandland's leader, Alex Grand, rounded up all of the city's food supply and hid it away, replacing it with a supplement called Genex 100 that he distributes to the average population. But when Theo discovers that food still exists and realizes its benefits to people's health, he sets out with his friends, Ben and Lena, and his sister, Nina, to locate the various Food Kingdoms and retrieve each nutritional group for Grandland. He's guided on his mission by his grandfather, who recognizes him as the young hero foretold years ago to save the city, and by Nexus, a wise guardian who long ago helped safeguard the secret of food diversity.
Is it any good?
This series takes the arguably mundane topic of food pyramids and plate ratios and imbeds it in an engrossing adventure that will captivate kids. Theo and his friends face a smorgasbord of dangers and villains as they travel from one Food Kingdom to the next, from oppressive slave drivers who take the cream of the crop for themselves to the cunning Candyman, who uses sugar to dull the senses of everyone around him. All the while the kids must outsmart Alex Grand and his forces, who face certain upheaval if Theo achieves his goal and empowers Grandland's population with the health benefits -- called "Nutri-powers" -- of well-rounded nutrition.
Kids will have so much fun watching the characters' adventures that they won't realize they're learning at the same time, but it's impossible not to absorb much of what the show teaches about food groups and their specific contributions to overall good health. Even so, there's much more to Nutri Ventures than just nutritional tips. Theo and his friends are excellent models of courage and teamwork, and they respect the advice of their older, wiser mentors. What's more, even though there's a lot of levity to the show's content, the ongoing struggle against oppressive injustice wrought by a group's control over a food supply is a serious theme that's revisited time and again.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Nutri Ventures encourages healthy diets. Why is it important to eat a variety of foods? How does each different kind of food help your body in a different way? How do you feel when you eat less healthy food?
What other factors are important in staying healthy? How does exercise fit in? Sleep habits? Screen time? How do your household rules about these things reflect their importance?
Families can use this show to inspire meal planning and preparation. Kids: What are some of your favorite meals? What food groups do they incorporate? What should you add to them to balance your plate? Have your kids help you prepare the meal, and discuss portions as you eat it together as a family.
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