Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Danielle the Dietician

Not being a nutritional expert myself, I enlisted the help of a friend to guest post later today on healthy eating. Danielle from Simple and Tasty Nutrition is a registered dietician who has a gift for breaking down the complexities of nutrition into practical, bite-sized pieces. Whenever I am at the grocery store and unsure what to buy, I always ask myself What Would Danielle Do? (WWDD -- I'm sure you've seen the bracelets and t-shirts around.) From reading Danielle's blog, I make smarter decisions like choosing light rather than white tuna (less mercury), switching from balsamic to apple cider vinegar (less sugar), and making my own salad dressing (less salt than the commercial varieties).

And now, in honour of nutrition week, a little story about nuts.

Danielle's eldest recently had a birthday. To support Danielle's minimalist aspirations, I tend to buy her kids either books or consumables (e.g. art supplies). After a fruitless search for Richard Fowler's Ted and Dolly's Fairytale Flight (my childhood favourite), I settled on what seemed like a reasonable second choice by the same author: A Squirrel's Tale.
As you can see, the book features a cardboard and felt squirrel that navigates the pages of the book through slots. In the Ted and Dolly book, it was a cardboard air balloon. I remember being able to pass that cardboard balloon through the slots in the pages as the most magical thing ever (which is probably why I still have my battered copy nearly three decades later). This squirrel seemed to promise the same childhood storybook mystique. The Amazon reviews were glowing. How could I go wrong?
The book arrived sealed (arguably to keep the squirrel in). This meant I couldn't pre-read for quality control. However, it is addressed to young children -- just how bad could it really be? I mean, surely someone would have written something in the Amazon reviews if there was a problem.

Allow me to paraphrase the story for you:

Squirrel: I can't find my nuts! Has anyone seen my nuts? Mr Mole, have you seen my nuts?!
Mole: No, Squirrel, I haven't seen your nuts. Why don't you ask Mrs Mole over there if she's seen your nuts.
Squirrel: Mrs Mole, have you seen my nuts?
Mole2: No, I haven't seen your nuts. Ask the owl.
Squirrel: Owl, have you seen my nuts?... (and so on)

Just in case the suspense is killing you: yes, the squirrel does indeed find his nuts at the end of the book. SPOILER ALERT: They were under a pile of leaves., if I recall correctly.
I could barely get through the book with a straight face. As luck would have it, Danielle's kid thought this was just the greatest story ever. "He can't find his nuts!!!" she shrieked giggling (I can only imagine the reaction when she pulls that one out at daycare). I personally read the book 8 times that evening, and I think Danielle added another 2 or 3 renditions.

Luckily, Danielle has a good sense of humour. We refer to it as the 'quasi-inappropriate' book. It's still a part of her children's library, and I'm still asked to read it out loud when I visit.


  1. I was expecting much worse from the story. I'm so glad he found his nuts! ;-)

    1. Luc-Rock, this is a PG-13 blog. ;-)