As an ICU nurse, Margaret LaBarbera saw firsthand the effects of an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. But while doctors and nurses can help patients stitch their lives back together after a stroke or cardiac arrest, LaBarbera wanted to make a difference on the front end. She founded Nourish Interactive, a free website for children, parents and educators, in 2005.
Nourish Interactive “teaches children about healthy choices, being active and the fun of healthy eating through interactive web-based games and tools,” LaBarbera says. The content-heavy site includes dozens of games, lesson plans and tips for parents. There’s also a huge sectionÂ just for kids.
Four ofÂ Nourish Interactive’sÂ games were recently named finalists in the “Apps for Healthy Kids” contest, which is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign. “Chef Solus’ Food Pyramid Adventure,” “Kevin’s Build a Meal,” “Ride the Food Label,” and “Healthy Harvest Maze” were recognized as fun, interactive games that help children learn about nutrition. Winners of the contest will be announced in September. Nourish Interactive was also recently added to the Association for Library Services to Children’s list of Great Web Sites for Kids.
“My job isn’t your typical nursing job, but I want to let nurses know that there are so many creative ways they can take their nursing experience and use it in another venue to promote health,” LaBarbera says. “I love what I do and am passionate about being part of the solution to fight childhood obesity.”