Thank you for your interest in Nourish Interactive! Our mission is to offer fun, innovative solutions that empower children and families to learn about nutrition and make healthy choices.
Nourish Interactive’s Story
Maggie LaBarbera RN MBA spent many years working as a nurse in the ICU of a hospital during which time she cared for patients who had a variety of life changing medical conditions. But, she recalls being particularly touched by the young teenagers who suffered with morbid obesity and were voluntarily having gastric bypass surgery. This is major surgery in which the stomach is physically altered. She became concerned when she realized that she was seeing more of these cases at a younger and younger age.
Then Maggie received a call from a family member who was very upset after learning that her child had been diagnosed as obese after the doctor told her how childhood obesity could lead to major health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. After extensive research, Maggie realized that her relative was part of a growing population of overweight children. She learned that the US Surgeon General predicted that for the first time, this generation of children would have a shorter lifespan than their parents. That one out of every three children would have diabetes by the time they were thirty. Childhood obesity was now considered an epidemic worldwide. As a healthcare professional and a mother, Maggie knew at that point that she needed to take positive action and began seeking solutions.
What she discovered was that there were no easy answers. But the one message she heard consistently from childhood obesity experts was that the best solution was prevention. Maggie wanted to use her nursing expertise and business background to promote prevention through early nutrition education. So in May 2005, Maggie LaBarbera formed Nourish Interactive, Inc. She was determined to develop an interactive nutrition education website dedicated to fun, interactive games, activities and e-newsletter to reach out to both kids and parents. Maggie developed an education strategy that used the internet as the key source of communication for families recognizing the importance of involving parents to support and reinforce healthy lifestyles.
She looked at the high sugar, high fat food companies and how they marketed directly to children and made unhealthy eating fun. Maggie struggled to think of any popular cartoon characters that were associated with nutrition. In this she saw an opportunity to use “fun” engaging characters and online kids’ games to promote the importance of good nutrition, activity and healthy eating patterns. ‘Chef Solus’ was created to appeal to kids and is featured in Chef Solus and the Food Pyramid Adventure game. Solus was the name of the Roman God for Health so it was a perfect fit. The website uses interactive video flash game technology and animation to teach children about the importance of nutrition and exercise.
Launch of Nourishinteractive.com
Maggie initially tried to get outside funding to start Nourish Interactive but heard the same story, that the company was too small for venture capitalists and angel investors wanted to see some revenue first. She believed so strongly in the Nourish Interactive mission and was confident that the right people and resources would come together to move the plan forward. And they did! It’s been an exciting journey but in late 2007, with the support of dietitians, instructional designers and educational game developers, NourishInteractive.com was launched as a Free nutrition education website for all families.
In March 2008, Nourish Interactive became an official corporate partner with the USDA to actively promote the MyPyramid concept of healthy eating and daily activity based on the latest USDA Kids Food Pyramid. In May 2008, Nourish became a corporate participant of Healthy Monday, Meatless Monday and Healthy Child Healthy World - leading organizations dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles and children’s health and wellness.
Nourish Interactive is offering unique charter sponsor and advertising opportunities to like-minded companies and organizations who share our mission of promoting healthy children, lifestyle choices and prevention through nutrition education. Nourish Interactive is committed to continuing to offer these fun educational online kids’ nutrition games and tools available free to all families. Contact us to learn how you can partner with Nourish Interactive to help spread the word to create healthier future for kids and families!
We appreciate your interest in Nourish Interactive!