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Grocery Shopping With Your Children

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Getting your children to try new foods, especially the ones you wish they’d eat the most, can be one of the most frustrating parts of parenting. There are a lot of different tricks and methods to get your children to sample new foods but we want to focus on an often overlooked part of the food journey.  By involving your children in grocery shopping and the planning of meals they’re automatically more likely to try what you cook. While nothing is a fool-proof method this strategy also has the added benefit of making grocery shopping a more enjoyable experience.  Check out the following meal planning tips and then print out the complimentary grocery store “bingo” game to take with you to the store.


Meal planning with your kids:

. Look through cookbooks, Pinterest boards, or online recipes with your children.  Listen to their input and suggestions.  If they hate curry for example suggest a spice swap before hand.

. Give your children responsibility by telling them what to include in a healthy well rounded meal and let them make choices of what to include.

. Give them two or three colors and help them choose vegetables that match and then create a meal around them.

. If you find a recipe that you want to make but your child dislikes some of the ingredients deconstruct the meal into its separate parts and serve them individually.


Grocery store BINGO.

 This is a very open ended game and we’ve given you suggestions but feel free to make your own table and add your grocery list to all of the squares or adjust for age.  Use the squares as talking points when you’re doing meal planning and explain any new concepts.

You can play traditional 5 in a row or blackout bingo.  And as far as winning goes the prize can be nothing more than the satisfaction of playing, a special outing, or something small they’ve been wanting. We recommend not rewarding with food as it can contribute to a negative relationship with food.


A fruit or vegetable you’ve never tried A breakfast food that’s not cereal A red fruit Your favorite healthy snack An orange vegetable
A food for dinner you’d like to cook A fruit that’s in season A snack with less than 5 grams of sugar per serving A protein that’s not meat A food with vitamin C
A healthy protein A food with high levels of omega 3’s Free Space  Something green A food that starts with the letter of your first name
A dried fruit or vegetable A food that contains 10% or more of your daily iron A fruit larger than a baseball A vegetable you’d like in your lunch A dairy product without added sugar
Purple Produce Something frozen that’s healthy A yellow vegetable A food with whole grains A dip or spread for veggies

Whether it’s type 1 or 2, you’re 5 or 55 a diabetes can diagnosis can signal a major life change.  Any time we get news about our health it means a change for our lifestyle and it’s up to us to decide how positive we want that change to be.  In the age where so much information is at our fingertips it can be difficult to find quality resources, good advice, and a community to support you.

We’ve compiled some of our favorite resources and general tips and guidelines to get you started.  All of the below resources are have information on both type 1 and 2 and cover resources for a wide age of patients.

Joslin Diabetes Center is a world-renowned center that focuses on innovative solutions in diabetes prevention, research, education, and care.  You’ll find general information, links to recommended books, discussion boards and much more. Discussion boards can be a wonderful way to find a group of local people and gain valuable insights from those who have been through years of treatment.

Patients Like Me is another great clinical site where patients share their clinical experience and treatment protocol.

DiaTribe, In their own words diatribe diaTribe provides free cutting-edge diabetes insights and actionable tips for people with diabetes. Their mission is to help individuals gain a better understanding of their diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association has a wealth of useful and accessible resources including food and fitness tips for all ages, links to find community resources, research and practice information, and advocacy.

Diabetes Blogs are a fantastic way to not only get updated health information but to find a community.  The link goes to a list of the top 25 Diabetes blogs.  Being able to take part in someones story can help you feel less alone.

Apps that track and log health information go a long way in making your day-to-day life simpler.  Diabetes management can feel like one more thing on a list that’s already too long.  An app can take out some of the grunt work and make you feel more secure knowing that you don’t have to rely solely on your memory.

Twitter Hashtags are an easy way to get a news stream of current information- Try entering #diabetes, #t1d, t2d, #type1diabetes, or #type2diabetes.

The Furdmont Chronicles– Our premier app the Furdmont chronicles was designed to be fun while teaching you important health information.  There are enough doctors appointments and lecture style learning when you have diabetes, which is why we thought it was time that information be presented in a more digestible format.  The app is free because we believe quality information shouldn’t come at a price.

Our lives are entrenched in technology and media, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that companies who refuse to update their businesses to be in line with current technologies simply won’t reach consumers where they are. When we created Cartoon MD we wanted help to people lead better lives and have fun while doing it.  What we discovered is that there was a need for simple, fun, interactive health information in the market that wasn’t being met, so CartoonMD was born.  Think of a world of cartoon characters doing their playful thing in games and shows, but imbedded in and fused into this world are simple, partially hidden, important and useful nuggets of medical information.

Our premier app the Furdmont Chronicles is more than just a game, it’s a way to effortlessly internalize and discover important information about diabetes without listening to a lecture or sitting on a hard plastic chair in a Doctor’s office.  It’s like the anti dry-medical-pamphlet approach. Learning you have diabetes can be scary, and it’s often difficult for people, especially kids, to deal with their fears and absorb the information that they really need.  By melding the information into an allegorical format in a fun game, children find the material is more than approachable – it draws them in – and they and are free to explore and learn through natural cause and effect.  Check out our list of why medical games are slated to be the next big thing in health care:


  1. People are over worked including our kids- Children have more homework and extracurricular time commitments than ever before, so health information needs to be something they want to learn not another item on a to do list.  A game is the perfect solution to this problem.


  1. Parents crave educational media for their children- Screen time isn’t going anywhere but most parents want to at least ensure their child is getting some learning in as well as enjoying themselves.  And while there are plenty of games about every school topic imaginable, health information in game format is just starting to be explored.


  1. Children learn through play- While this is still true for adults it particularly pertains to children.  Children internalize information best when they’re playing rather than being lectured.


  1. Having an engaged patient is critical to their outcome- If you have a young patient who won’t take their medication and cooperate their long term health outcome is poor at best. Games are engaging to children and allow them to explore important topics in a setting they’re comfortable with.  Even more exciting is that children are more likely to respond well to a character they like and be spurred to action. CartoonMD and Furdmont are filled with a broad set of characters, and kids will identify with at least one or two of them.


  1. Hospitals are already starting to use medical gaming- Hospitals across the country have begun to realize the benefits of presenting information in game format.  Many Children’s hospitals have medical games to play when a patient is admitted.  They keep the patient happy and occupied while their learning potentially lifesaving information about their condition.


We want you to imagine if your child enjoyed going to their doctor because they got to play a new computer game in the waiting room and if part of a prescription was to play a game for 20 minutes instead of pouring over dry material or listening to another lecture.  Learning should be fun! “Mom, can we go to Dr. Smith’s office? The new CartoonMD game just came out and they have it there!”.

As a parent I can attest to the fact that figuring out the minefield of screen time can be stressful and confusing. We all want what’s best for our children and this is the first generation of kids that are growing up completely entrenched in technology. A decade ago smart phones hadn’t come out and there was no binge watching a show unless you spent weeks taping episodes. We are the ones responsible for setting limits and determining how harmful or helpful media consumption is. As a company that produces games intended for children we take the issue of screen-time very seriously. Our mission is for our products to be educational and enriching. Here are guidelines and additional resources for managing screen time:

1. It’s about quality and quantity- Just because a given media is educational doesn’t mean your child should have access it to it 24/7. We recommend up to an hour a day of approved media engagement. If your child needs the computer for school this time can be in addition to that. Check out Common Sense Media for specific guides on TV shows, movies, and general tips

2. Set up firm rules with your kids and lead by example- Children do best when they know what the expectations are and you lead by example. Make sure that you’re putting down the phone and computer for quality time with your kids.

3. Keep them busy- If there is nothing to do it’s far more likely that you’ll hear complaints about wanting to spend time watching TV and being online. Have a “bored” box with age appropriate crafts, games and ideas. Check out community boards for free activities and be willing to join your kids outside for a nature hike, game of tag, or sport of their choice

4. Engage in media with your child- If you have young kids this is hard because screen time can be one of the few breaks a parent gets, however, children get more out of media if a parent is watching with them. Ask your children questions about what happened, discuss reality versus fiction. Spend time researching or watching fun YouTube videos of content your child doesn’t understand or is interested in.

5. Choose wisely. Not all media is created equal and while it’s okay for a child to have a guilty pleasure encourage media consumption that requires active participation and teaches a concept. Make sure to reinforce what your child has learned

Done correctly, media consumption can be a tool to teach your children new concepts, reinforce learning, and even to bond with peers and family. Wishing you all happy viewing and playing.

Hi everyone! Welcome to something new – having fun while learning about diabetes!

With CartoonMD, you’ll have fun with the goofy whacky world of CartoonMD. The characters, cartoons, comic strips, video game, and show have all been created to provide an enjoyable experience. In the background is effortless learning about an important medical topic from a Physician/Cartoonist.

I’m a board certified endocrinologist/diabetes specialist who trained at Harvard’s Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, and I care for patients every day. I happen to also be a professional cartoonist, and I’ve joined forces with several talented folks from an array of fields to bring you something quite unique – medically precise learning through fun stuff!

The amazing and talented folks who have invested themselves in CartoonMD range from medical folks (doctors, nurses, diabetes educators and people with diabetes themselves) to a Hollywood screenwriter (FJ Lennon), a professional L.A. game developer (David Warhol from Realtime Associates), creative designers and amazing business folks (ClarifyDigital) along with many others. I am proud to be working with each and every one of them. Our mission is to help as many people as possible live better lives through our efforts.

I call many of the games and cartoons we offer “allegory adventure” games and cartoons because they are first and foremost fun adventure games where you play a character in a story. However, once the other meaning behind the game or cartoon is revealed, you realize you have learned something important about a medical topic.
While our products are meant for all ages to enjoy we have a particular goal of reaching children and adolescents with diabetes and other medical conditions. Children of this generation are growing up entrenched in a digital world; what better way to reach them where they are then through an educational game. Learning through play isn’t a new concept and we think it’s about time it extends to medical education.

So toss aside the boring and dry teaching pamphlets for the moment, and let’s have some fun!

Dr. Grady

Medical Gaming

Welcome to Cartoon MD

Justin Grady Matrisciano MD FACE
CEO – CMD Gaming LLC
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine
Tulane University School of Medicine
Board Certified in Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism