Astute Inside Track readers will recall our January 2012 profile of Tania Lopez, the mother-of-two who created the character Coqui the Chef to teach kids and their families about healthy eating. The chef is based on the real-life coqui frog, a tiny species with a big voice — which Lopez thought made for the perfect mascot to showcase the importance of good nutrition.
Coqui the Chef’s message has continued to spread since we chatted with Lopez last year. The program received the American Heart Association’s New York City Community Impact Grant, for example, and even appeared as a guest of honor at the 55th Annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade.
But on Friday, Lopez and Coqui the Chef hit the big time.
First, the dynamic duo stopped by the television show The Chew to spread their healthy message. While on set, Lopez was ambushed by Chew co-host Clinton Kelly and Stacy London, his partner-in-crime on TLC’s makeover show What Not to Wear.
Lopez agreed to appear on the TLC show, ditching her wardrobe in return for $5,000 to buy a new wardrobe as part of her makeover, which also included hair and makeup. The results were revealed on What Not to Wear on Friday night (you can see them in this clip).
“Being on The Chew and What Not to Wear was an amazing experience! I learned so much about myself and clothing. I kept the look and wear the clothes often, it amazes me how the right clothes and attitude enhanced my self-confidence,” Lopez tells the Inside Track.
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Leaders are people who are actively working - either professionally or as volunteers - to change policies and environments to help children eat better and be more active. We use the following criteria to evaluate whether to approve an applicant for Leader status with the Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center.
Do you meet the criteria below? If so, register as a Leader here. There is no cost to be a Leader.
At least one item must be checked within each of the following two categories:
1. Applicant is focused on changing policies and environments
They are working on one of Voices for Healthy Kid's six issue areas:
Ensure foods and beverages in schools meet dietary guidelines
Expand community access to high quality food
Expand physical activity programs in and out of school
Improve built environment in communities to increase physical activity
Use pricing strategies to promote purchase of healthier foods
Use regulation/policy to reduce youth exposure to unhealthy food marketing
They are working on other obesity-related issues, such as:
Their primary focus is working on individual behavior (e.g., teaching kids about food, play, etc.), but they have access to organizations that could provide opportunities to change environments, such as
Public Health Agencies
Their project is commercial, but contributes positively to changing policies and environments, such as:
2. Applicant is organizing others or contributing to organizing efforts
They are organizing others by:
Providing volunteer opportunities
Building contact lists of supporters to engage in advocacy
They provide support to organizations or leaders doing work changing policies and environments, such as:
They are a leader in a governmental body that may be the target of organizing efforts to change policies and environments, such as a:
Federal or state agency
Mayor or other local executive office
Federal, state, county or local public health department
Federal, state, county or transportation department
Federal, state or local education agency or school board
If the applicant claims to work for an organization, at least one item must be checked below:
3. Applicant works for an organization:
Has an email address that matches the domain of the organization they list
Is listed on the organization website as staff
The Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center is looking for bloggers who can write about issues that matter to our community on a regular basis. If you would like to be considered for this network, please check this box.