A green-fingered mum determined to teach kids about the power of fruit and veg has penned a children’s book to educate them on the power of healthy eating.
Selina Brown, from Birmingham, wrote and self-published the illustrated children’s book, Nena: The Green Juice, while looking after her two-year-old daughter during lockdown.
The idea for the self-funded book came after noticing how claustrophobic her daughter, but also the young children in her family, were feeling and how unhealthily they started eating.
The NHS says that eating a healthy, balanced diet promotes good immune function and mood.
Wanting to share this message and create a solution, Selina wrote an entertaining children’s book that would uplift their physical and mental health, whilst educating them on the importance of fruits and vegetables and the positive effects on their bodies and immune system.
Nena: The Green Juice follows 5-year-old Nena, a young Black girl with a big afro, as she creates her first ever green juice using ingredients like kale and apples. Her journey ends with a big surprise. 
Selina said: “I was at home during lockdown seeing the children around me eating unhealthily. Given we were in the midst of a pandemic, it was extremely worrying as I knew how this could negatively affect their immune system. I wanted to create a change so I wrote a book that brings the fun into fruits and vegetables.
“I would love for this book to motivate young children to eat their veggies at dinnertime or inspire a family to make a green juice together. Green juice is a staple part of mine and my daughter’s lifestyle – we drink one at least three times a week which has such a powerful impact on our health from increased energy to better concentration and for me, clear skin.”
With Covid-19 and the onset of the winter flu season, parents like Selina are increasingly concerned about their family’s health and it’s so important to explain the importance of nutrition to young children. Merging the knowledge into a fictional story makes this information much easier for children understand, Selina explained.
She said: “My overall wish is that every child that reads Nena: The Green Juice will fall in love with eating healthily and taking care of their bodies. Or at the bare minimum, eat two pieces of veg off their plate!”
Character Nena resembles the children in Selina’s family, which was extremely important as just 1% of children’s books published in the UK in 2017 featured a Black or minority ethnic main character, according to the *Reflecting Realities study.
She added: “It was important to me that the main character was Black as you don’t see many books with a young Black female character with a fluffy afro on the cover. Representation and diversity in books really matter to me as young Black children need to see positive images of themselves. I have been getting so much positive feedback from my children that have read the book, they are finally happy to see someone who looks just like them”.
“As coronavirus has a higher rate of infection in the Black community, we need to be talking to children about health from as early as possible.”
Nena: The Green Juice is now available to purchase on Amazon at: www.selinabrown.com