Kid entrepreneur Mya Prehn (right) knows that getting kids to eat healthy lunches can be tough. This seven-year-old admits she was a picky eater. Working with her mom, Mya came up with a system called Lunch Apeel that rewards kids for eating the good stuff in their lunches.
Lunch Apeel makes healthy eating fun, letting kids earn points and rewards based on the nutritional value of their lunch and snack choices. “When you or your mom or dad are packing your lunch, you use the apple stickers by putting them on the items in your lunch,” says Mya. “For example, a wrap could earn you three Abby Apples, crackers could earn you one Abby Apple and a Mott‘s Fruitsations Fruit Rocket could earn you two Abby Apples.”
Mya’s ingenuity was rewarded when she made a pitch on CBC’s Dragon’s Den. The Dragons were so impressed that they each offered Mya $1,000 for a total investment of $5,000. The only stipulation was that Mya give half of all profits to Breakfast Clubs of Canada. To date, Mya has donated $5,000 to the charity.
Rewards are agreed upon by parent and child before points are earned. When it comes to Mya’s own rewards, she’s all about the memories. “I've gone with my dad for lunch, I've had a sewing date with Grandma and I’ve got a new book with my mom,” she says.
Mya’s efforts landed her a job as Chief Snack Expert for Mott's Fruitsations. Her favourite aspects of the job include travelling and making new friends. Plus, she’s happy to help other kids learn the value of a healthy lunch. “If you eat your fruits and vegetables you have lots of energy to move and play. When you just eat chocolate and cookies all the time you don’t grow and it doesn't help your brain to learn,” says Mya.
Lunch Apeel is available for purchase across Canada at lunchapeel.com. Find our more about Mya at facebook.com/lunchapeel
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, June 2015.