The Impact of Nutrition Tracking for Kids & Families

Published by Bonnie on

Angela Manzanares, nutrition tracking queen

Angela Manzanares, founder of fitlosophy, inc. and creator of fitbook

I recently had the privilege of interviewing fitness and nutrition tracking queen, Angela Manzanares. She is the founder of fitlosophy, inc. and creator of fitbook™, the revolutionary fitness + nutrition journal that is now being sold to hundreds of thousands worldwide.  Her encounter with the life-changing impact of nutrition tracking began many years ago as she worked hard to overcome her eating disorders in college. She shared: “Through the process of journaling I learned to identify emotions, when I was full, and really make a connection between what I was feeling and what I was doing physically. That really was the key that helped me get through those things.”

Angela then when on to develop the unique design and concept for fitbook based on what she saw lacking in other fitness and nutrition tracking tools out there.  As it turned out, other people wanted access to what she had created!  A business was borne, and she has been helping to change lives ever since.

I got to pick her brain about how the fitbook products (esp. fitbook junior) can help impact kids and their families.

Interview Highlights With fitbook™ Creator, Angela Manzanares

How do you see fitbook junior benefiting families who are trying to implement nutritional programs for their kids?

Angela: What we tried to do through fitbook junior was teach kids how to live a healthy active lifestyle and to set goals. I didn’t want–and I still don’t want–kids focused on calories. I don’t even use the word “exercise” in fitbook junior. It’s called “get moving” or “play” or “go have fun”.  The idea is to just track how much you’re moving throughout the day and log your food.

fitbook nutrient tracker page

The nutrient tracker in fitbook does not utilize calories, rather it focuses on food portions & food groups.

Fitbook junior creates learning moments for kids. When they go to their teacher, their coach or their mom and say, “Where do my cheetos go in the nutrient tracker?” It’s not something to judge a child; it’s a great conversation to start. “Well you know, that doesn’t actually fit into any of the food groups. You want to try to eat more of the foods that fall into these food groups where you have boxes to check.” Nutrition tracking is a great chance to educate a child.

How have you seen nutrition tracking work with kids? Does it really work?

Angela: The reason I wanted to give fitbook junior a try was because the research showed that it worked for adults. The reason it works is because it makes you aware of your behavior. It encourages thinking ahead and planning. You might think twice about eating a donut if you know you have to write it down.

There was a Kaiser Permanente study that found adults that wrote down their food over a 6 month period of time lost more than double the amount of weight than those who did not. My hypothesis was that this would also apply to kids.

I’ll be honest with you, I think kids are actually better at this than adults. Kids are so innocent in their tracking, where as adults, we get in our own way.

We’ve actually seen kids being a positive influence overall on the health of the family.

My favorite statistic is that 86% of parents report seeing a “noticeable change” in their child’s awareness of eating healthier, more nutritious foods and being more active daily when they saw them using the fit@school program (fitbook jr in the schools).  It’s very obvious that these kids are soaking in the knowledge as kids do; we just have to make it available to them.

What is one of your favorite kid testimonies with the fitbook junior?

fitbook junior, fitness and nutrition tracking tool

fitbook junior, the fitness + nutrition tracking tool for kids!

Angela: One mom wrote in telling us that she had set a goal with her child to have 2 servings of fruit every day that week to earn his food goal. So it comes to Thursday, and they had run out of bananas. That was his favorite fruit. So he was adamant that they had to go to the grocery store to get more bananas because he had to get his sticker for that day. It was neat to see that he was really processing this whole concept of “I have to do this mom, and I have to earn my sticker, and you’re really not helping me by being out of bananas!”

To me, that is changing behavior. It is actually teaching kids to not just set a goal, but also work toward something.

How might a mom incorporate fitbook™ with a child that cannot read or write yet?

Angela: One of my girlfriends used fitbook after she had her babies to get back to her pre-baby weight.  Her first baby was really collicky. She used the food log to work with her doctor to figure out which foods were upsetting the baby. Nutrition tracking helped her identify any allergies the baby might have, and she would cut different things out to see how it affected the baby’s health as well.

[fitbook junior is designed specifically for kids starting at the age of 5 or 6. Some kids will need more help than others at different ages, however these same behavior modification principles can be applied to children even younger.]

Click Here to get started with fitbook for your kids, yourself, or
save on both by purchasing a fampack!

If you are looking to make diet or fitness changes, you will love this tool!

We have alot of teen readers who are looking for ways to lose inches, get healthy, and be more active. They may or may not have the full support of their parents at home yet.
What type of guidance and coaching comes with fitbook?

Angela: I think you’ve touched on something really important.  I’m very clear in fitbook that we are a tool. We don’t tell people what to eat and when or what exercises to do.  Every person has different needs.  I recommend working with a professional like yourself or a nutritionist and personal trainer.

What we know is that if you use the fitbook like it’s intended–which is write things down and plan out your goals–you WILL see results.  The research shows that just the act of nutrition tracking will cause you to see results.

We do have some free resoures on our site and are coming out with an app that will help educate people more. However, it’s really important that other programs exist like yours to help people with their individual needs. What you do with Proven Nutrition for Kids is so specific to what our goal is. You are doing the work to make the change.

We can provide the nutrition tracking tool and education, but unless it’s being implemented with the children, it’s not going to be as effective.

[fitlosophy, inc. now has a range of fitbook products, including fitbook junior, fitbook mama2be, fitbook PINK, and other fitness tracking tools and programs.] Click here to visit fitlosophy inc.


Bonnie Hershey currently serves as a business and nutrition coach with their business, Hershey Holistic Health. She holds an undergrad degree in education, and a certification in Practical Nutrition from the Northwest Academy of Practical Nutrition. She has over 20 years of leadership experience and enjoys encouraging others in their personal growth.


Marnie Clark · May 15, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Great article – I have to say I loved the idea of a fitbook for kids – they are such visual learners and it gives me warm fuzzies to know that a new generation is going to learn the importance of eating well, and that what they put into their bodies really does matter. Thanks for the post.

    Bonnie (site owner) · May 16, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Thanks for commenting, Marnie! I hope you’re right, Marnie, because unless something big changes, the health of our kids is not headed in a good direction. A new generation certainly needs to hear how to return to eating well, but we need many more parents to join the bandwagon and help to teach this at home.

Rachel Williamson · May 17, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Bonnie, love love love the idea of a fitbook for kids. My youngest grandson would absolutely make a game of this technique.

Martin · May 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Wow, that is a great idea Bonnie.
I really liked the point that kids are so much more honest and transparent that us adults. It’s true.

That must’ve been a very fun interview for you to do.


Sigrid McNab · May 23, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Bonnie, thanks so much for letting us know about fitbook. It is so nice to see kids on the right track.

I coached a group for over two years, and did see the following things: as per the Kaiser Permanente study, adults that wrote down their food over a 6 month period of time lost more than double the amount of weight than those who did not.

t was also interesting to me how many adults were resistant to actually writing things down. This is a great example of what Angela talks about “where as adults, we get in our own way. “

The Do's And Don'ts of Dieting With Kids | Proven Nutrition For Kids · November 9, 2015 at 2:05 pm

[…] their best.  They want to know how their bodies work and how to help them work better.  Use a nutrition-tracking tool like Fitbook Junior to educate and motivate them to make healthier choices. This will help them feel a sense of […]

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