August is Kids Eat Right Month, founded by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to emphasize ways to help kids eat right and be more active. It’s no surprise that attention is being placed on children’s eating habits after the news has been filled with headlines about the current childhood obesity trends.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 17% of children between the ages of 2-19 are obese. Kids Eat Right Month is designed to focus on ways to help kids be more active and make healthier eating choices. Learning to make healthy choices, when young, helps children set the tone for their adult lives.
Here are some ideas from Kids Eat Right Month to help you get started promoting healthy choices for kids:
· Get kids in the kitchen: Ask kids to get involved in the kitchen from meal planning to food prep. Younger kids can wash fruits and veggies for meals and snacks, and older kids can help plan out healthy meals and snacks for the week.
· Go shopping: Make grocery shopping with the kids a fun adventure. Shift their attention from cartoon character treats to rainbow colors in the produce section. Ask the kids to find a new fruit or vegetable to try from each color in the rainbow.
· Make snack time an easy choice: Keep colorful fresh fruit readily available in a bowl on the counter. Also try keeping pre-cut veggie snacks in the fridge so the kids (along with mom and dad) have lots of quick and healthy options to choose from.
· Avoid using food as a form of punishment or rewards. Encourage kids to try new foods and keep the reaction positive. Even if the child doesn’t like the new food congratulate them for trying it.
· Play together as a family: Avoid telling the kids to go play while you work on the computer or are watching the news, get the whole family involved! Shift the focus from winning to fun.
· Check out new places in town: Ride bikes to the park or take a family walk on the nearby trail.
· Encourage a limited amount of screen time: This will help increase physical activity and increased use of their imagination.
Visit www.kidseatright.org to find recipes, nutrition information, tips, articles and much more to help you get started making changes.
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