August has been highlighted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the governing body for nutrition professionals – RDN’s) as a month to focus on kids health and nutrition. I just have one issue that I’d like to “Crave Health-ify” if you will…
and that is the use of the word “right”.
The Academy has used the phrase “eat right” for years – it’s the web address and logo, and it’s the overall message and theme. However, this tiny grammatical error infers that there is a “right” way to eat and a “wrong” way to eat. So to remove that messaging so you parents can focus on the amazing messages within the month of August – let’s just change “right” to “well”. There we go. That feels better!
August is ‘Kids Eat
Right WELL’ Month
With childhood obesity on the rise, making sure kids eat well and get plenty of exercise is vital.
Parents and caregivers can play a big role in children’s nutrition and health, teaching kids about healthy foods, being a good role model and making sure physical activity is incorporated into each day.
August is a great time for families to focus on the importance of healthful eating and active lifestyles. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is encouraging families to take the following steps:
1) Shop Smart. To encourage a healthy lifestyle, get your children involved in selecting the food that will appear at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table.
Hey Seattle! – Did you know that kids get to pick out a FREE fruit or veggie every time you shop at PCC? It’s true. They will even wash, cut and prepare it for your child to try. Check it out here.
2) Cook Healthy. Involve your child in the cutting, mixing and preparation of meals. They will learn about food and may even be enticed to try new foods they helped prepare.
Not much of a cook? Try a kid friendly cooking class and learn along with your older kiddos. Check out this awesome article highlighting FREE kid friendly cooking classes all over the pacific northwest.
3) Eat well. Sit down together as a family to enjoy a wonderful meal and the opportunity to share the day’s experiences with one another. Research indicates that those families who eat together have a stronger bond, and children have higher self-confidence and perform better in school.
Family dinners are hard to come by with our busy schedules. But research shows that even the smallest amount of time at the table together can build kids up. Even if it’s only a few times a month! Make it a goal to have family dinner in August.
4) Healthy Habits. You can help kids form great, healthy habits by setting a good example. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, choose lower-sodium options, and make at least half the grains your family eats whole grains. For beverages, choose water over sugary drinks.
If you haven’t noticed, your kids WATCH YOU. They are little sponges. So watch how you speak about your body and food, and don’t be a hypocrite. If you pick out all the olives, you don’t think your little one will?
5) Get Moving. Aside from being a great way to spend time together, regular physical activity is vital to strengthen muscle and bones, promote a healthy body weight, support learning, develop social skills and build self-esteem. Kids are encouraged to be active for 60 minutes per day.
Ever wish there was a fitbit for kids? THERE IS. It’s called ibitz and it tracks your little one’s steps and movement and syncs to an app for the kids – the more steps, the farther their spaceship can fly and explore more in a game that actually rewards with Disney coins!
Getting kids to eat well can sometimes be a challenge, particularly if they are picky eaters. But experts say that a conversation can help.
“Talk to your children. Learn the foods they like. Teach them about the foods they need for their growing bodies. Find ways together to make sure they have the knowledge and ability to eat healthy and tasty foods at every meal,”
- Angela Lemond, RDN, and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson.
It may help to consult a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) in your area to ensure your family is getting the nutrients it needs with a meal plan tailored to your lifestyle and busy schedule. YOUR INSURANCE COVERS THIS!
This August, reevaluate your family’s eating and exercise habits, and take steps to make positive, healthful changes.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Crave Health