This month it’s all about the kids! This August celebrates the first annual Kids Eat Right month. It is a new education campaign created by Kids Eat Right, an initiative of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it focuses on healthy nutrition and physical activity for kids and their families. This is especially important as the epidemic of childhood obesity is on the rise. Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise is not only important for adults but kids as well.
The key messages for Kids Eat Right month include: shop smart, cook healthy, eat right, start healthy habits, and get moving. How can you go about doing these? One of the easiest ways is to get kids helping in the kitchen. Have them help pick out what to eat for some meals during the week and help with preparing foods that are age appropriate. Have them rinse fruits/vegetables, measure and pour ingredients, or beat eggs. Introducing kids to the kitchen and different foods can help encourage a balanced diet and to try new things.
Another way to eat right? Sit down and have family meals together several times per week. Turn the TV off and share about each of your days. Allow your children to use their mindful eating techniques by placing foods out and allowing them to take what they feel their body needs. Research shows, kids who eat with their families have higher self-confidence and perform better in school.
Set healthy habits by being a good role model for your children. Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, make half of your grains whole grains, and choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Drink plenty of water and limit sugary, calorie-dense beverages.
Last but not least…get moving! The physical activity goal for kids is 60 minutes per day but in a society dominated by sedentary activities such as TV, video games, and the Internet, it is good to plan activities. Find family activities to get everyone involved such as a family bike ride, swimming, or hiking. Regular physical activity promotes strong bones and muscles, a healthy weight, builds self-esteem, promotes social skills, and supports learning.
Try this kid-friendly take on fries, from Kids Eat Right! For more information, tips, or recipe ideas, be sure to visit eatright.org/kids.
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Peel the carrots and cut them into strips about ¼ inch thick and a few inches long. Coat a baking pan with cooking spray and spread the carrots onto it. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 15 minutes. Flip them over and coat them with a bit more cooking spray, salt and pepper, and bake another 15 minutes until lightly browned.
Nutrition Information per ¼ of Recipe: Calories 45, Total Fat 0 g, Sodium 370 mg, Total Carbohydrate 11 g, Dietary Fiber 3 g, Protein 1 g