This month (August) is called Kids Eat Right Month, but kids (like all of us) need support for healthy behaviors. And depending on the age of the kids, some need more support than others since they don’t make fully independent choices yet.
“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,” says a reprintable article from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
They also offer five tips you can use to help your whole family (no matter what their ages) be healthier:
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.
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.
Eat Right. 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.
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, and opt for fat-free or low-fat milk.
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.
For more tips, recipes, and ideas for children and teens of every age, visit the Kids section of the Eat Right website (www.eatright.org).