National Nutrition Month was started back in 1973, as a way to help Americans of all ages focus their attention on nutrition. I think almost thirty years ago, the American Dietetics Association realized that with continued modernization and a busier lifestyle, we would need some reminders and eating healthy tips. With work, school, kids and home responsibilities, parents are really juggling a lot.
We all know that a healthy lifestyle is so important for all of us and especially children. The real question is how can we help you incorporate some simple changes that are doable, reasonable and can fit into your busy schedules.
Our goal this month is to help you focus on just three simple changes you can implement that can really make a difference.
Having mealtime as a family is probably one of the easiest and most important activities you can do to promote healthy eating. Surprised? I know it sounds too easy; but honestly, sometimes the simplest things turn out to be the most important. Kids are little sponges and they are learning and forming their nutrition habits throughout the day. During mealtime kids learn about foods and their parent’s food preferences. Children are starting to form lifelong associations with food (positive or negative) and their own food choices (what they “like” and what they “don’t like”).
Read some easy tips and guidelines to help you turn mealtime into fun family time.
With set meal times and a fun family experience, kids will look forward to eating together as a family while learning about healthy eating.
Helping kids learn proper serving amounts is a key component to healthy eating. One of our biggest challenges as Americans, is that we like big portions. But one of the nice benefits of eating at home is you can always have seconds if you are still hungry. And that is what we want to teach kids, to start with smaller servings.
How can you teach your child what a healthy portion is without the added fuss of measuring? Don’t worry. Read some simple tricks you can use to help the whole family control their portions.
If your child eats a balanced food with some foods from all the food groups, portion sizes will naturally be more sensible.
This is something you may have read many times but it is so valuable that it has to be in the top three for Nutrition Month! Just like you can make some time to eat together as a family, you can create time to be active as a family. The key to success is finding activities that are fun. When kids are having fun, time passes easily and they learn to love being active.
Placing a little focus on nutrition and healthy living doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul of your daily habits. Think simple and doable. Working together as a family to implement these three changes can be a wonderful bonding experience and form memories that kids will fondly remember.
Have a Happy and Healthy Nutrition Month!
Written by Michelle Mirizzi
Written on Mar 06, 2011
Last updated on Nov 20, 2012