Kids Eat Right Month (Week 2)

August 13, 2020

August is celebrated as Kids Eat Right Month sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition Dietetics (“Academy”). The Academy is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1917 by a visionary group of women dedicated to helping the government conserve food and improve the public’s health and nutrition during WWI.1 This month’s series is focusing on the theme of kids eating right to encourage families and children to eat healthy.

Carlie Saint-Laurent Beaucejour, MS, RD, LDN posted a Family Food blog at familyfoodllc.org in August 2019 encouraging healthy eating habits for children and families.2 Carlie’s suggestions will be presented in part this week due to space restrictions. To read the entire blog visit familyfoodllc.org/august-is-kids-eat-right-month/.

1. Get kids involved in the kitchen. Cooking is an essential skill to fuel your body and there’s no better time to start learning how to cook as early as possible.

2. Incorporate daily physical activity. Physical activity promotes healthy weight, bones, mood and importantly helps lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Whether it is playing on a sports team, joining the gym, or taking a family walk, help your child to find movement they enjoy.

3. Be a good role model. Children need people to look up to and the most effective examples are their caregivers, who they trust and see on a daily basis. What a parent eats and drinks the child will emulate those same behaviors.

4. Don’t give up. According to pediatric research 20 percent of children between age 2 to 6 are selective eaters. This phase is usually transient so do your best to just observe rather than acknowledge their behavior and take note when it can have serious impact on your child’s weight, digestion, and overall health. One study found parents who identified their kids as a picky eater resulted in the child actually being a picky eater. The more you force your picky eater to eat the more likely they are going to resist, so be careful with your approach. If you have concerns about your child’s eating habits, always consult with your pediatrician or dietitian to help ensure your child is getting the proper nutrition they need to grow into healthy adults.

5. Practice food safety. Healthy behaviors begin at home so remember to encourage your kids to wash their hands before preparing or eating and afterwards as well, to prevent the spread of germs. According to a USDA study, 97 percent of consumers neglect to wash their hands. While washing hands is a simple task it is one of the most effective actions to reduce the spread of germs and food-related illnesses. Other food safety practices to encourage are proper thawing, cutting, and cooking at safe temperatures, when age-appropriate.

Source:

1 www.kidseatright.org
2 Beaucejour, Carlie Saint-Beaucejour, August is Kids Eat Right Month, Aug. 2019, at familyfoodllc.org/august-is-kids-eat-right-month/

Next Week: Series continuation

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