The month of March is National Nutrition Month! Healthy eating is important no matter your age. This month, MyPlate has provided resources and variety of tools to help you find a healthy eating style that works for you and your family. To help you on your healthy eating journey, visit ChooseMyPlate.gov.
For educators, help your preschoolers eat well, be active, and grow up healthy. Young children need your help to develop healthy eating and physical activity habits for life. Browse more information to distribute to your families, click here.
How can families help their children and teens eat healthy at school?
Try new foods at home. Kids need many opportunities to taste a new food to “get used to it."Eat lunch at school with your child. Learn more about what’s offered and meet the school nutrition staff.Encourage your child or teen to join in taste-testing events or surveys about school lunch, when available.Talk with your child about what’s on the menu. Make sure they know about all the foods that are included in their school lunch.
And during the summer, USDA’s Summer Food Service Program ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. Learn more here.
Making Family Mealtimes Fun
Sitting down together for a meal whenever you can is a great way to connect with your family. Keeping it relaxed is key to making sure you are getting the most out of this time together, including talking, laughing and choosing healthy foods. Here are some tips from families for making meals more relaxed in your home:
· Remove distractions. Turn off the television and put away phones and tablets, so that your attention is on each other.
· Talk to each other. Focus conversation on what family members did during the day, for example, what made you laugh or what you did for fun.
· Pass on traditions. Tell children about the “good old days” such as foods grandma made that you loved to eat.
· Let kids make choices. Set a healthy table and let everyone, including the kids, make choices about what they want and how much to eat.
· Let everyone help. Kids learn by doing. The little one might get the napkins and older kids help with fixing foods and clean‐up.
· Make-your-own dishes like tacos, mini pizzas, and yogurt parfaits get everyone involved in meal time.
· On nice days, opt for a change of scenery. For example, go to a nearby park for a dinner picnic.