Nutrition for Parents
Did you know...this generation of young people is the first that is forecast to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents? 1 in 3 or 4 children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes at some point in their lifetime. The prevalence of overweight kids among 6 to 11 year olds has doubled in the past 20 years and tripled for teens.
What are we doing about it? Our district participates in the National School Lunch Program, following strict national and state nutrition guidelines, and provides nutritious lunches that contain one-third of the recommended dietary allowance of nutrients. Our district adheres to the recommended USDA dietary guidelines from MyPlate. This new Food Guide focuses on nutrition and fitness, because the two go hand in hand. It is designed to help kids and parents to not only understand the guidelines but to also provide practical advice on how to provide healthy and balanced diet. Recommendations are tailored for kids based on age, gender, and exercise habits. And, our district has also developed a comprehensive school wellness policy and upholds the USDA's Federally Mandated Nutritional Value requirements, which defines the nutrition guidelines for school meals.
For parents, this program offers a convenient method of providing a nutritionally balanced lunch at the lowest possible price. For schools, the program enhances children's learning abilities by contributing to their physical and mental well being. Studies have shown that children whose nutritional needs are met have fewer attendance and discipline problems and are more attentive in class.
Be a role model. Take an active role in encouraging your kids eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Encourage your kids to get at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise each day (30 minutes for adults). Family meals are a great time for parents to connect and share the details of the day. Plus, kids who eat regularly with their families are less likely to snack on unhealthful foods. Try to eat meals together as a family at least 3 times per week.
Plant a seed of healthy living. Share these nutrition books with a child.
How to Help Your Child Choose Foods Wisely Rosanne Rust, MS, RD, LDN
Does Your Child Make the Grade? Nicole Chase
Hey Parents… Eat Your Fruit and Veggies, Too! By Kate Scarlata, RD, LDN
Encouraging Your Children To Be Physically Active By: Rosanne Rust, MS, RD, LDN
Feed Your Family Fantastic Food for Less Norma Stewart, RD, MA
Nutrition Services has numerous resources for parents ranging from cookbooks to physical activity booklets to its increasingly popular Healthy Living Champions for Change.