Kick off the New Year with Healthy Habits

Parents often look to New Year’s resolutions to inspire better eating habits, but what about the kids – what nutritious habits help influence them?

Children across the country are learning how to make better snack and meal choices in schools with the help of engaging nutrition education programs, from farm-to-school programs and cooking lessons to student taste parties.  Nutrition guidelines have helped ensure schools provide meals with more fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and lowered sodium.

apples
Apples served in Bibb County Schools, GA

Use these FUN and CREATIVE school nutrition strategies to help entice children to eat healthier in 2017:

  • Create a food kaleidoscope – Children commonly eat with their eyes, if it looks colorful and bright, they are more likely to give it a try.
  • Include them in decisions – Get kids involved in choosing from healthy options and meal planning, bringing them into the decisions made in the grocery store and kitchen.
  • Feed their inner adventurer – Provide opportunities for children to sample small portions of new or exotic foods.
  • Dip it or dunk it – Offer low-fat dressings, yogurts or hummus to make it fun to eat raw fruits and veggies.
  • Let their taste buds travel – Provide a variety of foods from different cultures and cuisines for all members of the family to try.
  • Train mini chefs – Engage children in learning about a variety of spices and seasonings as healthy, flavor-adding fun.

Not all New Year’s resolutions have to be about changes in diet. A huge trend in districts across the country is creating school gardens, where school nutrition professionals and teachers can show students how to grow their own food to incorporate into cafeteria menus. By building gardens or cooking with their children, parents can help bring their kid’s new skills to life at home.

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A unique twist on salads in Bibb County Schools, GA

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