Family and Nutrition
for a healthy and succesful school year
By Katie Bogue, R.D. San Diego and Imperial Regional Nutrition Network
Everybody knows that a good start will continue in the right
direction! To ensure that our kids will have a great school start
and end with the best grades, they need more than clean
uniforms, school supplies, and completed homework. They
need to eat healthy and be active, too!
Here are ten ways to eat more fruits and vegetables, and be active together as a family!
1- With so much play and activity it’s normal for kids to come home from school with a ferocious appetite, but you can prepare ahead of time by preparing nutritious vegetable snacks. Wash and cut up sweet vegetables like carrots, grape tomatoes, jicama, green peppers, and broccoli to dip in low-fat ranch dressing. Keep this food at your child’s eye level in the fridge for a quick and delicious way to satisfy any craving.
2- After a family walk, go shopping together and find one new fruit or vegetable to try. This is how I discovered some of my favorite foods, like pomegranates, spaghetti squash, and blood oranges. I’m sure that you can find an “exotic” fruit that will amaze your friends, and maybe Even your own teacher!
3- Try something different like grilling some veggies! Instead of just grilling hamburgers or chicken for dinner, add vegetables! Check out these great tasting veggies that can be grilled: fresh corn, eggplant, red onion, red bell pepper, yellow or green bell pepper, zucchini, asparagus spears, or carrots. As you can see, there’s a great selection in which to find one of your liking.
4-Challenge your family to eat fruits and vegetables from all colors of the rainbow. Think of a fruit or vegetable to try in each of these color groups: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and white. You’ll see that this is a good idea to vary the menu each day. How would you like to start off Monday with yellow and have a rainbow on the table on Friday?
5-Compete against one another! Track your fruit and veggie eating as a family. Who ate the most fruits and vegetables in a week? Print out this tracking sheet and hang it on the refrigerator. You may get this form by visiting the 5-a-day Website at http://www.5aday.com/pdfs/kids/track/serving.pdf or just use a calendar.
6-Turn off the television for an entire day or even a week. Think of all the fun things you can do instead of watching television or playing video games! Can you track how many hours each family member spends watching television? Whoever spends more than one hour a day in front of the television must also pay another $1 to the “family fun” fund.
7-Grab a fruit that is just ripe for the fall! During the fall months we can find our favorites like tangelos, kiwi, sweet potatoes and pears. And, all these bright-colored fruits are filled with vitamins and minerals that are very good for the entire family.
8-Drink 100% juice or water instead of soda. You can add your favorite fruit flavor by making refreshing home made beverages. Challenge your family to not drink soda for an entire week! Can you all do it? Or make family members pay $1 into a “family fun” fund every time they drink a soda.
9-Get outside and be active as a family. Go to the park and shoot hoops. Play tag. Go on a walk or on to rollers-skating! Ride your bikes together. Head for the beach and swim. Throw a Frisbee. Choose your verb and do it as a family! Check out www.verbnow.com for cool kid physical activities.
10- Eat a healthy dinner together as a family at home. Think of a question for everyone in your family to answer.
Choose one of these questions, or think of your own!
• What is your favorite type of food and why?
It’s very likely that if you try the 10 mentioned tips not only will you have fun and
spend positive time together, but you’ll be taking the best steps towards good
health as a family.
ABOUT THE AUTOR- Katie Bogue, R.D., is the San Diego and Imperial Regional Nutrition Network Director, empowering hundreds of thousands of low-income San Diegans each year to eat healthy and be active!
For more information on good nutrition, visit www.sdnnonline.org
Salud+HealthInfo is for information and educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for personal medical attention, diagnosis or hands-on treatment. If you are concerned abut your health or that of a child, please consult your family's physician or health provider immediately and do not try to diagnose yourself.
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