March is National Nutrition Month

With all the talk in the media about childhood obesity, I thought I would write about nutrition. We are hearing everywhere we look that the nation's citizens are getting larger and larger and because of that, our health is suffering. Being overweight and lacking nutritional balance can lead to heart problems, diabetes, depression, lack of energy, changes in emotional state, I could go on and on. I think most of us try to provide ourselves and our children with nutritious food, but there are many times in our busy lives where it is easier to have a quick meal that is not always the most nutritious. Also I have noticed that the healthier things are more expensive than the quick, easy, less nutritional items seem to be. Because I know that some children are scared to try new things, every month there is a handout called Nutrition Nuggets sent out in the elementary that lists some of the fun new recipes and games that can help get a family more in tune with nutrition and excercise. If you do not have an elementary student and it is something that you would be interested in, please let me know and I can send one out to you. The American Dietetic wonderful things about nutrition and ideas on how to improve it. I have added a sample of the kinds of articles that can be found on their website.

Raising Healthy Eater from Preschool to High School
Food, nutrition and eating skills are among the most important things you can share with children: food to fuel busy, successful lives; nutrition to nourish strong bodies and smart brains; and eating skills to enjoy the social aspect of meals with family and friends.
As with any part of raising children, no one does a perfect job with nutrition-not even nutrition professionals. As a parent, grandparent or adult caregiver, you can help to raise healthy eaters during these critical years by doing your best to incorporate the following:
Serve regular, balanced meals and snacks with a variety of nutrient-rich foods
Provide calm, pleasant meal times where adults and children can talk together
Allow children to use their internal signals to decide how much and what to eat
Explore a variety of flavors and foods from different cultures and cuisines
Share an appreciation for healthful food, lovingly prepared and shared with others
Make simple food safety , like washing hands, part of every eating occasion
Teach basic skills for making positive food choices away from home
Find credible food and nutrition resources when you do not know the answer

While this may seem like an intimidating to-do list, two family habits go a long way to making all of this happen: regular family meals and involving kids in nutrition form the ground up.