The Healthy Food Choices in School Campaign, also known as the Kids Healthy Food Project, is an interdisciplinary research partnership that brings together pediatricians, nutritionists, dietitians, research scientists, and other professionals together to discuss ways that healthy food choices can help to make schools healthier. Over the last two years, this project has brought together many specialists from all areas of the health sciences to study the impact that healthy eating in schools has on children’s overall well-being.
These studies have shown that children enrolled in school-wide healthy eating programs have higher test scores, lower rates of obesity and overweight, lower rates of dental and gum problems, lower rates of drug use and depression, higher quality sleep, higher cognitive ability, higher social interaction, higher reading scores, higher school completion rates, and higher IQ scores. Other benefits of healthy food choices for kids include reduced risk of asthma attacks, respiratory infections, and allergies; increased physical activity; lower chances of developing poor dietary habits such as skipping breakfast or lunch; lessening the risk of heart disease; and healthier diets that lead to better overall health.
Healthy Food Choices
Making healthy food choices for your children is an important part of being a good role model for them. In addition to watching what they eat, you need to be an example of eating healthy. To start the campaign, join your local churches, grade-school clubs, or other groups that work together on making school food choices more healthy. Invite parents and other community members to help you make the changes that you are going to implement. Let everyone know what the goals are and how they can be achieved.
You need to work closely with your child and other parents to promote healthy food choices. Let them know that they are not the only people who will be eating this way. They will soon pick up on the fact that you want them to eat healthy foods. Encourage them to be creative when making their own meals. If they get angry at the idea, remind them that you will still be eating together because there are always healthy foods that you can choose from.
Community service is another way you can support healthy eating patterns. This can be done by volunteering in your local community to work with youth, the poor, or other vulnerable groups. Your efforts will show them that you care about them and that you are willing to do what it takes to give them the support they need to make healthier choices. Community service projects can be as simple as delivering food to a shelter or to an elder care facility. Many times a person will volunteer to help prepare a meal for an entire family or to run an errand.
A Much Ado
Another way you can support healthy eating patterns for your kids is to make sure that they have plenty of fruits and vegetables in their meals. It is especially important to serve vegetables like broccoli and carrots at each mealtime so that your children will be encouraged to eat them. Fast food restaurants may offer a few healthy eating options but these are usually limited. You can give your child the option to order from a menu that includes fruits and vegetables. Make sure you give them the opportunity to choose what kind of fruits and vegetables they want to have.
Convenience stores can be another great place to support healthy food choices for your kids. Convenience stores can be convenient locations if you live close enough to visit often. This means that you can bring your kids with you when you shop and that you can bring your meals home from the grocery store yourself. Some of the healthy foods you can find in convenience stores include fresh fruits and vegetables, organic meats, and whole wheat bread and snacks. Try to find healthy foods that you can prepare yourself or have on hand in case you have access to these items.
Finally, fast food restaurants can be another good place to support healthy food choices for your children. If you cannot find a local fast food restaurant that has healthy options, you can still get your kids their favorite meals without spending too much time and money at a fast-food restaurant. Healthy meals like chicken nuggets, pizza, and French fries can be purchased at a local store instead of ordering them from a fast-food restaurant.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a chore. There are plenty of great ways for your children to eat healthy, exciting new foods every day. If you can combine eating in the community with some of these activities, it can make for a fun, educational, and productive morning, afternoon, and evening. Healthy foods can be simple to find and provide a way to get your kids outside and active. You should now have a good idea as to which foods your children enjoy eating and how you can support their eating habits with weekly activities and special treats.