March is National Nutrition Month

fruit.pngMarch is National Nutrition Month fruit.png

Did you know?      

apple20x20.png While just a decade ago, 15 percent of U.S. children were obese, currently 22 percent are considered obese.*       

grapes.pngGuidelines suggest that kids eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains than in the past and that they need to get 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day

 banana-20x20.png Several studies indicate that the omission of breakfast — or the consumption of an inadequate breakfast — contributes to poor focus and school performance in children

orange-20x20.png Preschoolers drink four times more juice from apples, grapes and other non-citrus fruits than they did 15 years ago. Try diluting juices with water, mineral water, or club soda to avoid excess sugars. Also, make sure to purchase the 100% fruit juices, not the ones loaded with unnatural sugar.

strawberry.png Proper nutrition is directly related to children’s eyesight. Incorporating Vitamin A rich foods in their diet, such as chicken, milk, and cheese will play an important role in vision.

National Nutrition Month®, created in 1973, is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the American Dietetic Association. The campaign reinforces the importance of making healthy food choices along with physical activity.

There are plenty of great activities you and the children in your care can do to learn about adequate child nutrition. Check out the American Dietetic Association website at www.eatright.org where you can learn everything you need to know about the nutrition campaign, and also obtain educational, yet fun games and classroom/playroom ideas.

Below is a food guide pyramid designed specifically for children. This fun graphic is great because it incorporates a simplified healthy eating and physical activity message that children can understand. To obtain your own copy of this Food Pyramid, visit www.mypyramid.gov.

food-pyramid.png
Now it’s Snack Time! 

carrot.png Young children actually need snacks. Their stomachs are still small, so they often can’t get all the nutrients they need through meals alone. Snack should be offered every two hours before or after a main meal. Try avoiding prepackaged snack foods because they are high in calories and often provide very little nutrients. Check out these healthy snack recipes for the children.

After School Muffin Pizza  

What you need:

  • 1 English muffin or bagel, split and toasted
  • 4 teaspoons pizza sauce or tomato puree
  • 3 tablespoons shredded part- skim mozzarella cheese
Click here to find the complete set of directions for this yummy snack.

Fun Fruit Kabobs  

What you need:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 banana
  • 1/3 C. red seedless grapes
  • 1/3 C. green seedless grapes
  • 2/3 C. pineapple chunks
  • 1 C. nonfat yogurt
  • 1/4 C. dried cocount, shredded

Click here for the utensils and directions needed to complete this nutritious, yet delicious snack for the children.

If you don’t have enough time to make the above snacks, try some of these simple nutrient-dense foods for the children in your care:

  • Slices or small cubes of cheese
  • Whole-wheat crackers or graham crackers
  • Dry cereals low in sugar
  • Applesauce or other fruit sauces
  • Yogurt with fresh fruit

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2 Responses to “March is National Nutrition Month”

  1. Little Tykes blog Says:

    Hey i have just talked about March being nutrition month.

    I have added some recipes you may be interested in.

  2. Katie Says:

    Thank you so much! We appreciate your feedback!

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