With our busy schedules, and the seemingly endless list of after-school activities, it’s easy for our family’s nutrition to get lost in the shuffle. Snacks are often provided to children by well meaning individuals who might not be aware of what constitutes healthy food. It’s not uncommon for a busy child to eat processed or junk food several times a week as they eat on the run and snack with their respective groups.
This is where SuperFoodsRx followers can make a difference. Advocating for healthy eating through these simple acts can positively impact the health of the children in your life. Here are some top tips:
1. Find like-minded parents and work together.
This is especially effective in larger organizations.
2. Watch what’s sold in the cafeteria after lunch.
Often you will find cookies, chips, and other low nutrient dense foods being sold to our children to raise money.
3. Try to make celebrations model a healthy diet
Having fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and only one trans-fat free dessert for each child isn’t tough, but it brings a big health payoff for attendees. Place the dessert on the table, only after the meal has been served. Believe it or not, the children will feast on these nutritious offerings and either forget about the dessert or want less of it.
4. Volunteer to coordinate celebrations or snacks.
For birthdays, suggest parents bring a fruit salad and give out stickers, pencils, books, or erasers. Kids love this stuff and they won’t even miss the icing!
5. Skip the ice cream sundae bar for a smoothie bar.
Watch their eyes light up as they get to create their own colorful options and sip these delicious offerings. Smoothies are easily made with yogurt, frozen fruit, ripe bananas and fresh orange juice. They are immensely popular and can also be sold for fund raising purposes. The newness of this option also makes it special to the kids.
6. For sports teams, suggest snack guidelines.
Fresh fruit and water instead of donuts, chips, soda and other foods that contain excessive amounts of fat and sugar. Brightly colored sports drinks laden with food dyes are now popular beverages both on and off the field. Keep in mind that these drinks are designed to replace electrolytes for individuals who are strenuously exercising for 60 minutes or more. It’s rare that our younger children meet this criteria when playing organized sports, and certainly not when they are at lunch. These drinks add extra calories with little or no nutrition.
7. If your organization has fund-raisers, consider selling non-food items.
Several internet sites have creative fund raising ideas dedicated to non-food products.
Err on the side of making healthy choices, and remember that you are not forging this path alone. Other individuals will surface, and be grateful that you are leading the charge. Be courageous and advocate for the health of our children. They are counting on you.