March is National Nutrition Month. This is a time to focus on making good food choices, developing healthy eating habits, and promoting physical activity. Why is good nutrition so important to our students? Children who have healthy eating and physical activity habits tend to perform better in school; have improved concentration and higher energy levels; are able to stay healthy, active and strong; and grow and develop appropriately. The dietary and exercise habits your student learns in childhood tends to carry into adulthood.
According to information from Johns Hopkins Medicine, there are many things we can do to set kids on the path to a healthy life. Some of these simple suggestions to help your child establish healthy habits that will not only benefit them in school, but will also increase their likelihood of a healthy life as an adult are listed below:
- Students should have three well-balanced meals per day
- Keep healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables readily available
- Limit unhealthy snack and meal choices such as chips, processed food and candy
- Plan meals that include the 5 food groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and proteins
- Involve your child in the choosing food and preparing meals
- Try to increase fiber, and reduce salt and sugar
- Drink more water and fewer sugary beverages
- Be mindful of the recommended serving sizes
- Encourage more physical activity and less screen time
These tips aren’t new but a reminder is always beneficial, especially when the winter months can limit our access to a variety of fresh fruits/vegetables and keep us from being as physically active as during the summer and fall. Let’s help our students develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
Allison Schmidt, Superintendent