In this article, we discuss kids nutrition tips for Kids Eat Right Month.
August is Kids Eat Right Month
In this article, we discuss kids nutrition tips for Kids Eat Right Month. In August, families are typically busy with the demands of the start of a new school year. August also happens to be Kids Eat Right Month. As a parent, perhaps you are concerned with making sure your child starts the school year off by making nutritious choices. Three areas where kids often struggle nutritionally include their breakfasts, school lunches, and after-school snacks. Read on for some tips to help your kids get the nutrition they need!
It is common for kids to skip breakfast before school. Whether they are too busy in the morning trying to catch the bus, rolling out of bed 10 minutes before the bell rings, or are lacking in appetite, it can be a challenge to eat that first meal. Kids who do not eat breakfast may struggle with concentration and increased hunger during school. So, how can you as the parent help them get what they need when time is tight?
- Have quick food options available. Fruit, protein bars, and yogurts can be taken out the door. Microwave options like oatmeal or egg scramble cups can be ready in minutes.
- Help with prepping ahead of time. If you have a little extra time, slice some apples or make some hard-boiled eggs to make it easier for your child.
- Model what you want to see! It is unlikely that your child will think breakfast is important if you never eat it yourself.
- Embrace liquid options. Fruit smoothies and yogurt drinks are quick and portable.
Maybe you want to start packing lunches with or for your child to provide them with nutritious choices. Healthy school lunches do not have to be fancy. Using different food groups as your guide can help you include a variety of nutrients:
- Carbohydrates: whole wheat bread/bagel, whole wheat crackers, whole wheat/corn tortilla, whole wheat noodles, brown rice cakes, brown rice, potatoes
- Protein: Deli meat, rotisserie chicken, tuna pouch, hard-boiled egg, beans, chickpeas, lentils, edamame
- Heart-healthy fat: nut butter, avocado, seeds, nuts, hummus
- Any whole fruit or vegetable!
- Calcium foods: milk, yogurt, cheese, tofu
Here are some ideas!
- Peanut butter and banana wrap, milk, apple slices
- Hummus with dippers (carrots, cucumber, whole grain pita, peppers)
- Turkey and cheddar on whole wheat, carrot sticks, grapes, popcorn
- Tuna pouch with whole wheat crackers, orange, yogurt
- Thermos with homemade chicken noodle soup with whole wheat noodles, carrots, and celery, blueberries, cheese stick
If your child is an athlete, be sure to include extra snacks for practice time.
Many kids are hungry right after school. As a parent, how can you be sure they’re getting in something nutritious without spoiling their appetite for dinner or eating you out of house and home? A snack should contain food groups that provide energy (carbohydrates, fruits/veggies) and promote fullness (protein, fat). This ensures your child gets their appetite met without feeling hungry 30 minutes after snacking! Here are some examples:
- Whole grain crackers
- Whole wheat bread
- Oatmeal packet
- Carrot sticks
- Whole wheat tortilla
- Nut butter
- Tuna pouch
- Turkey jerky
- Hard-boiled egg
Here are some snack ideas!
- Rice cake with peanut butter and banana
- Hummus with carrot sticks
- Tuna pouch with crackers
- DIY trail mix: dried fruit, nuts, seeds of choice
- Hard-boiled egg and cucumbers
- Apple slices with almond butter
- Whole-grain granola bar
If you want more resources, check out Kids Eat Right month by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Wondering about more personalized nutrition help for your child? Our dietitians at Feed to Succeed are passionate about helping children eat well for life! Give our office a call or email to schedule an appointment today!