Happy first day of school to students in Maryland and happy second week of school to most of the families in the D.C. area!
Back-to-school time is the perfect opportunity to speak to your children about healthy food choices and kids’ health.
Buying lunch at school may be the first time that kids get to call the shots on which foods they’ll eat. Luckily, there’s been a nationwide effort to improve the taste and nutrition levels in school lunches. But, some food options served at school are still exceeding recommendations for fat and leading to the childhood obesity epidemic. In the typical school cafeteria, kids can still choose an unhealthy mix of foods, especially the less nutritious fare often available a la carte or in the vending machine.
If your child will choose an item from the lunch line, encourage him or her to make good choices by incorporating fruits and veggies and trying a variety of foods. (Chicken nuggets may be tasty, but eating them each day won’t give your child an opportunity to try new foods that he/she may love.)
If your child will brown bag it, enlist your child’s help to make lunch! Treat this bonding moment as a chance to instill healthy food choices in your child while having fun making creative fare. Does your child love “Toy Story”? Make cucumber slices that look like aliens. Does your daughter like flowers? Make a PB & J sandwich on wheat bread that is shaped like a daisy. Is your son excited by military planes? Create a plane-shaped sandwich using a cookie cutter and add organic raspberries and blueberries to a handful of marshmallows to make a patriotic red, white and blue lunch!
Your imaginations your only limits! Begin the school year by reminding children that food can be fun while being nutritious and can stave off childhood obesity. And, the best part? You’re creating lifelong memories and laying the foundation of your child’s future, healthy, active lifestyle.
Are you looking for your child and/or teen to get off the couch and prepare for the new school year? No matter what your child’s level—beginner to varsity athlete—Fitness for Health will create a custom children’s fitness program just for him or her. Our gym is a safe yet super-fun environment where kids are inspired and motivated to push themselves harder. Learn more about our programs and services at our next open house on Sunday, October 1, at 5pm.
Have a happy and safe new school year!