June is National Nutrition Month and what better month for it to be. Farmer’s Markets are opening up with fresh vegetables available. Gardens are sprouting up everywhere, whether your own personal one or a community garden. It’s a time to try new healthy fruits and vegetables and teach your children the joys of picking something fresh and eating it.
The Salem Health and Wellness Foundation’s Healthy Kids, Bright Futures initiative focuses on proper nutrition and childhood obesity. The goal of the initiative is to reduce the obesity epidemic through proper nutrition and physical activity. It is well known that children learn their habits, beliefs and attitudes from their parents and other caregivers. This also includes the willingness to try new foods. The American Dietetic Association encourages adults to be good role models for children and teach them to appreciate healthful eating and proper nutrition.
A survey by the American Dietetic Association Foundation showed parents have more potential to influence their children’s behavior, including their eating habits, than anyone else. In fact, parents outrank sports celebrities as the person the child “would like to be most,” according to the survey. By eating healthy foods and offering them to your children, you can give your kids opportunities to learn to like a variety of nutrition foods.
Encourage kids to help prepare meals. Not only will you be teaching them cooking skills but it makes for a great ‘family time’ as well. Allow your kids to research recipe ideas or develop something on their own. You may find that you and your children find several new foods that are liked by all.
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