August is Kids Eat Right month! It is a great time for families to focus on healthy eating and active lifestyles as we begin a new school year. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is encouraging families to take the following steps:
Shop Smart. To encourage a healthy lifestyle, get your children involved in selecting the food that will appear at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table.
Cook Healthy. Involve your child in the cutting, mixing and preparation of meals. They will learn about food and may even be enticed to try new foods they helped prepare.
Eat Right. Sit down together as a family to enjoy a wonderful meal and the opportunity to share the day’s experiences with one another. Research indicates that those families who eat together have a stronger bond, and children have higher self-confidence and perform better in school.
Healthy Habits. You can help kids form great, healthy habits by setting a good example. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, choose lower-sodium options, and make at least half the grains your family eats whole grains. For beverages, choose water over sugary drinks, and opt for fat-free or low-fat milk.
Get Moving. Aside from being a great way to spend time together, regular physical activity is vital to strengthen muscle and bones, promote a healthy body weight, support learning, develop social skills and build self-esteem. Kids are encouraged to be active for 60 minutes per day.
Getting kids to eat right can sometimes be a challenge, particularly if they are picky eaters. But experts say that a conversation can help. “Talk to your children. Learn the foods they like. Teach them about the foods they need for their growing bodies. Find ways together to make sure they have the knowledge and ability to eat healthy and tasty foods at every meal,” says Angela Lemond, registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson.
Helping families eat healthy is what Myplate2yours is about! Just this week, I’ve had the opportunity to teach a 2-day little kids cooking camp called ‘Farm to Plate’. Here is a favorite recipe from a similar class earlier this year. Enjoy!
Stuffed French Toast with Strawberry Sauce (makes 6 slices)
6 slices whole grain white bread
1 tablespoon skim milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
10 fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup strawberry fruit spread
1 tablespoon Earth Balance spread (or butter)
Wisk eggs in a shallow bowl with milk and cinnamon. Combine strawberries and fruit spread in a small microwavable bowl. Heat in microwave for 1 minute. Stir and set aside. Heat large skillet, add 1/2 tablespoon Earth Balance and allow to melt. Dip 3 slices bread in egg mixture and cook on skillet, about 2 minutes per side. Remove slices to a clean and dry cutting board. Repeat with remaining 3 slices of bread. Using a 2 inch biscuit or round cookie cutter, cut a hole in center of toast. On individual plates, place one slice of bread, and fill with 2 tablespoons strawberry mixture. Top with toast round. Repeat with remaining 5 slices. Serve with powdered sugar and maple syrup. Enjoy!