CROWLEY – For many parents, getting their children to eat healthy is a constant struggle. Melinda Johnson, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, offers helpful tips during National Nutrition Month, which is celebrated this month.
A few of these tips are as follows: Make family mealtime a priority by planning healthy meals in advance, as studies prove that children who eat with their family tend to have a healthier diet. Also, being flexible about food, for example, never offering food as a reward or punishment, and giving them exposure to food without pressuring them to try it, are very good ideas.
“Also, involve your children in meal preparations as much as possible, valuing their input,” offered Johnson. “And finally, be a good role model for your children.”
This week, in conjunction with March as National Nutrition month and this week as Louisiana School Lunch Week, Power Panther, the mascot for National Nutrition Month, made visits to schools around the parish, teaching kids that eating healthy and staying active are the way to go.
National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign celebrated annually in the month of March, sponsored by the American Dietetic Association. This campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
Ms. Ruth Miller, supervisor of the Acadia Parish School Nutrition program, informed that the theme for activities this month, as well as throughout the school year is “Eat right.”
Miller also mentioned that this past week, students around the parish learned facts to help them “Power up with school breakfast.” In order to promote learning and participation, students nationwide took part in a sweepstakes. This contest challenged them to draw and name their own school breakfast super-hero and explain how their hero’s super powers will help kids “Power Up” with school breakfast.
Studies have proven that students who eat breakfast before school score better on standardized tests, have fewer health issues and behave better in class. Research has also proven that kids who skip breakfast rarely make up fro the missed nutrients later in the day, therefore affecting after school activities.
Also, an interactive website for kids that also contains a parent and teacher link, may be found by visiting the school breakfast campaign website at www.schoolbreakfast.org/campaign.