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2018-19 Eat Smart. Play Hard Magazine

2018-19 Magazine

2018-19 Eat Smart. Play Hard. Magazine

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Are Your Kids Ready to Make Healthful Lunch Line Choices

Are your kids equipped with enough nutrition information to make these kinds of healthful food choices?

Finally, lunch hour! Now what do I want to eat?

  • Are your kids equipped with enough nutrition information to make these kinds of healthful food choices?

By the time children reach middle school, can stay home alone after school or are even tall enough to reach the cupboard handles, they are making choices about the foods they eat. When the options are all nutritious, making great choices is much easier. If the options are calorie-laden sweets, sodas and salty snacks, nutrition is hard to find.

Parents are responsible for supplying healthful food choices and information about how to choose the best foods for a balanced diet. If you have questions about how to choose the healthful option, consult www.ag.ndsu.edu/food/ and www.choosemyplate.gov together with your family members.

  • Have your kids had practice, with your guidance, in selecting healthful foods?
  • Do your kids know the nutritional differences between a baby carrot and a cheese puff? After all, eating a “rainbow” of colors from a box of colorful cereal may not be healthful.
  • Does your home have a well-stocked fruit bowl- or candy bowl? Fruit is naturally sweet and provides many nutrients. Are your children surrounded by foods that are good for their growth and health or just meant to get them to the next event hurriedly?
  • Are high-calorie sweets and salty chips served only occasionally or are they readily available?
  • Are healthful afterschool snacks easy to find, prepare and eat? Assess your fridge, countertops and snack cupboards with your children to determine healthful choices. Post a grocery list so everyone can add items. Talk about the list as a family before you go shopping.
  • Nutritious afterschool snacks should be just filling enough to tide everyone over until dinner. If afterschool snacks are healthful choices, they become the first course of your evening meal. Try cut up fruits, vegetables, cheese, wheat crackers, cottage cheese, yogurt or a cup of hot soup as the afterschool “appetizer.”
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