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The CCA District Wellness Team will meet on Wednesday, March 5 from 5-6pm at the Middle School in Tiffin.  This meeting is open to the public.  If you'd like more information, please contact Kathy Campbell, CCA School Nurse at kathycampbell@ccaschools.org.

Raising Healthy Kids
Snacks for Healthy Kids

According to a United States Department of Agriculture study, after-school snacks provide about one-third of children's calories. Because children have smaller stomachs, they need the energy and nutrients provided by these mini-meals. However, when high fat, high sugar snack foods are combined with screen time—either TV or computer—instead of active play time, children are likely to gain more weight than they should for optimum health.

What can you do?

Plan Snack Choices
Offer snacks that fulfill part of the daily recommendations for the food groups outlined by the Food Pyramid.

Encourage Label Detectives
For snacks that do not fit in the food guide pyramid groups, examine the fat, sodium, and sugar content on the label.

Create Snack Stations
Children often like to make their own choices, including what snack to eat. Some families keep two sets of snack choices, one in the refrigerator and another in a kitchen cup board. Children are allowed to choose from either.

Provide Chef- in-training Opportunities
Healthy snacks taste even better when kids create them with their own hands.

To learn more about snack choices and stations, as well as encouraging label detectives and chef in training opportunities, http://www.extension.iastate.edu/nutrition/nutrition/kids.php

 

100% Fad Free
The American Dietetic Association emphasizes the importance of choosing the right foods and developing good exercise habits. The ADA’s key message this year is "100% Fad Free". They suggest the following:

  • Develop an eating plan for lifelong health.
    Too often people adopt the latest food fad rather than focusing on overall health. Get back to basics and use the Dietary Guidelines 2005 and MyPyramid as your guide to healthy eating.

  • Choose foods sensibly by looking at the big picture.
    A single food or meal doesn’t make or break a healthful diet. When consumed in moderation in the appropriate portion size, all foods can fit into a healthful diet.

  • Learn how to spot a food fad.
    Unreasonable or exaggerated claims that eating (or not eating) specific foods, nutrient supplements or combinations of foods may cure disease or offer quick weight loss are key features of fad diets.

  • Find your balance between food and physical activity.
    Regular physical activity is important for your overall health and fitness plus it helps control body weight, promotes a feeling of well-being and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.

  • Know the facts.
    Food and nutrition misinformation can have harmful effects on your health and well-being, as well as your wallet. Registered dietitians are uniquely qualified to communicate current emerging science-based nutrition information and are an instrumental part of developing a diet plan that is unique to your particular needs.
By following these suggestions, we can develop sound, healthy eating and physical activity habits to last a lifetime…habits we’re proud to model to our children.

Healthful Tidbits

Food Labels
Food labels make it easy for you to know what’s in the foods you eat and can help you make healthier food choices. Labels contain “Nutrition Facts” that tell you the calories and nutrients in a single serving of the food in the package. They also tell you how many servings are in the package. You can look for nutrition information for “unpackaged” foods like fresh fruits and vegetables as well as some meat products in the store where those foods are displayed. Comparing labels from one food to another can help you determine which are lower in calories, fat, carbohydrates, sodium, and other nutrients. Making these comparisons can help you pick healthier snacks and meal items.

Physical Activity Habits
Long term good health depends on good eating and plenty of physical activity. Being physically active on a regular basis is important for all of us. Physical activity strengthens our bones, muscles, lungs, and hearts. It helps keep us in shape and helps us maintain a healthy weight. Physical activity increases the amount of oxygen to our brains and helps us think more clearly. It can also help reduce stress and improve sleep. It does’t really matter what we do, we just need to move for at least 30-60 minutes each and every day. (It doesn’t even have to be all at once.) Try some of these fun fitness activities together as a family:

~ playing outside
~ taking a walk
~ jumping rope
~ dancing
~ raking leaves
~ playing tag
~ ice skating
~ rollerblading
~ riding a bike
~ team sports
~ swimming
~ weeding a garden

Children who learn to make a habit of regular physical activity tend to exercise more regularly in adult life. Try to make physical activity a priority in your daily lives.


USDA Food Pyramid
Snacking from the USDA Food Guide Pyramid is a healthy way to fill hunger gaps between meals. Choosing snacks from the guide can help kids consume the recommended number of servings of fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, and grains daily. Here’s a table of recommendations based on the Food Guide Pyramid:

Pyramid Category Daily Serving Recommendations Food Choice Ideas and
Serving Size Recommendations
Fats, Oils, and Sweets Use sparingly  
Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese 2 – 3
1 cup milk or yogurt;
1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese;
2 ounces of processed cheese
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts 2 – 3
2 – 3 ounces cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish;
1/2 cup cooked dry beans, 1 egg, or 2 tablespoons peanut butter count as 1 ounce of lean meat
Vegetables 3 – 5 1 cup raw leafy vegetables;
1/2 cup other vegetables (raw or cooked);
3/4 cup vegetable juice
Fruits
2 – 4

1 medium apple, banana, or orange;
1/2 cup chopped, cooked, or canned fruit (avoid heavy syrup)
3/4 cup 100% fruit juice

Breads, Cereals, Rice, and Pastas

6 – 11
1 slice of bread;
1 ounce ready to eat cereal;
1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice, or pasta

 

Carefully choosing foods from the pyramid can help kids get the right balance of vitamins and minerals. Eating nutrient rich foods will help your child stay healthy and grow properly.

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