Healthfinder.gov posts a list of National Health Observances by month in which focused efforts of public awareness are made. For example, January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month and there are six other initiatives as well. As a dietitian, I would like to call attention to an important initiative that considered March as National Nutrition Month (NNM). The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sponsors the annual NNM campaign to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
This is a great time to take advantage of special promotions offered on the Academy website here. Download handouts and try new meal recipes. Innovative classroom materials include “Fun Food Messages” and “Name the Foods. The Academy even has a web page of games that are great to play at home. Dietitians who blog about NNM’s theme, “Get Your Plate in Shape,” will add the icon above to their post.
Have fun exploring these resources for use at home and in the classroom. It’s nice to have so many wonderful nutrition materials readily available for children. But remember: the games on Playnormous.com are also fun, and available 24/7 every day of the year!
Have you noticed newly designed shelf labels in your grocery store lately? Markets are making big strides in consumer nutrition education by creating label systems using shapes, colors, and numbers to make it easier to make healthy food choices.
Hannaford has had their kid-friendly Guiding Stars system for years. Foods that don’t meet nutritional criteria have no star label. Parents can engage kids in shopping by setting star limits for foods that can be placed in the shopping cart. One star is good, two better, and three best.
Recently, Shaws Supermarkets introduced their Nutrition IQ color-coded labels based on food nutrient content. A multi-colored wheel on their site explains the details, and makes it easy to select healthy foods based on your needs.
Many markets, like Big Y, Tops, Price Chopper and fourteen other chains are using the Nuval system of shelf labels. Foods are rated a number from 1 to 100 using a complex formula of multiple variables. A score of 100 is the best. Try the “Nutrition by the Numbers” game on their website, and compare family scores.
All of these nutrition tools make grocery shopping faster and effective, and lend themselves well to creating games for kids to help and learn.
Have them search for number ranges, or colors, or star level foods. Think of it as a scavenger hunt in the grocery store. It’s a win-win game for families or individuals.
All of this blogging about our newest health game V for Vegetable made me think about a really pretty poster we created a while back for The Woodlands Children’s Museum that talks about picky eating and how to deal with it. After all, many childhood picky eaters don’t like vegetables. I realized that we never really shared this helpful information with you. Now is as good a time as any!
So without further ado, here are some ways that you can encourage your picky eater to try something new, like a new vegetable.
Love these tips? Want a poster so you’ll remember them? Our Picky Eater Poster is available today in our online store. Pick up your own today!
I was browsing one of my favorite websites, How Stuff Works, and thought to myself, “What would happen if I entered the phrase ‘childhood obesity.’” Much to my surprise, up popped a childhood obesity quiz. After taking the quiz, I realized I don’t know as much about obesity as I thought. I only got 7 out of 10 correct….
To see how much you know about childhood obesity and learn some interesting facts, try the quiz now. It only takes a few minutes. Enjoy!
Just in time for the beginning of 2011, the USDA released their new dietary guidelines for 2010. Apparently they’re running a bit behind this year since it took a little extra time to get both Secretaries Vilsack and Sebelius in the same room. Regardless, we’re excited since it’s been a whole five years since the last set of guidelines.
There are some interesting new changes that the USDA has made since 2005. These are outlined in their Q&A document, but here are the basics:
Line item three I found most interesting. Eating behaviors have been addressed. Perhaps behavior change is upon us…
To read more about the new USDA guidelines for 2010, including the full press release, visit dietaryguidelines.gov.