FLINT, Michigan (WJRT) – Eating healthy foods can benefit everyone of all ages, but children with good nutrition can stay full and focused in school and have energy for after-school activities and exercise. And having a routine helps in more ways than one.
“If you introduce children to healthy foods now and get them used to eating in ways that are really good for their bodies, then they’ll carry those habits into their teenage and adult years, and it really can do them for the rest of their lives said Sarah Egan, MPH, RD, a registered nutritionist who is a nutritionist for the Pediatric Public Health Initiative’s Flint Kids Cook program.
Try to eat a rainbow – lots of different fresh fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins and minerals. Think of simple snacks like apples and peanut butter, fruit cups in 100% juice, or vegetables with hummus.
Whole grains like popcorn and whole grain crackers help provide fuel and energy, and are high in fiber to keep kids satisfied. And milk snacks, like cream cheese or a glass of milk, add calcium.
When your kids have a good schedule, you can eat healthier foods. First of all, make sure they have breakfast.
“Having it all – if there’s something on the way to school is great,” said Egan.
“Family dining is a really great practice too,” said Egan. “If families can only choose one night a week when you are a very busy family, even sit down one night a week to dine together. That really helps with family cohesion, and children tend to eat a lot healthier if they eat with the family, eat more fruits and vegetables, they get more of the nutrients their bodies need. “
And a lot of kids love to cook – it helps them practice measuring, mixing, and knife skills. The recipe can be as simple as combining a few things to make a student mix, or more complicated, like chopping and searing vegetables – either way, it’s more family time.
In addition, until the end of this year, Flint Kids Cook courses will be offered virtually free of charge on Zoom. Here is a link to the Flint Kids Cook website: https://msuhurleypphi.org/nutrition/Flint%20Kids%20Cook.html
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