Nutrition Month 2019 – The Potential to Fuel
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March is Nutrition Month; a time for dietitians to increase public awareness about healthy eating. This year the theme is Unlock the Potential of Food with 5 key messages:
- The Potential to Fuel
- The Potential to Discover
- The Potential to Prevent
- The Potential to Heal
- The Potential to Bring us Together
The message that works well into school curriculum and classroom discussions is the Potential to Fuel: Stay energized by planning nutritious snacks into your day.
CC By 2.0 Children eating
Active children have an increased need for energy and other essential nutrients to help them grow and develop. However, they have small stomachs and need to eat more frequently throughout the day to fuel their energy. Having healthy snacks between meals is important to help children get all of the nutrients they need. Here are six healthy snacking tips for kids:
- Choose healthy snacks. Some snacks are high in added sugar, fat, and salt. Knowing what are the healthy snack options and learning how to read food labels on the packaged food can help you choose healthier snacks.
- Have a variety of healthy snacks from Canada’s Food Guide to fuel children with energy as well as provide essential nutrients to support growth and development. Try interesting combinations like frozen fruit with yogurt, raw vegetable with hummus and a bag of homemade trail mix with dry cereal, dried fruit and seeds.
- Be aware of portion sizes. Put packaged or processed snacks that may be higher in sugar, fat and salt into a smaller containers.
- Plan ahead. Examples of healthy, ready-to-eat snacks that can be prepared the night before include cut up veggies and cubed cheese. Being prepared helps avoid less-healthy treats.
- Get children involved. Children who are part of the food preparation may be more interested in trying something new. Running out of healthy snack ideas? Check out these inventive snack recipes from Dietitians of Canada.
- Make healthy snacks accessible. The food environment shapes what kids eat. Children spend the majority of the time between home and school. Schools who want to start a snack program or want more information on healthy snack options can check out this Snack Shack Resource.
Submitted by Jeanie To, Dietetic Intern