March is National Nutrition Month
Healthy eating is for all kids as it develops good habits for now and into the future. It also helps prevent serious illnesses later in life. But with today's packed schedules and busy family lives, it becomes difficult to manage healthy eating habits. Like most families, who has time to stay on top of Canada's Food Guide?
Did you know that one in four of Canada's kids are either overweight or obese? In fact, Canada has one of the highest childhood obesity rates in the developed world, ranking fifth out of 34 OECD* countries. (Healthy Weights for Healthy Kids, 2007). With these alarming statistics, it's clear that healthy eating is critical.
Here are some great resources to help you stay on track!
This site produced by the Government of Ontario was designed to help you improve your health and quality of life through healthy eating. Registered Dieticians provide visitors with feature articles on food and nutrition, meal planning advice, healthy eating tips, and recipes. You can even ask nutrition-related questions and receive feedback by phone or email from a Registered Dietician.
www.hc-sc.gc.ca (Click on Food & Nutrition)
The Health Canada Website offers many resources on nutrition and healthy eating to help families. In addition, you'll find a copy of Canada's Food Guide.
KidsHealth.org offers practical information for parents on general kids' health issues including nutrition. There is also a fantastic kids' component where children can find out about how their body works, about health problems, and how to stay healthy. More importantly, their Nutrition and Fitness section provides extensive info on food, weight, special diets, kid-friendly recipes, recipes for allergies and intolerances, staying fit, and more… all through fun and games of course!
Kids can learn about nutrition through fun games and activities. Features kid-friendly recipes.
Dieticians of Canada
Provides many resources for parents and the following services. EATracker - track your day's food and activity choices and compare them to the guidelines laid out by Health Canada. Let's Make a Meal - build a one-day menu then use the "Food Guide Calculator" to see if you are eating well with Canada's Food Guide. Recipe Analyzer - use this tool to find out the nutrients in your favourite recipes, and see how many Food Guide Servings your recipe provides.
At My Best
At My Best is a new school-based wellness program aimed at children in kindergarten to grade three. At My Best focuses on improving physical activity, healthy eating, and emotional well-being. The program assists teachers with delivering quality health and physical education programs. The program, rolling out to schools across Canada, was developed by AstraZeneca Canada and Physical and Health Education Canada. Inquire at your school if the program is available.
Remember, good nutrition and a balanced diet will help kids grow up healthy!
*Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is an international organization devoted to helping governments tackle the economic, social, and governance challenges of a globalized economy.