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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

NewKid Nutrition

Who knew a full-time job would take up so much...well time! I am enjoying my new job but hate that it takes away from blogging. And my hubby still hasn't made it down here-- Newlywed Nutrition is hard to report on without the other newlywed.

I'd like to take this time to highlight some important legislature that moved through Congress this past week. On the 13th day of December, President Obama signed the "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act" into law. First Lady, Michelle Obama, launched the Lets Move anti-obesity program that helped push this into place. Read more about this program at

Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act 
Nutrition standards~Access to healthy foods for all children~Integrity

The USDA has access to 4.5 billion dollars to help create a healthier school environment. This will include controlling the foods put on the tray line, in the vending machine and in school stores. Prior to this bill, focus was on the standards set for the school menu. While there are programs developed to provide funds for healthy foods, access to wholesome, healthy foods is still a pending issue.
A large number of children receive over 50% of the daily intake from school meals. This is thanks to the school breakfast program, school lunch program and after-school snack program, which will also be brought up to date nutritionally. In addition, this act will allow more children the opportunity for free meals. The application process will be simplified by using census data to find qualified children. 
Nutrition will be hands on with access to school gardens and buying from local farmers. Kids will get to learn how to grow food and most importantly where food comes from. School wellness programs will have standards set for physical activity and nutrition education. The staff will be further educated on food safety and nutrition. Once these standards and revisions are established, it will be required for school districts to be audited every three years to ensure compliance.

On paper this sounds great and it could possibly help slow the growing rate of obese children. It does make me a bit nervous that the government is getting so much power over our food choices, however, I appreciate the focus on health promotion and education. At least the kids can understand why they are being told to eat their veggies. Still, we cannot solely depend on the government to set eating habits for our children. As parents, friends, aunts, uncles etc., we have a responsibility to set better examples when it comes to food choices.

Bullet points for Mommy's and Daddy's!
  1. Do not reward or punish your children with food
  2. If you have a toddler that is being introduced to new fruits and vegetables don't give up after they turn it down the first time
  3. Teach your children about why we eat food and why our bodies need nutrients
  4. Get the kids in the kitchen and have them help with meals or snacks and educate them about the food groups: fruits, veggies, grains, dairy, meat and beans
  5. Play games to keep them interested in learning about food
  6. Use measuring utensils in front of them so they can see that portion control is important
  7. Grow your own home garden. Big or small your child still gets to see food go from the ground to the table
  8. Make better choices so that your child will do the same. They do watch you and pick up on your good and bad habits! So, if mommy doesn't like carrots, more then likely little Timmy won't like them either
  9. Make it a point to get involved with your child's school and take note of the changes they will be making
  10. Lastly, if a child sees that their parent or family member is overweight or obese they accept this as normal and grow up thinking that they are perfectly healthy being overweight. Once again, YOU need to set the standards for YOUR child's healthy eating habits!
Please let me know....
What do you think of this bill?
Share what you and your family do to make healthy choices.

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