By: Nikki Nies
While I was perusing eatright.org, I was looking for some more volunteer opportunities. I stumbled upon the Kids Eat Right Campaign. This campaign started in 2010 and has already made some great strides in the last couple of years. Its growth has been advocated by the White House’s efforts to eradicate child obesity.
With various schedules and priorities, it’s very easy to skip family meals, but studies have shown time and time again, that those that eat together are happier, healthier and live longer. Even if you take 30 minutes out of your day to sit down with the kids, that can make a world of difference.
As the first Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)and its foundation collaboration, it is a two fold—providing supplemental materials to Academy RD’s and easily accessible information for the general public. The long term goal is “…to educate families, communities and policy makers the importance of quality nutrition.”
Healthy eating is not just a three times a day decision making process—in regards to the recommended three meals eaten a day, but a lifestyle change. All parts of one’s life needs share the healthy eating philosophy and by catering to all aspects of life—community, families and those that make up our government, AND can accommodate more needs.
Kids Eat Right’s three objectives—EDUCATE, ADVOCATE AND DEMONSTRATE. One needs to provide the necessary tools for people to life a healthy lifestyle, but also be the model for change. Their best advocates are in the dietetic community—with the ability to provide essential information to the general public.
On the eatright.org website, the general public can see the integrated theme—“Shop, Cook-Eat”, with the goal to increase family dinners. The website provides user friendly information on how to everything from making the grocery list to how to prep and cook the food to the overall benefits of eating together and how to best eat when out.
For AND members, they can become Campaign Volunteers; utilizing the five Focus Areas to best inform the public on any questions and concerns. This is a great opportunity to get involved in providing information to one’s local community, as well as the regional community. The website is organized to encourage one to “Take Action to Fight Hunger” as well as access Toolkits to guide one through the campaign. The Action Plan can be customized to one’s specific interests—providing information on volunteering at the local food bank to how to educate others on food insecurity. Everyone can help and make a difference!
Next time you’re grocery shopping, look for FRESH, prepackaged foods that can help you prepare your meals the easiest. One aspect of your lives you shouldn’t cut corners is your health, within a short amount of time, you can whip up a dish that’s yummy and healthy!
Tips for Healthy Meals:
- Keep it simple: pre washed salad, pre cut, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables, long lasting produce
- Time saving tips: leftovers, instant brown rice, whole grain pasta
- On the go! : Pita stuffed with salad, wraps
- Cook once—eat many times! àUse chicken for a few meals
- Quick stove top: stir fry, ham and beans, past with sauce, seafood curry
I’m happy to be a part of the Kids Eat Right Campaign as they are the wave of the future and good eating habits are best if started from a young age. Check out eatright.org for additional information and pamphlets. Become a Kids Eat Right Campaign member yourself, customize your action plan and take advantage of the http://www.eatright.org/programs/kidseatright/activities/content.aspx?id=6442468828