Teaching your children about good nutrition is one thing, but giving them the opportunity to put what they’ve learned into action is another. This Sunday, make it a point to let kids and teens spend some quality time in the kitchen in honor of National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day.
Created to encourage children and teenagers to become more engaged in all aspects of meal planning and preparation, Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day has a health-focused goal: helping families nationwide take an important step toward overcoming the health and social issues linked to the eating habits of American youth—including making important changes to help fight the rise of obesity and related conditions. Before the kitchen fun begins, here are three simple tips to help you open a dialogue with your kids about the importance of good nutrition.
- Talk to Your Kids about Sugar
When kids understand the consequences of a high-sugar diet, they are more likely to make healthier choices on their own. Even small steps like teaching them to spot added sugars on food labels and replacing sugary drinks with water can go a long way toward helping them become healthier adults.
- Tout the Benefits Fruits & Veggies
Pre-packaged meals and snacks may be convenient, but they are often heavily processed and offer little (if any) nutritional value. Fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with beneficial fiber and vitamins and minerals—and most are naturally low in sugar and calories. Show kids how simple it is to cut up their favorite fruits and veggies to have on hand for easy snacking, and encourage them to be creative about adding them to meals.
- Teach them to Power Up with Protein
Not only is protein considered an important building block for the body, but starting each day with a protein-rich breakfast (and snacking on protein throughout the day) supports healthy blood sugar levels to help kids stay satisfied throughout the day. Great sources of protein are lean poultry, meat, and seafood as well as eggs, tofu, tempeh, cheese, plain Greek yogurt, and nuts.
Need a few healthful and delicious recipe ideas simple enough for young chefs? Check out the Renew Life Recipe Center for inspiration!