August 1, 2022
CHICAGO – The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages parents and caregivers to help children establish healthful eating habits as summer winds down and kids prepare to head back to school. In August, the Academy and its Foundation celebrate the importance of healthful eating and active lifestyles for children and their families during the annual Kids Eat Right Month™.
"Children enjoy being given responsibility, so get them involved in helping plan, prepare and pack their lunches," said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy Spokesperson Isabel Maples of Washington, D.C. "Getting children involved helps teach them an important life skill. Plus, their involvement will increase the likelihood that they'll actually eat and enjoy the lunches they helped pack."
Registered dietitian nutritionists are the food and nutrition experts, so back-to-school time is the perfect opportunity for RDNs to highlight the importance of enjoying healthful meals.
Maples encourages caregivers and children to agree on their lunch items: some protein, a grain, at least one fruit and one vegetable, a calcium-rich low-fat dairy food or beverage and perhaps a small dessert or additional snack. Keep food safety top-of-mind by using an insulated lunch bag and ice packs to help keep perishable foods cold. Encourage children to wash their hands before eating and to wash their lunch boxes when they return home.
If your child's school has a lunch program, review the menus together and pick foods that are appealing, she said. When kids eat school meals, they are more likely to consume milk, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, which gives them more nutrients over the course of an entire day. Cost- and nutrition-wise, school lunch is an excellent value.
The Academy continues to advocate for government-funded nutrition programs, such as the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill, which is a critical line of defense against food insecurity for millions of children.
Kids Eat Right Month™
Kids Eat Right Month™ was created in 2014 to mobilize registered dietitian nutritionists in a grassroots movement to share healthful eating messages to help families adopt nutritious eating habits.
"See the Kids Eat Right Month™ Media Materials page for the 2022 campaign graphic, infographics and more information. To find a registered dietitian nutritionist near you, use the Academy's online Find a Nutrition Expert service.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Representing more than 112,000 credentialed nutrition and dietetics practitioners, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation is a 501(c)3 charity dedicated exclusively to supporting nutrition and dietetics professionals by empowering them to help consumers live healthier lifestyles. It makes an impact with Academy members and throughout the profession with its scholarships, awards, research grants, fellowships, public education programs and disaster relief efforts. Through philanthropy, the Foundation empowers current and future food and nutrition practitioners to optimize global health. Visit the Foundation at www.eatrightFoundation.org.