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Monthly Spotlight: Healthy Kids Month

Summertime Nutrition for the Whole Family

Summertime is the perfect time to eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet! Why? Because there are so many delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables available! Summer break gives from kids to adults more free time to help with meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking together at home.

Meal Planning

With all the extra time, the whole family can meal plan, and make the trip to the grocery store together. The USDA made meal planning easy, with their Choose My Plate program. They have nutritional resources designed as seasonal suggestions for everyone. Before the trip to the grocery store, ask your family to check out the site for meal planning ideas, recipes, and tips for grocery shopping.

ChooseMyPlate.gov

A shopping list helps everyone stay on track, understand nutritional facts about the foods you are selecting, and avoid foods that aren’t as beneficial.

The educational campaign We Can! is another program that raises awareness about children’s health by providing options for cooking at home, eating out, and portion control. Take the Portion Distortion Quiz for some insight on how food portions have changed over the years. 

Grocery Shopping

Create a food pyramid right from your own grocery list. Have your family help you in selecting fruits and vegetables that they like to encourage a healthy diet. It also helps them visualize half their plate with the fruits and vegetables, which is the current USDA recommendation.

Teenagers seeking to understand healthy eating habits, meal-planning, and grocery shopping on their own, may find the information on the National Institute on Health (NIH) website, Take Charge of Your Health: A Guide for Teenagers, very informative and useful.

The Farmers Market

Grand Prairie Farmers Market Produce

Why shop for food indoors, when you can get fresher, Texas-grown options, plus entertainment, outdoors? Spend some quality family time on Saturday’s at your local farmers market. Check out the Grand Prairie Farmers Market at Market Square, on Main Street in downtown Grand Prairie. You’ll find a sampling of fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables, as well as other artisan crafts and gifts. The Farmers Market is a wonderful place to meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation of consuming at least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables.

Shopping at the Farmers Market is more than just a step toward healthy eating – it also helps support local businesses. Have you ever heard of the term “locavore”? This word describes a person that makes a commitment to buy and eat food that is grown locally (usually within 100 miles), or has a smaller “food footprint.” Learn more about eating locally and the social, economic, and health benefits.

Sources: Centers for Disease ControlUSDAPBS Parents.orgChooseMyPlate.govNational Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute