National Nutrition Week is celebrated each year from September 1st to September 7th during which time awareness is raised about health as well as fitness. This week is about sharing strategies to keep a balanced diet and remain active in fitness as part of a well-rounded wellness routine.
The United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, has switched from the food pyramid to “Choose My Plate” as a basis for a balanced diet. School districts around the United States have adopted this new philosophy in nutrition as a healthier alternative.
My Plate illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image, a plate. Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate, in your bowl, or what fills your cup. This program was designed to be easy to understand for children as well. My Plate is a reminder to find a healthy eating style by focusing on variety, amount, and nutrition; choosing foods and beverages with less saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars; and supporting healthy eating for everyone. My Plate focuses on making healthy food and beverage choices from all five food groups including fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy. Using nutrition facts labels and ingredient lists can also help you to make healthier choices. Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov for more information on nutrition.
Another important aspect of nutrition is maintaining an active lifestyle with a fitness routine. A fitness routine does not necessarily mean you have to make it to the gym three times a week. It could simply mean that you take a walk after dinner with the family, or enjoy another physical activity routinely. The best way to achieve fitness goals for the whole family is to make them together while supporting one another.
Setting goals, staying accountable, adding rewards, eating more meals together, and above all tackling fitness together, will help your family take steps toward better health. Get started now, because what you teach your children today is what they will take with them into adulthood.