And it can be simpler and less time-consuming than you imagine. With these tips, you can instill healthy eating habits without turning mealtimes into a battle zone and give your kids the best opportunity to grow into healthy, confident adults. How does healthy food benefit kids?
Guidelines for School Health Programs to Promote Lifelong Healthy Eating Summary Healthy eating patterns in childhood and adolescence promote optimal childhood health, growth, and intellectual development; prevent immediate health problems, such as iron deficiency anemia, obesity, eating disorders, and dental caries; and may prevent long-term health problems, such as coronary heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
School health programs can help children and adolescents attain full educational potential and good health by providing them with the skills, social support, and environmental reinforcement they need to adopt long-term, healthy eating behaviors.
This report summarizes strategies most likely to be effective in promoting healthy eating among school-age youths and provides nutrition education guidelines for a comprehensive school health program.
These guidelines are based on a review of research, theory, and current practice, and they were developed by CDC in collaboration with experts from universities and from national, federal, and voluntary agencies.
The guidelines include recommendations on seven aspects of a school-based program to promote healthy eating: Because dietary factors "contribute substantially to the burden of preventable illness and premature death in the United States," the national health promotion and disease prevention objectives encourage schools to provide nutrition education from preschool through 12th grade 1.
Because diet influences the potential for learning as well as health, an objective of the first national education goal is that children "receive the nutrition and health care needed to arrive at school with healthy minds and bodies" 3.
The recommendations in this report are intended to help personnel and policymakers at the school, district, state, and national levels meet the national health objectives and education goals by implementing school-based nutrition education policies and programs. This report may also be useful to students, to parents, and to personnel in local and state health departments, community-based health and nutrition programs, pediatric clinics, and training institutions for teachers and public health professionals.
These recommendations complement CDC guidelines for school health programs to prevent the spread of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome AIDS 4to prevent tobacco use and addiction 5and to promote physical activity 6.
In this report, nutrition education refers to a broad range of activities that promote healthy eating behaviors. The nutrition education guidelines focus largely on classroom instruction, but they are relevant to all components of a comprehensive school health program -- health education; a healthy environment; health services; counseling, psychological, and social services; integrated school and community efforts; physical education; nutrition services; and school-based health promotion for faculty and staff 7.
Although the meals served by school food service programs are an important part of a school health program, this report does not provide specific recommendations related to purchasing and preparing food for school meals.
Detailed information on this topic is available from many other publications and information sources see Appendix A. These guidelines also do not address the specific nutrition education and counseling needs of pregnant adolescents 20,21 or young persons with special needs These guidelines are based on a synthesis of research, theory, and current practice and are consistent with the principles of the national health education standards 29the opportunity-to-learn standards for health education 29the position papers of leading voluntary organizations involved in child nutrition 30and the national action plan to improve the American diet To develop these guidelines, CDC convened meetings of experts in nutrition education, reviewed published research, considered the recommendations of national policy documents 1,and consulted with experts from national, federal, and voluntary organizations.
Immediate effects of unhealthy eating patterns include undernutrition, iron deficiency anemia, and overweight and obesity. Chronically undernourished children attain lower scores on standardized achievement tests, especially tests of language ability When children are hungry or undernourished, they have difficulty resisting infection and therefore are more likely than other children to become sick, to miss school, and to fall behind in class 36,37 ; they are irritable and have difficulty concentrating, which can interfere with learning 38 ; and they have low energy, which can limit their physical activity Some reports have estimated that millions of children in the United States experience hunger over the course of a year 39but no scientific consensus currently exists on how to define or measure hunger 1.
A study of low-income elementary school students indicated that those who participated in the School Breakfast Program had greater improvements in standardized test scores and reduced rates of absence and tardiness than did children who qualified for the program but did not participate Strategies to encourage adequate nutrition among young persons include the following: Promote participation in USDA food assistance programs e.
Advise parents and guardians about community-based food supplementation programs e.
Educate students and their families about the importance of eating breakfast. Iron Deficiency Anemia Iron deficiency anemia is the most common cause of anemia in the United States This deficiency can increase fatigue, shorten attention span, decrease work capacity, reduce resistance to infection, and impair intellectual performance 33, Among school-age youths, female adolescents are at greatest risk for iron deficiency.
To prevent iron deficiency, children and adolescents should eat adequate amounts of foods high in iron and in vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron efficiently The prevalence of overweight among youths ages years in the United States has more than doubled in the past 30 years; most of the increase has occurred since the late s Obesity in young persons is related to elevated blood cholesterol levels and high blood pressureand some very obese youths suffer from immediate health problems e.
Being overweight during childhood and adolescence has been associated with increased adult mortality 61, Furthermore, obese children and adolescents are often excluded from peer groups and discriminated against by adults, experience psychological stress, and have a poor body image and low self-esteem 63, Increased physical activity and appropriate caloric intake are recommended for preventing and reducing obesity Deliberately restricting food intake over long periods can lead to poor growth and delayed sexual development Data from one study indicated that the rate of smoking initiation is higher for adolescent girls who diet or who are concerned about their weight than for nondieters or girls having few weight concerns 66and another study indicated that many white female high school students who smoke report using smoking to control their appetite and weight Harmful weight loss practices have been reported among girls as young as 9 years old 68, Young persons involved in certain competitive sports and dancing are particularly at risk for unsafe weight control practices The latest news on healthcare advancements and research, as well as personal wellness tips.
You know the importance of good nutrition and exercise, but how do you feed a picky eater or encourage a child who hates sports to play outside? Learn how to keep your child healthy with the right foods and exercise.
School lunches can be another learning lesson for kids. More important, if you can get them thinking about what they eat for lunch, you might be able to help them make positive changes.
More important, if you can get them thinking about what they eat for lunch, you might be able to help them make positive changes. rows · Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program Report to Congress: State Implementation Progress, School Year 05/04/ Regional Office Review of Applications (RORA) for School Meals Although the meals served by school food service programs are an important part of a school health program, this report does not provide specific recommendations related to purchasing and preparing food for school meals.
Most kids have the choice of packing lunch or buying one at school. The good news is that a kid can get a healthy lunch by doing either one. But it's not a slam-dunk.