An Intro to Blythedale and Kohl's Eat Well, Be Well Program: Guidelines & Principles
Guidelines and Principles for Healthier Lifestyles
The Blythedale and Kohl's Eat Well, Be Well program promotes and continually reinforces the following guidelines and principles throughout its program and lessons.
Balanced eating means the body is supplied with an optimal ratio of nutrients by consuming natural foods from the various food groups in the right proportions. If entire food groups are eliminated from one’s diet, balanced eating cannot be achieved. Balanced eating also promotes energy balance. If more calories are consumed than are burned metabolically or through movement, balance cannot be achieved. It is only through the combination of energy balance and the acquisition of nutrients from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy oils/fats, low-fat dairy and lean proteins that true balanced eating exists. Our program teaches kids that a meal should resemble the MyPlate and must contain three or more different food groups in order to be considered balanced. Healthy snacks should fill in the gaps of any food groups generally missed at meals.
In general, daily recommendations include:
5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables
3 servings whole grains
3 servings low fat dairy foods
2 servings of lean protein
Healthy fats primarily from plant oils and fish
Variety means that within each food group many different nutritious foods are accepted and consumed. Each food has a unique combination of nutrients, which promotes health in numerous ways. The human body needs over 40 different vitamins and minerals on a regular basis to optimally maintain health and internal body functions. Incorporating more healthful foods into one’s diet, allows for more health-promoting nutrients that aid growth, development and overall health, as well as contributing to well-balanced and interesting meals. Encourage your children to taste new foods, and to re-try foods they have previously tasted but disliked. Studies show that it can take 15 to 20 or more exposures to a food before it is accepted into the regular repertoire. Recognition and verbal praise for trying and re-trying foods has shown to have positive effects on increasing the number of foods children will taste and ultimately accept. As the parent, you should offer opportunities for trying new and disliked foods regularly. Too often, parents give up after a few attempts. Most importantly, always remember to be a role model for healthy eating. Kids are products of their environment.
Moderation addresses two ideas. One, sweets and treats can have a place in a healthy diet as long as they are eaten in small enough portions to maintain energy balance and do not displace other nutrient-rich foods. Sweets and treats should be given the same value as other foods. Avoid bribing your kids with sweets to eat their veggies or other nutritious foods. This sends the message that treats are much more desirable than healthy foods.
Two, we should always respect and pay attention to our own hunger and satiety cues to achieve energy balance and prevent overeating. As a parent, there are ways to help your child maintain his or her natural hunger and satiety cues. Sitting down together at the table and minimizing distractions can promote mindful eating and help keep your child in tune with his or her body cues.
Physical activity plays an equally important role in overall health as nutrition. Children, and their families, are encouraged to engage in 60 minutes of movement or more throughout the day and limit screen time to less than 2 hours a day. Keep in mind when time is an issue that short bursts of intense exercise have also been shown to have beneficial effects on health and fitness levels.
Any and all exercise is beneficial and an important component to staying healthy. Regular physical activity helps maintain energy levels, strengthens muscles and bones, increases flexibility, lubricates the joints, and improves your sense of well-being. Make sure your activity plan incorporates the three types of activity:
Flexibility Exercises - stretching; yoga to maintain or improve range-of-motion
Strength-building Exercises - resistance exercises to build stronger muscles and bones
Aerobic Exercises - continuous movement exercises to improve cardiovascular function
Hydration and Water
The human body is approximately 60-70 percent water. Research indicates that a mere 2 percent drop in the amount of water in the body is enough to trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on a printed page or computer screen. Staying hydrated, or maintaining proper water balance within the body, is important for everyone, but especially for active children during the hot summer months. In general, beverages with meals and quenching any thirst in between, does provide adequate fluid intakes. However, water needs do vary with gender, age, and physical activity levels and the 8 glasses a day rule no longer applies to all. Fruits and vegetables, when eaten in recommended amounts of 5-9 servings a day can supply 20-25 percent of required water intakes. Listed below are the Adequate Intake (AI), or the median intakes, of total water reported by a national survey for proper hydration.
Children ages 1 to 8 years: ~ 5-6 cups
Females ages 9-18 years: ~ 8-9 cups
Males ages 9-18 years: ~ 10-13 cups
Children simply must have a sufficient amount of sleep to grow, develop, and function optimally. Lack of sleep can affect learning abilities, judgment, reaction time, alertness and mood. In fact, the science shows that adequate, healthy sleep positively affects neurologic development and appears to be a contributing factor for the prevention and reduction of many learning and behavioral problems. For younger children, naps also play an important role in alertness, learning and development.
Additional studies on sleep have also indicated a relationship between sleep and weight status. A recent study found that among 3-year-olds, those who slept less than 12 hours were twice as likely to be overweight compared to those who slept more than 12 hours. Another study found that 7-year-olds getting less than 9 hours of sleep were four times more likely to be overweight than children who got 9 or more hours of sleep.
The amount of sleep a child needs varies depending on the individual and other factors. Listed here are some general guidelines.
1-3 years: 12-14 hours per day
4-6 years: 10-12 hours per day
7-12 years: 10-11 hours per day
13-18 years: 8-9 hours per day
Healthy bedtime practices include:
- Setting a regular bedtime and nap times
Encourage relaxing activities, such as reading together before bedtime
Keeping the room where your child sleeps dark and quiet at bedtime (that means no TV)
Limit media entertainment time (TV, videos, games, computer) to 2 hours per day and shut down electronics at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime
Maintain fairly consistent bed/wake up time during the weekdays and weekends