By highlighting children’s health we send the important message that good nutrition and other health behaviors are foundational for life-long wellness. By sharing the resources included in this month-long campaign, your school helps students, staff and families access knowledge and skills that encourage our youth to live healthier lifestyles and promote the prevention of chronic and preventable diseases. A child’s nutrition and lifestyle habits have a direct effect on every function of their body. As a community it is our duty to educate children on the grand importance of a proper diet and positive lifestyle habits It is also our duty to help ensure all children within our community have access to the resources needed to live a healthy life. It is our hope that you share these resources and encourage participation within your setting and community. By choosing to participate in our county-wide initiative, your school can increase awareness and the effectiveness of interventions that reinforce important health messages.
Included Resource Components:
- A March Calendar which highlights key health behaviors and guidelines to share with families and staff
- Lesson plans for classroom activities
- A “Go Further with Food” Student Contest
National Nutrition Month® 2018
National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. "Go Further with Food" is the theme for 2018, and its importance is timely for many reasons.
The purpose of this contest is to draw attention to topics that hold important implications for the health of children and families. As our future leaders and problem solvers, we encourage students to showcase their considerable talents and valuable thoughts on food and nutrition matters this month by creating a project that highlights one of the topics below. Projects may be submitted by individuals, groups or entire classrooms. (Note: teachers are encouraged to adapt activities and projects to their students’ age and developmental level.) All participants will receive a “Health Ambassador for Westchester” Certificate. Winners from each school will be selected. Winning projects will be showcased on Blythedale's website and Facebook pages, and the Food Bank for Westchester Facebook page.
Step 1: Select a Topic of Interest
- Nutrition -- The foods you choose can make a real difference. Most children fall short on recommended amount of daily vegetables, whole grains, calcium-rich foods and water, but consume more than the recommended daily amounts of sugar and unhealthy fats. Whether it's starting the day off right with a healthy breakfast, powering up before or after an athletic event, choosing healthy snacks, fueling up for overall good health or academic performance---the foods we consume matter. What can individuals and communities do to help ensure children get the nutrition they need to fuel a healthy body, healthy mind and productive life?
- Hunger and Food Insecurity -- Food insecurity is the inability to obtain a sufficient amount of healthy food on a day-to-day basis. Food insecurity affects 1 in 5 people in Westchester County. As a result, food insecure people may suffer from a number of health conditions. For example, food insecurity might cause a person to rely on foods that are less nutritious, which can increase the risk for heart disease and diabetes. Or, food insecurity might cause increased anxiety and stress, which can negatively impact how we feel and think. What can individuals and communities do to help children and families have access to the healthy foods they need?
- Food Waste -- It’s been estimated that Americans throw away 90 billion pounds of food each year, either at home or when eating out. Preparing your foods to go further, by planning meals and snacks in advance can help to reduce food loss and waste. This year's theme for National Nutrition Month® encourages us to achieve the numerous benefits healthy eating habits offer, but it also urges us to find ways to cut back on food waste. Learning how to manage food resources at home will help you "Go Further with Food", while saving money. What can individuals and communities do to help prevent food waste?
- Food & the Environment -- Food affects our environment. The farming of plants and animals pollutes the air and waterways, certain growing methods deplete nutrients in the soil, animal and food waste produces greenhouse gases, food travels approximately 1500 miles using lots of fossil fuels before it makes it to you refrigerator. When it comes to food, how can individuals and communities help protect the environment?
Step 2: Questions to answer (keep it brief—no more than 1 page)
- Briefly explain what the theme “Go Further with Food” means to you and why you chose the topic you chose?
- Why is it important for young people to learn more about nutrition and other food matters?
- What are some key actions individuals and communities can take to Go Further with Food to make a difference or positive change in your chosen topic area?
- Provide a brief description of your project and how it may help other students to learn.
Step 3: Share Your Vision
We want you to get creative in the ways you celebrate National Nutrition Month’s theme Go Further with Food! Embrace the inner artist, writer, journalist, investigative reporter, advertiser, actor, film maker, chef, teacher, illustrator, gardener, photographer, poet, musician, architect or other talents or interests. Celebrate National Nutrition Month in your own creative way. Here are a few ideas to create or come up with your own.
|A health newspaper or newspaper article||PowerPoint presentation||A cooking or gardening video|
|Persuasive Essay||A speech||A healthy meal plan for a week|
|Short story||A lesson plan||Design a placemat or bookmark|
|An interview or Q&A session||Draw or design a healthy community||A billboard sign|
|A short video||Describe a community event you would plan||An infographic|
|A brochure or flyer||A poem||A board game|
|A poster||A skit or puppet show||Design a girl scout or boy scout badge|
|Tell a story with photo images||School announcements - key messages to share||A song or jingle|
|A picture book or comic book||A kid-friendly recipe|
Step 4: Submit Your Project by MARCH 24, 2018
We ask that projects be submitted digitally by attaching written works, photographs of projects or videos of performances or other activities into an email. Make sure each submission identifies the student(s) or classroom and school. Send entries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Make sure to include:
- Name (if working individually) or classroom/teacher (if working in groups)
- School Name & address
Key Health Messages:
- Include a variety of healthful foods from all of the food groups on a daily basis.
- Drink mostly plain water.
- Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount that’s right for you, as MyPlate encourages us to do.
- Eat and cook as a family as often as possible. There are meal preparation tasks appropriate for all ages.
- Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most or all days of the week. Aim for 60 minutes per day.
- Practice mindfulness and make time for stress-reduction activities such as meditation, yoga, visualization, ect.
- Limit screen time to 2 hours or less per day.
- Prioritize night-time routines and appropriate bedtimes. Children need 9-11 hours of sleep daily.
- Consider the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store.
- Buy only the amount that can be eaten or frozen within a few days.
- Get creative with leftovers by transforming meals into soups, salads or sandwiches by cutting up leftover meats and veggies
- Read food labels, ingredient lists and understand “best by” and “use by” dates.
- Continue to use good food safety practices.
- Identify and contact local places to donate extra foods that are still safe to eat, such as a local shelter, church or in-need neighbor.
- Buy local or grow your own food whenever possible.
Funding for this program and materials is made possible by Kohls Eat Well, Be Well Program. For more information, click here.
For more information, please contact Marie Roth.
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Blythedale Children's Hospital, through the generosity of Kohl’s Department Stores, is proud to offer Blythedale and Kohl's Eat Well, Be Well, an innovative outreach program designed to bring health and nutrition education to schools throughout Westchester and Putnam counties. Through this program, Blythedale staff members teach healthy eating habits to children by providing curricula, training and educational tools to school districts throughout the area. The program provides general nutrition guidelines to students, parents and school faculty. Blythedale Children's Hospital offers experts in nutrition and health-education to speak with local parenting groups, PTAs and school personnel.