March is National Nutrition Month. The 2022 theme is “Celebrate A World of Flavors” and it is meant to encourage people to explore flavors from around the world and appreciate all kinds of differences.
Try new fruits and vegetables
Make food fun. Show your kids how fruits and vegetables can be prepared differently and taste differently too. Have your kids try the vegetable raw, steamed or roasted and see what they like best. As for fruits, you can incorporate other fruits they like and make fruit kebobs. Additionally, you can also make fruit smoothies.
Activity idea: Take a trip to a specialty market and let the kids pick out unfamiliar fruits and vegetables to try.
Make a new meal
If you’re in a routine of always making the same meals (and lunches) over and over again, this month is a good motivator to try something new. Get creative at home and look up recipes from different cultures or support local business and order from a new restaurant.
Activity idea: Stop by the library and pick out a cookbook from the Children’s section (640s in the non-fiction aisle) for dinner inspiration. It is National Reading Month too!
Get the kids involved
Whether your kids are 2 or 12, there are ways to get your kids involved in the kitchen. Whether it’s washing produce, helping set the table, or even asking them what vegetable they want for dinner, not only can help with confidence and self-esteem, but can help create an interest in food and cooking. And what parent doesn’t want an extra set of hands in the kitchen?!
Activity idea: Buy (or make) an apron for your kids to wear in the kitchen when it’s their time to be sous chef. You can also order these safe but effective children’s baking knives to let them help chop vegetables and fruits.
Increase physical activity
If adding physical activity seems almost impossible, it’s important to realize that it’s ok to start small. With your family, start with 10 minutes a day and then eventually increase up to the recommended amount of 30 minutes a day. Whether it’s taking a walk with your family after dinner, or doing jumping jacks during commercials, getting up and moving as a family, helps achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Activity idea: Join the Y170 Challenge and commit to 170 minutes of movement each week. You can go for a walk around the block, check out a local playground or hiking trail. Rainy day? Join your local YMCA and always have a place to walk an indoor track or shoot some hoops.