Getting children involved in making healthier food choices is the first step in raising children to be healthier adults. The SNEAKER (Super Nutrition Education for all Kids to Eat Right) program at HSS works with school age children, educating them about healthy eating and the importance of staying active. In addition to workshops delivered in the school classroom, SNEAKER involves parents by sending home newsletters containing weekly health tips related to the classroom lessons. The newsletters also keeps parents informed on what their child is learning in the program.
As a parent, why should healthy eating be a priority for my family?
Children model what they see at home. By teaching your kids how to eat healthy and why it is important, you are giving them the tools they need to make better choices into adulthood.
Quick tips to preparing healthy meals:
- Make Half Your Grains Whole-Try replacing half of your child’s grains with whole grains. Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber which can help keep the heart healthy. Foods containing fiber can also help keep your child feeling fuller longer. Choose whole wheat bread, whole corn tortillas, oatmeal, popcorn or brown rice, to name a few.
- Go for Color! – Vary the kinds of fruits and vegetables you offer your child throughout the day. Offering kids several types of colorful fruits and vegetables provides them with many different healthy vitamins and minerals.
- Choose Better Beverages- Offer water, low-fat or fat-free milk, or unsweetened tea. Have ready-to-go containers filled with water or healthy drinks available in the refrigerator. Place them in lunch boxes or backpacks for easy access when kids are away from home.
- Use Portion Control- Choosing healthy food is the first step. Consuming the recommended servings of those foods is the second. How much you feed your kids is just as important as what they are eating.
Check out www.choosemyplate.gov more kids friendly ideas and information on recommended serving sizes.
What are some healthy snacks I can give my child after school?
Try limiting the amount junk food you buy for your home. Your child won’t reach for cookies or chips if they can’t find them. Stock your pantry with healthy alternatives such as, whole grain crackers and peanut butter, low-fat yogurts, fresh fruit and veggies with hummus.
How long should my child be physically active every day?
Children need be active at least 60 minutes every day. Try limiting the time your child sits in front of the computer or TV; encourage them to enjoy the outdoors.
In response to the pediatric obesity epidemic, HSS developed and implemented the SNEAKER program in 2003 reaching over 15,000 children.The SNEAKER program is implemented in public schools and after-school programs largely located in medically underserved areas throughout NYC. For more information on the SNEAKER program visit hss.edu/sneaker