March is National Nutrition Month, a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the American Dietetic Association. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. This year’s National Nutrition Month theme, “Eat right with Color,” encourages everyone to remember to include a colorful variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and dairy on their plates every day.
With the month of March focusing on nutrition, it’s the perfect time to look at some great ideas and resources provided by The American Dietetic Association to eat a healthy diet! To help parents, the American Dietetic Association provides many resources available at their website. They even have a list of 25 healthy snacks for kids, including these five great ideas:
1. Peel a banana and dip it in yogurt. Roll in crushed cereal and freeze.
2. Spread celery sticks with peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese. Top with raisins. Enjoy your “ants on a log.”
3. Stuff a whole-grain pita pocket with ricotta cheese and Granny Smith apple slices. Add a dash of cinnamon.
4. Mix together ready-to-eat cereal, dried fruit and nuts in a sandwich bag for an on-the-go snack.
5. Smear a scoop of frozen yogurt on two graham crackers and add sliced banana to make a yummy
Next, Buddy from the hit TV series, Dinosaur Train, can help you and your child prepare a vegetarian (herbivore) picnic. The Have A Brachiosaurus Picnic activity helps young children to learn what foods fit into an herbivore’s diet (fruits and vegetables); reminds children about the importance of hand washing before eating; and also creates an opportunity to discuss why all animals need to eliminate waste from their bodies (a.k.a. “poop”).
The website also includes a list of ingredients needed to prepare a picnic filled with great food and fun with a menu including:
o Brachiosaurus Super Salad: The kids will have fun tearing up green leafy veggies into bite-size pieces and mixing ranch dressing with green coloring to make a tasty topping.
o Sauropod Sandwich: With a plastic knife, cut pieces of whole wheat bread in the shape of a favorite dinosaur and spread with cheese spread or peanut butter.
o Herbivore Herb and Spinach Spread: Mix frozen spinach, dried onion soup mix, sour cream, celery sticks and crackers
o Green Juice: Fill a child’s plastic cup with apple juice and add green food color to make a green beverage fit for an herbivore.
Dinosaur Train® airs daily on PBS KIDS® (check local listings).
Information about the NEW Dinosaur Train DVD:
Get on board the Dinosaur Train with Buddy, a Tyrannosaurus R ex, and his adoptive family of Pteranodons as they embark on a roaring, exploring world tour adventure to discover a variety of dinosaurs inhabiting the globe as they journey to Asia, Europe and Africa. From the world-renowned Jim Henson Company, PBS KIDS and Paramount Home Entertainment, the DINOSAUR TRAIN: PTERANODON FAMILY WORLD TOUR ADVENTURE DVD includes eight exciting edu-tainment adventures, interactive games, coloring pages, a dinosaur reference guide and parent information.
(Disclosure: I received a copy of the new Dinosaur Train DVD but all opinions are my own.)