Encouraging Healthy Choices

Welcome back to the Mountain Roots Blog! This is the first post in a short series of blog posts discussing childhood health and wellness with plenty of healthy snack ideas and backyard games to enjoy with the whole family! These games are a fun and easy way to encourage more physical activity for the whole family. If anyone has any questions or recommendations of their own favorite snacks and games, feel free to reach out to our AmeriCorps member Julia at julia@mountainroots.org and she will include them in the blog posts!

Recently, Mountain Roots has begun teaching outreach lessons on how kids can make healthier choices. Focusing on healthy eating and wellness, our outdoor education instructors started classes off with asking the students to tell them what it meant to be “healthy.” Examples given by the students included drinking lots of water, eating fruits and vegetables, and exercising. This encouraging start to the conversation led into a fruit and vegetable matching game for the younger students and a discussion on how to create a healthy, balanced plate for older students.

balanced plate
The USDA recommended proportions for a healthy plate

It’s never too early to start discussing health and wellness with your little ones. According to the CDC, only 21.6% of 6 to 19-year-old children and adolescents in the United States attain the recommended 60 or more minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at least 5 days per week. Physical activity can encourage better grades and higher rates of school attendance, as well as better memory and in-school behaviors and attitudes. Pairing exercise with healthy eating from a young age can encourage children to continue to make healthy choices into adulthood.

Our first healthy snack recommendation is…PEANUT BUTTER! 2 tablespoons of peanut butter contains 4 grams of protein and 8% of your daily value of fiber. While processed peanut butters such as Jif and Skippy contain lots of added sugars, natural peanut butter brands offer a delicious and healthier alternative without the added sugar. Spread some natural peanut butter on celery sticks, top with some raisins, and voilà! Ants on a log! Or, slice up an apple on a plate next to two tablespoons of peanut butter for a fruity and nutty afternoon snack.

ants on a log
Ants on a Log

Check back on the blog for more healthy snack and activity options!

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