morning commute to work is suddenly filled with big yellow
buses and cars darting through traffic to drop off kids at
school. Yep, the school year is here once again. This is also
Kids Eat Right Month, an ongoing initiative of the Academy of
Nutrition and Dietetics to teach families how to shop, cook
and eat smart.
we get kids — in the midst of our busy lives — to eat
right? Registered dietitian Tess Warwick, who works with the
Kids Eat Right program at Community Hospital of the Monterey,
Calif., Peninsula, offers these healthy behavior goals that
parents can help kids practice:
at least one fruit and one vegetable each day. More is better,
of course; but it’s an easy way to remind your child why
those apples slices are in his lunch bag. It’s also a
teachable moment when you are at the grocery store and junior
is begging for hot Cheetos.
beverages that contain added sugar. Add sliced oranges,
strawberries or even cucumbers to iced water and encourage
your child to at least taste it. He might be pleasantly
one hour of physical activity each day. That holds for us,
too, mom and dad. Kids who run and play with others in guided
activities are more apt to think those activities are fun.
for foods that contain "dietary fiber" and eat those
foods. Fiber resides in foods that began their lives in the
ground — plant foods such as whole grains, nuts, beans,
fruit and vegetables. One easy recipe, says Warwick, is a
Batman Tortilla (so named for the black beans it contains).
Kiddos top a corn tortilla (whole grain) with black beans,
chopped tomatoes and onion (dietary fiber), a dollop of Greek
yogurt (calcium and protein and a great substitute for sour
cream) and a sprinkle of grated cheese (for yummy effect).
are often surprised when their child is willing to try a new
food…and they like it," says Warwick who recently
offered an interactive lunch/dine and learn experience to
parents and children as part of Kids Eat Right. What’s the
secret to getting kiddos involved in eating right? They like
hands-on activities. Kids who help chop, mix and serve a
broccoli salad, for example, are much more likely to eat that
salad…and enjoy it.
past two years, the Kids Eat Right program at Community
Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula has reached more than 1,800
fourth graders in 18 schools in Monterey County, according to
Uriel Mendoza, the programs’ enthusiastic coordinator.
Schools interested in participating can contact him at