September is Hunger Action Month
Did you know that September is national Hunger Action Month? Hunger affects 48 million Americans, including 15 million children. When your stomach is empty children don’t have the energy to focus and learn, grow and succeed in school.
How Can You Help?
Did you know that every five years Congress must reauthorize the Child Nutrition programs? This program help our children have access to food needed to succeed in school and live active, healthy lives. This act Child Nutrition supports and strengthen child programs such as School Meals, WIC, Summer Food (SFSP), and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Millions of low-income children benefit from the healthy food provided by the child nutrition programs.
You can help shape the debate and encourage your members of the Senate to understand the importance of this reauthorization on the success of children and youth in school. Feeding America has made it easy to do – click here to access their sample letter.
You can also teach the kids in your life about hunger, so they can understand the challenges other face and encourage them to help.
How can you stay healthy and make sure your kids are ready for school?
Here are some great resources that can help you on a way to a healthy lifestyle.
- Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables
- Choose whole foods and various colors
- If you choose to give juice make sure it is 100% fruit juice not from concentrate
- Choose as many whole grains as possible
- First ingredient should be whole wheat, not enriched
- Vary proteins between animal sources, beans, nuts and seeds
- Choose low fat dairy
- Limit oils and sweets
Here are recommendations for intake of fruit, grains, vegetables, proteins, and dairy.
Daily recommendation is 1-2 cups. 100% fruit juice, fresh, canned, frozen or 1/2 cup dried
Daily recommendation is 5-6 oz. Whole grains and refined grains
Refined grains are processed through milling which removes dietary fiber, iron and some B vitamins
Ounce equivalents= 1 slice bread, 1 cup cereal or 1/2 cup of cooked rice, pasta, or oatmeal
Daily recommendations 2-3 cups. Vegetables can be raw or cooked, fresh, frozen, canned or dried.
Vary the colors: 1 cup cooked or raw, 1 cup juice, 1 large pepper or tomato, 2 cups raw spinach or leafy greens
Daily recommendation 4-6 oz. Sources are from meat, poultry, seafood, beans, soy, nuts and seeds
1 oz. = 1/4 cup cooked beans, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon nut butter or 1/2 oz. nuts and seeds
Choose lean, low fat meat and poultry
Daily recommendation is 2-3 cups. 1 cup milk, yogurt or soy milk, 1 1/2 oz. natural cheese
Here are some great examples of healthy snacks.
- Sliced carrots, celery, colored peppers or zucchini with yogurt dip or hummus
- Sliced apple with nut butter
- Air popped popcorn, dried fruits, nuts and seeds for a homemade trail mix
- Nitrate/Nitrite free fresh deli meat with string cheese
- Yogurt, fruit and granola for a parfait
- Celery and nut butter
- Whole wheat flour fruit muffins
- Hard boiled eggs
For additional information this website has great information!