8 Tips to Help you Nourish your Little Ones – Kids Eat Right Month®

August 10, 2023

August is recognized by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as Kids Eat Right Month®, and to celebrate, we asked Chartwells K12 Registered Dietitians Lindsey Palmer, VP of Nutrition and Industry Relations, and Sarah Maver, Director of Wellness and Sustainability, to share eight practical and empowering tips that will help you nourish your little ones.


1. Get to know your School Lunch Program 🥗

Cross “pack lunch” off your to-do list and explore your school’s lunch program. The value of school lunch is top of mind as families continue to experience inflation and growing food costs at home. In addition to giving kids the chance to try new foods and cut back on food waste, school lunch provides students with healthy, balanced, and safe meals at an affordable price, while saving families time and stress.

2. Meal Plan and Shop Smart 📝

Wouldn’t it be a relief to know exactly what’s for dinner at the end of a long day? With a little extra effort to meal plan for the week, you can make grocery shopping and dinner time a breeze. Start by getting the family involved – explore exciting new recipes and let your kids pick out fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins at the grocery store.

3. Prioritize Family Meals 🍽️

Gathering around the table to eat as a family has benefits beyond better nutrition. Research shows that children of families who regularly eat together are less likely to have behavioral problems and they’re generally closer to their parents. Pull up a chair, put the phone down, and use this time to set a positive example of healthy eating for your children.

4. Fuel Playtime with Nutrient Dense Foods and Hydrating Beverages 🚴

Kids need the right fuel to power them up for playtime and it starts with breakfast. Opt for whole grain cereals over the sugary stuff, and a rainbow of fresh fruit instead of a fruit-flavored pastry. Help your kids keep their momentum throughout the day with high-energy carbohydrates like bananas, apples, low-fat yogurt, and more. And don’t skip out on hydration!

5. Empower your Teen to Take the Reigns on their Nutrition 💪

Your teenagers are finding their independence and that includes making their own choices about food. Give them a nudge in the right direction by stocking your kitchen with easy-to-prepare staples. Try to keep whole wheat bread, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products, and fresh produce within reach.

6. Guide your Kids to Good Choices when Eating Out 👨‍🍳

A visit to your favorite restaurant is a treat but it can also present challenges when it comes to healthy food choices. Help them navigate the menu by drawing their attention to grilled or baked proteins, whole grains, and plenty of vegetables. And remember, it’s okay to indulge occasionally, but moderation is key to maintaining a balanced diet and learning healthy patterns.

7. Be Diligent about Food Allergies 🥜

If your child has a food allergy, it’s crucial to create a safe environment both at home and when dining out. Read labels diligently, educate yourselves and your children about food allergens, and advocate for their needs. School cafeteria teams recognize the critical importance of supporting students and families who manage food allergy issues every day and can work closely with families to make school meals safe for students who require a modification to their menu.

8. Understand Labels and Navigate Marketing 🏷️

It’s important that your kids know how to scrutinize products, recognize sneaky marketing tactics, and make informed choices based on the information at hand. Knowledge is power, and by equipping your children with the skills to decode the nutrition facts label, you’re setting them up for a lifetime of healthy choices.