Healthy eating and physical activity solutions for kids

Pizza, Vegetables, and a Side of Healthy Balance

Despite what the media headlines may lead you to believe, Congress has not declared pizza a vegetable. The bottom line is the tomato paste on the pizza still counts as a vegetable serving according to federal regulations for school lunch programs. (If you want more explanation than that, read this article from the LA Times: ‘Pizza vegetable’ controversy is hot potato.)

But, honestly, the real bottom line? We all need to find some healthy balance when it comes to nutrition for kids. Childhood obesity did not start overnight, and it won’t get fixed overnight either. Don’t get caught up in the blame game. The true solution to this epidemic is that many solutions are needed, which must mesh into a new culture of health for all of us. While Congress may not have approved the changes many thought would be approved, it’s up to all of us to do the best we can, with what we have, where we are. Many schools are already making strides in offering appealing and tasty meals (see www.traytalk.org), without additional reimbursement, and we can learn from them.

Many individuals are taking action themselves to help their schools offer healthier foods and more active play, without pay or recognition, because they know it’s the right thing to do. The people who make these changes will often tell you the closer you get to healthy balance, the reward is in the health itself. In a culture of health, kids will be eating better, moving more, and enjoying a healthy balance – what can you do to help reach that goal where you are?