Nutritional Wellness

 

Eating well can be the most enjoyable way to obtain optimal health. Proper nutrition can prevent the development of chronic diseases as well as provide you with the nutrients needed to support optimal growth and development, stable energy levels, a healthy weight, and a vibrant, healthy life. 

Good nutrition has a positive and direct impact on your ability to do well in in everything you do. When your nutritional needs are met, you have the cognitive energy to learn and achieve.

Protein – Choose a variety of foods with lean protein

Protein is an indispensable nutrient and can be found throughout every tissue in our body. Protein is a vital source of energy but the most important function of protein is building and repairing tissue. We also need protein for our immune function, proteins transport vitamins and minerals throughout our body.

Grains – Make half of all the grains you eat whole grains

Eating grains, especially whole grains, provides health benefits. Dietary fiber from whole grains, may help reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Grains are important sources of many nutrients, including several B vitamins, magnesium and selenium.

Fruits – Make at least half of your plate fruits and vegetables

Eating fruit provides health benefits — people who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Fruits provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.

Vegetables – Make at least half of your plate fruits and vegetables

Eating vegetables provides health benefits — people who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Vegetables provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.

Dairy – Always choose fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk

Milk and dairy products are especially important to bone health during school aged years, when bone mass is being built. It provides important sources of calcium, potassium and vitamin D, and help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and help to lower blood pressure in adults.

Follow the links provided to learn more regarding the benefits of proper nutrition.

School Nutrition and Fitness

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Nutrition.gov

 

Weight Management

 

 

Decrease Portion Sizes

The Dietary Guidelines encourage you to enjoy your food, but eat less and to avoid oversized portions.

The amount you eat or drink plays an important role in your energy balance strategy. Most people eat and drink more when served larger portions. Choosing smaller portions can help you lose weight and keep it off.

Portions have increased over time. See examples here. You may be eating more than you realize. Some common food portions can equal the amount that is recommended for the whole day. For example, on a 1600 calorie Daily Food Plan, 5 ounces a day of grains are suggested. Some bagels weigh up to 5 ounces - the entire day's allotment of grains!


 

Your Daily Food Plan helps you manage your daily intake by recommending the amount of food you need from each food group.

Your portions at each meal do not need to be any specific  amount-but to stay within your energy needs, the total amount you eat each day should match the total amount recommended for each group. For example, 1 regular slice of bread counts as 1 ounce of grains. This doesn't mean that you have to eat a sandwich with one piece of bread. It just means that if you eat two slices, you should count them both toward your total grain intake for the day.

Get Started                             Overcome Stumbling Blocks


 

Get started eating smaller portions:

 

  • Figure out how big your portions really are:
    • Measure how much the bowls, glasses, cups, and plates you usually use hold. Pour your breakfast cereal into your regular bowl.  Then, pour it into a measuring cup.  How many cups of cereal do you eat each day?  
  • Measure a fixed amount of some foods and drinks to see what they look like in your glasses and plates. For example, measure 1 cup of juice to see what 1 cup of liquid looks like in your favorite glass.
    • To see what 1 cup, ½ cup, or 1 ounce of some different foods looks like, visit the food gallery and find some of the foods you eat in each group.
    • Prepare, serve, and eat smaller portions of food. Start by portioning out small amounts to eat and drink. Only go back for more if you are still hungry. 
  • Pay attention to feelings of hunger. Stop eating when you are satisfied, not full. If there is still food on your plate or on the table, put it away (or throw it out). Repeat the phrase "a moment on the lips, a year on the hips" as you do this.
  • A simple trick to help you eat less is to use a smaller plate, bowl, or glass. One cup of food on a small plate looks like more than the same cup of food on a large plate.
  • It is important to think about portion sizes when eating out. Order a smaller size option, when it's available. Manage larger portions by sharing or taking home part of your meal. When Eating Out, Make Better Choices has lots of tips to help you eat only the amount you need when eating out.
  • If you tend to overeat, be aware of the time of day, place, and your mood while eating so you can better control the amount you eat. Some people overeat when stressed or upset. Try walking instead of eating, or snack on a healthier option. For example, instead of eating a bag of chips, crunch on some celery, or instead of eating a bowl of ice cream, enjoy a low-fat yogurt with fresh blueberries. Making healthier choices is better for your weight and can also help you feel better.

 

Stumbling Blocks:

Concerned about eating smaller portion sizes? Here are some common "stumbling blocks" and ideas to help you overcome these barriers:

"I don't have time to measure out my foods all the time."

Being successful at decreasing portion sizes doesn't mean that you have to measure every meal or snack you eat. Once you've taken the time to measure out a few examples, you will be able to estimate portion sizes better. Plus, just eating or drinking less than you normally would means you are decreasing your portion sizes.

"My Daily Food Plan tells me to eat more of some things but also to decrease portion sizes. I don't understand if I should eat more or less."

The recommendation to decrease portion sizes is particularly important for high calorie foods or for foods with a lot of empty calories, such as cakes, cookies, sugary drinks, and pizza. It is important to Focus on Foods You Need. For example, eat a large portion of steamed broccoli (but with only a very small amount of butter or cheese sauce, if any).  

"I like to eat a big burger every once in a while. Are there other ways to eat less?"

In general, it is a good rule to eat and drink smaller portions. You can occasionally eat or drink foods in larger portions, but not as part of your daily diet. Make that big burger a "once-in-a-while" special treat, and on most days choose the smaller options.

"I was always told to clean my plate."

Resign from the "clean your plate" club now.  Stop eating when you are satisfied, not when your plate is empty. Start your meal by only eating half of what's on your plate. Stop for a moment and decide if you really want to eat more. Don't forget that you can save some leftovers for another meal or snack. Learn more about keeping food safe to eat. Nothing has to go to waste, and the food will taste better when you are hungry again!

 








 

In This Section

Health Screening Schedule

Pre-K, K, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 9th grade wellness classes

 

September 6, 7, 8                           North Parkway

 

September 12, 13, 14, 15               Northeast

 

September 19, 20, 21                     Rose Hill

 

September 26, 27, 28                     West Bemis

 

October 12, 13                                Denmark

 

October 17, 18                                South

 

October 20, 21                                Alexander

 

October 24, 25                                Lincoln            

 

October 27, 28, 31                          Lane

 

November 1, 2, 3                             JCT

 

November 9, 10                               East

 

November 15, 16, 17            Thelma Barker

 

November 21, 22           Community Montessori  

 

November 29, 30                            Pope

 

December 5, 6, 7                            Arlington        

 

December 12, 13, 14              Andrew Jackson

 

December 15, 16                            Whitehall

 

January 9, 10, 11                            North Parkway           

 

January 17, 18, 19                          Northeast

 

January 23, 24, 25                          Rose Hill

 

January 30, 31                               West Bemis

 

 

High School Wellness classes will be scheduled with the Wellness teachers by the school nurse. Health Screens need to be completed 2-3 weeks prior to the end of each semester.