News From Our Blog

Make Learning About Money Fun for Kids

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By Kids.gov

While Financial Capability Month reminds us all that we could do a little bit more to be in charge of our finances, it is also a good time to talk to your kids about how they too can begin to understand finances and how it affects your family.

Kids.gov has smart money sections for kids of all ages, and tips for parents and teachers on how to teach kids about understanding money.

Useful tips include:

  • Get your kids to write down where they spend their money or allowance so they can see how it adds up

  • Talk to your kids about “used” versus “new” and how borrowing a book from the library, or a game from a friend, is smarter than buying something new every time

  • Teach your kids to take good care of their games, books, DVDs and other purchases because it costs money to replace these items

Kids.gov also has a series of comic strips to teach younger and older children about how they can help their parents save money. Children can follow along in a fun and engaging way to learn simple tips such as turning off lights or helping clip coupons to help save money in the long run.

Do your kids prefer learning with games? Have them play money games online to learn more about money. Games such as the U.S. Mint’s Dollar Dive, where kids have to go diving for coins to add more sails to their ship in order to escape a sea monster, help kids understand more about money.

Find more money games.

Healthy Eating Tips for Kids: A Round Up from our Live Twitter Chat

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As part of National Nutrition Month, Kids.gov (@Kidsgov) hosted a live twitter-chat (#NNMforKids) last week to give people the opportunity to share ideas and tips on how to get kids to eat better and live healthier.

If you couldn’t make the chat, we’ve rounded up just a few of the many resources that were shared.

Healthy snacks ideas for your kids

Setting an example for your kids

  • Show kids that YOU like healthy foods too! Try new foods together and share the experience: http://go.usa.gov/KCph (PDF)

  • What you say has an impact! Learn more about phrases that HINDER vs. phrases that HELP: http://go.usa.gov/KCs9 (PDF)

Making healthy eating fun

Why it’s important to eat healthy

  • Eating a healthy breakfast is tied to better cognitive function (especially memory), fewer school absences, & improved mood

  • Good nutrition is important for kids of all ages! Tips for preschoolers, kids, and teens: http://go.usa.gov/KCqP  

Encouraging good nutrition when you’re busy

Understanding nutrition labels

Find even more resources from our live chat for getting your kids to eat healthy and share your own tips in the comments section.

As National Nutrition Month continues, this week we’re focusing on how to eat healthy while in college. Next week, we’ll share tools to help create healthy meals for your family. And finally during the last week of the month, we’ll highlight advice for eating healthy as we age.

Read, Watch and Play: 10 Resources to Help Your Kids Eat Healthier

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With your busy schedule, it can be hard to find healthy eating options for your family, and convince your kids to actually eat the nutritious food you find. That’s why during this first week of National Nutrition Month, we shared resources to make your job a little bit easier.

Here’s a round-up of some of the information, videos and games you can use to get your kids excited about healthy eating:

READ:

 WATCH:

PLAY:

To make sure you’re the first to get all the healthy eating resources we’re sharing this month make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ and sign up to get nutrition month tips sent straight to your inbox.

Four Ways to Help Your Kids Make Healthier Food Choices

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By: Melissa McGowan, Public Health Advisor, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH

If you are like many people, you want to eat healthy and help your family eat healthy, too.  But that is often easier said than done.  As part of National Nutrition Month this March, the We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition) program, developed by the National Institutes of Health, has some tips and tools that can help you and your family make healthier food choices.

Go for GO Foods

Whether you are doing your weekly grocery shopping or trying to decide what to grab for lunch, think of GO foods first.  GO foods are low in fat, sugar and calories and are “nutrient dense” (rich in vitamins and other nutrients). Examples include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, lean meats, poultry and fish, beans and nuts. Find more information on GO, SLOW and WHOA foods, including a downloadable tip sheet for kids!

Cooking: A Family Activity

You might be surprised, but one way to get kids to try new, healthy foods is to have them help in the kitchen.  Kids are more likely to try the foods they have helped make, so if you can involve your kids in making a healthy meal, it can be a win-win.  

Depending on their age, kids can help wash fruits and vegetables, tear lettuce leaves, mix and pour ingredients, measure ingredients or help slice, dice, and chop.  Try some of these family-friendly and healthy recipes to get your family involved in the kitchen and eating well!

Shopping Healthy on a Budget

Buying healthy foods, even on a budget, can be easier if you know what types of food to shop for in the store.  First, make a shopping list, and include a lot of GO foods.  Look for fruits and vegetables that are in season; they often cost less.  And remember that buying canned or frozen veggies and fruit without added salt or fat can be healthy options.  

When on sale, stock up on items like lean meat, fat-free or low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt.  Compare brands and package sizes to find the best deals.  Often store brands cost less.  Find more information on shopping healthy.  

Eating Healthy When Eating Out

Making healthy choices when you go out to eat can often be a challenge.  If you find yourself at a fast food restaurant at the end of a busy day, try making healthier choices such as sandwiches without cheese, salads with low-fat or fat-free dressing, replacing french fries with sliced fruit, and swapping fried meats for grilled options.  

To cut back portion sizes, consider splitting an entry or putting half in a doggie bag to take home.  And stick with drinks like water, fat-free or low-fat milk, or unsweetened tea that have fewer calories and added sugar.  Find more tips on eating healthy on the go.

These are just a few tips and strategies to help you and your family make healthy choices.  For additional information on healthy eating and increasing physical activity, go to the We Can! website.