March is National Nutrition Month. We want to take a second to recognize how important nutrition is to our work in building the well-being of New York City children and offer some a way for you to get invested in this month.
We are proud to offer quality nutrition education to our youth and the families we serve, in addition to providing healthy, wholesome meals to our children in Early Childhood and School Age divisions. This work is led through our Go!Healthy program and touches nearly every corner of the organization:
- Go!Chefs—This after-school program teaches cooking and nutrition to youth and culminates in the Iron Go!Chefs competition each year.
- Go!Kids and Go!Kids Cook—This Early Childhood program teaches children ages 3 and 4 about healthy foods and has them preparing their own meals and snacks in the classroom.
- Eat Smart New York— This vast initiative includes nutrition and cooking education for youth in our after-school programs, healthy eating workshops for adults and Children’s Aid and Department of Education staff, and recipes and resources for building and maintaining healthy habits.
- Food Justice—This after-school program encourages middle and high-school students to connect food to social, political, and economic themes that affect their communities.
- Gardening— We support the creation and maintenance of indoor and/or outdoor gardens at a number of our sites, using them as teaching and learning tools.
- Go!Healthy Meals— Children’s Aid provides hundreds of thousands of fresh, wholesome meals to children in early childhood and after-school programming across many Children’s Aid sites. This involves planning menus, training and supporting cooks, and assisting in food procurement.
The theme for National Nutrition Month 2016 is “Savor the Flavor.” You can use it as an opportunity to honor and savor traditional food culture and appreciating flavors and foods as we eat.
TIP! Take time to savor your food and drinks: this practice will help you truly understand what your body needs to stay energized and well. Check in with your own hunger and fullness throughout the day to help your body adjust to the demands of your daily life. And be mindful to honor what and how much food you need to feel good.
One way to honor your food is to connect it to your culture and history. As Go!Healthy nutritionist Kathleen Delgado notes, “There is such an important connection between culture and food. My mom emigrated from Ecuador in the 1980s and had a difficult time adjusting to American culture and life. Trying to prepare and hold onto the traditional recipes that she grew up with were sometimes all she had when thinking about her family back home and raising her daughters in a new place. She found peace and comfort in teaching us these recipes, and I’m grateful that I can make them too.”
This month, enjoy your family’s favorite recipes and take time to appreciate its history and place in your life!