Head Start Nutrition Newsletter: January 2020

Getting reliable information about nutrition can be tricky these days, so here is some information you can count on. Include foods from all the food groups for a healthy lifestyle.

Fruits and Veggies – Aim for at least 2 fruits and 3 vegetables every day. A good way to do this is to fill half your plate with fruits, vegetables, or both.

Protein Sources – Choose lean meats, chicken, turkey, fish, beans, seeds, nuts, and nut butters.

Grains – Breads, pasta, oatmeal, quinoa and other grains provide important nutrients. Try to make at least half of your grain servings from whole grain sources (look for products with the words: whole grain, whole wheat, or 100% whole grain, etc.).

Calcium Sources – Choose low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese, soymilk, tofu, and almonds.

One other important part of nutrition is food safety. Follow these four steps to keep your food safe from bacterial contamination:


  • Wash hands after handling raw meats, after using the bathroom, or blowing your nose, etc. Basically, wash your hands all the time!
  • Wash dishes and counter tops with hot, soapy water especially after they’ve held raw meat or eggs.


  • Keep your ready-to-eat food separate from raw meat or eggs. For example, don’t place salad ingredients under dripping meat in the refrigerator, and use a fresh cutting board for each food item.


  • Cook food until it is done — chicken and other poultry should not be pink inside, and the juices should run clear.


  • Bacteria grows best when food is at room temperature, which could cause food poisoning. Wrapping and chilling foods within 2 hours after eating will help keep your family from getting sick.