Kids Healthy Eating

Most parents tend to worry about what their kids are eating since nutrition is so important to good health. As adults, we can more easily make the decision to eat food that is delicious and nutritious, but children can be picky eaters, liking only foods that are easy on the palate. It takes patience and a strategy to get your kid to eat a wide range of nutritious foods.

At Dairy Council of California we recommend the following recipe for raising a healthy eater:

  1. Be a healthy eating role model.
  2. Develop a feeding strategy that respects your role as parent as well as your child’s choices.
  3. Be patient and repeat #1 and #2. It may take years to see the results you want.
Getting Started

Raising Healthy Eaters

Parents are the most important influence in their children's lives. Preparing healthy
food daily and encouraging physical activity are two things you can do to share your value
for healthy living with your children.

Choosing food from all the food groups is the secret to healthy eating for kids. How much children need to eat varies greatly between individuals. It is important to offer foods from all five food groups and follow a division of responsibility where you let your child decide how much (or whether) to eat at each eating occasion.

Balanced Nurition for Your ChildPortions served to toddlers and preschoolers should be quite small (for example ½ cup milk or ½ banana is considered a serving). Offer children a variety of nutritious food, and they will naturally regulate the amount they eat; the meal or snack should end when your child no longer seems hungry and begins playing with food or seems otherwise distracted. As they get older they will eat more food to match the needs of their growing bodies and appetite.

Planning simple, balanced meals with foods from the food groups will keep your family on track. The tip sheets listed below offer additional suggestions for preparing and serving healthy food to your family.