Raising Healthy Eaters
The 5 Steps to Balanced Nutrition for Your Child Slideshow walks you through the
basics of feeding your kids, including what and how much they should be eating. You'll also get ideas for snacks, lunches and dinners and other ways to help ensure your children are eating healthy.
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.
Portions 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.