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How to choose the right foods for your child Why Food Makes a Difference What Does
How to choose the right foods for your child
Why Food Makes a Difference
What Does Healthy
Look Like?
-Utilizes the Rainbow
Principle. Make sure
fruits and vegetables
have a multitude of
As of 2010, 1/3 of children and adolescents are considered overweight
or obese. 1 Being overweight and obese increases risk for cardiovascular issues,
bullying, and Type II Diabetes. At any age, these issues can have major
implications on future health. But, the future is not grim. Children’s risks for
obesity related diseases can be reduced and prevented by living a healthy
lifestyle. Some of the most important lifestyle habits include eating plenty of
fruits and vegetables, decreasing sugar sweetened beverages intake, and
staying physically active.
Where to Start: Healthy Eating Plate
-Says yes to water and
milk! 100% is juice
okay in moderation.
Harvard created an alternative to the USDA’s MyPlate that shows how
much of what foods should be consumed. A healthy plate should have
proportion of ¼ protein, ¼ whole grains, almost ½ vegetables , and almost ¼
fruits. A healthy plate should also contain good oils and water. You can
include healthy oils such as olive oil into children’s meals by using it to cook
veggies. You should avoid oils that list partially hydrogenated oils, otherwise
known as trans fats, on labels. Children ages 4-8 should drink at least 4 cups a
day and children ages 9-13 should drink 8-10 cups. 2
- Incorporates whole
-Follows the Healthy
Eating Plate
How to choose the right foods for your child
How to choose the right foods for your child

3 Lunch Tips for On-the-Go Parents

  • 1. Plan lunches at the beginning of the week before grocery shopping.

  • 2. Prepare lunches the night before. Mornings can be hectic, so having a lunch

to pull out of the fridge makes for a smoother morning.

  • 3. Prepackage. Buy pre-packaged produce such as apples and celery or wash

and store produce in individual containers. These containers make preparation

hassle free.

Key Nutrients

These nutrients are critical to kids’ development but are often missing in their diet.



Excellent Sources

Iron 5

Motor skill development; oxygen transfer to organs

Egg yolks, fish (salmon), lean meats, and fortified cereals


Bone health, immune

Fish (salmon), eggs, cheese, milk and




fortified dairy products

Calcium 7

Bone formation and bone strength

Milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, collard greens, broccoli, baked beans and black eyed peas

Resolve Picky Eating By:

Involve children in food preparation. Being a kitchen helper can

make them excited to eat what they’re helping prepare. Give children options. Asking them if they would like an apple or banana will make them feel like they made the choice.

Ask for “no thank you bites” regardless of whether or not they

have tried the food before. Children consistently exposed to different flavors may allow for a change in taste preferences. Make the food look fun. Use the cookie cutter to make sandwiches and add flair with fruits and veggies.

How to choose the right foods for your child 3 Lunch Tips for On-the-Go Parents 1.
How to choose the right foods for your child 3 Lunch Tips for On-the-Go Parents 1.
How to choose the right foods for your child 3 Lunch Tips for On-the-Go Parents 1.

“ose” such as dextrose are listed,

sugars and are empty calories. This includes sodas and most

Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSBs)

-Look at the ingredients list for

children’s juice drinks such as

are drinks that contain added

and heart disease. 3

the drink likely has added sugar. 4 Note that the ingredients are listed by weight from greatest to least. If sugar is one of the first ingredients, the drink is high in added sugars.

Capri Sun, Hi-C, V8 Splash, and flavored milks. When drinks with added sugar are consumed daily, the child is at risk for unhealthy weight gain and is thus at risk for medical ailments such as diabetes

What are Sugar Sweetened Beverages?

sugars. If corn syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, fruit juice concentrates, or sugars ending in

-Choose juices that advertise “No added sugars” “25% less sugar” or “Reduced sugars”

-Keep juice to 4 oz, which is ½ a cup. That is about half of a standard size water glass

How can you tell which drinks are okay and which ones to avoid?

Updated Sources

  • 1. Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of obesity and trends in body mass index among US children and adolescents, 1999-2010. Journal of the American Medical Association 2012;307(5):483-490.

  • 2. Mullen M, Shield JE. Water: go with the flow. Accessed November 8, 2013.

  • 3. DeBoer MD, Scharf RJ, Demmer RT. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Weight Gain in 2- to 5-Year-Old Children. Pediatrics. 2013; 132(3):413-420.

  • 4. American Heart Association. Sugars 101. 101_UCM_306024_Article.jsp. Accessed October 18, 2013.

  • 5. Evert A, Zieve D, Eltz D, Slon S, Wang N. Updated February 18, 2013. Accessed October 18, 2013.

  • 6. NIH: Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D. Accessed October 18,2013.

  • 7. 6 Harvard School of Public Health. The Nutrition Source: Calcium Sources in Food. Accessed October 18, 2013.