Healthy Eating Tips for Kids

All throughout the year, kids need to be reminded to make healthy food choices.  Have healthy foods on hand for kids to enjoy!

At School
School starts soon!  Encourage your children to pick fruits and veggies each day from the school lunches.  Remind them to drink milk with every meal, too.  If you pack their lunch, send sandwiches on whole wheat bread and give them sliced fruit and crunchy vegetables.  Limit chips, crackers, desserts, and candy.  Most kids eat too many of the high-calorie foods!

Snacks at Home
When kids go looking for snacks, they often take whatever is easiest to grab. Make sure to keep a bowl of fresh fruit on hand and cut up veggies in the refrigerator.  When kids are looking for snacks that are crunchy, think of celery and carrot sticks.  Salsa and hummus make great low-fat dips!

When kids want something sweet, encourage them to choose fruit (canned, dried, or fresh).  Having a variety of easy-to-eat fruits available will remind your children that "sweet" doesn't need to be candy or baked goods.

Best Drinks
Always remind your child that water is the healthiest choice for them to drink between meals.  Consider not bringing sodas in the house.  Growing bodies need water to keep them hydrated and milk to make strong bones.  Water and milk should be the go-to drinks in your house.

"Sometimes" Foods
Introduce the idea of "sometimes" foods to your kids.  These are foods that don't give many, if any, of the benefits that healthy foods have, like vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  "Sometimes" foods are chips, crackers, candy, sweets, baked goods, and soda.  Having those foods "sometimes" still lets your child enjoy them without having them become a daily part of what they eat.

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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall