Help children develop healthy eating habits

Explore ideas and suggestions to help your child make healthy food choices and develop healthy eating habits.

Balancing calories helps kids develop healthy eating habits. One part of balancing calories is to eat food that provides adequate nutrition and an appropriate number of calories. You can help children learn to be aware of what they eat by developing healthy eating habits and to look for ways to make favorite dishes healthier, reducing calorie-rich temptations. Although everything can be enjoyed in moderation, reducing the calorie-rich foods of high-fat and high-sugar can help your children develop healthy eating habits. Only allow your children to eat them sometimes, so they truly will be treats.

Encourage healthy eating habits. There is no great secret to healthy eating. To help your children develop healthy eating habits:

  • Provide plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole-grain products
  • Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products
  • Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils and beans for protein
  • Serve reasonably-sized portions
  • Encourage your family to drink lots of water
  • Limit sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Limit consumption of sugar and saturated fat

Remember small changes every day can lead to a recipe for success!

Another part of balancing calories is to engage in an appropriate amount of physical activity and avoid too much sedentary time. In addition to being fun for children and teens regular physical activity has many health benefits including:

  • Strengthening bones
  • Decreasing blood pressure
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Increasing self-esteem
  • Helping with weight management
  • Reducing the chance of Type II diabetes.

For more information on eating healthy and to find healthy recipes, see the Let’s Move website. Children created recipes for a Epicurious contest, 54 – one from each state, plus three U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia – of which were selected for a cookbook which can be downloaded and accessed online.

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