Nutrition Guidelines for Kids
When physical activity is balanced with healthy eating, a healthy weight follows in time. Healthy eating combines:
Variety - Different foods provide different minerals, vitamins and nutirents.
Moderation - Limit fats, cholesterol, salt, added sugars and calories with little or no nutritional value. (Do not restrict fat for children under the age of 2.)
Activity - Find a healthy balance between that you and your child eat and the physical activity you get.
Proportion - People generally need more grains, vegetables and fruits than meats or other hig-fat foods. And, people should only eat as many calories as they need.
People are born able to tell when they are hungry and full, but may learn to ignore the signals. They may get into the habit of "cleaning their plate" or snacking when anxious or bored. In general, your job is to let your child decide how much to eat.
Obesity and overweight are a problem for America's children. In fact, this is the first generation for the past several hundred years in which the children are less healthy than their parents.
The food industry is part of the problem. Each year, they spend over 30 billion dollars on food advertising. 81% of that money is spent on television ads that target children. 95% of those messages suggest that high-fat, high-sugar products are tasty, healthy and desirable. The average child sees over 10-thousand of these ads per year, most of them encouraging eating for eating's sake - not eating for health or necessity.
Looking for ways to improve your child's eating and exercise habits? Check out these solutions.
So, what can a parent do? First stop: ChooseMyPlate. There you will find games, activity sheets, videos and songs, and yummy recipes created by children.
Did you know snacking can be a healthy habit? Learn how to satisfy your hunger and eat healthfully at the same time.
We Americans eat on the go - a lot! That means we put a lot of extra fat and calories in our bodies every day. See how to make healthful choices when eating out.
Not sure how to help your family eat healthy while at school or work? Check out our tips to help you pack a delicious and nutritious lunch.
Find out how to include more fruits and vegetables - in all forms - into your family's meals every day.