Children are at a time in their life when they are constantly growing and learning new knowledge. In order for children to grow properly, they must eat a well-balanced diet. A well-balanced diet incorporates all of the food groups represented in the food guide pyramid. Children who eat the recommended servings from each of the five food groups will have the necessary energy to learn and grow.
The most important meal for a child is breakfast. Just as a car cannot start without fuel, a child cannot properly learn without a nutritious breakfast. Starting the day with a nutritious, well-balanced meal allows them to concentrate and learn to their full potential.
It is up to parents to make sure that their children eat properly and incorporate all of the food groups from the food guide pyramid!
9 Steps to Raising Healthy Children
- Start everyday with a healthy, nutritious breakfast (Yogurt Parfait, see recipe below). Children need fuel to concentrate and learn.
- If the schools do not provide a nutritious lunch, pack your child's lunch.
- Always keep a variety of healthy snacks available. (fresh fruit, yogurt, raw vegetables, graham crackers with peanut butter)
- Reduced fat snacks are not always low calorie. Many tend to be high in sugar, and have very little nutrient value. Fresh fruit is always a better choice.
- Let your child participate in grocery shopping, meal planning, and meal preparation. These are great opportunities to teach them about good nutrition.
- Never use food as a reward or punishment. Children who are deprived meals as punishment, will overeat when possible for fear of missing the next meal.
- Do not be overly restrictive with sweets and treats. You want your child to develop a healthy attitude towards them. Moderation is the key.
- Discourage your children from snacking while watching television. People tend to ignore their hunger cues while watching television, leading to overeating.
- Encourage your child to be active. Let them discover physical activities that they find enjoyable.
1 Cup Nonfat Vanilla Yogurt
1/4 to 1/2 Cup Sliced Fruit (Bananas, kiwi,
strawberries, blueberries, peaches etc.)
1/4 to 1/2 Cup Crunchy Cereal (granola,
grape nuts, cheerios)
Layer yogurt, fruit, and cereal in cup or bowl.
Garnish with Fruit.
Refrigerate and serve chilled.