Healthy Eating for Families
Healthy eating is important at every age. Offer your family a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy or fortified soy alternatives. When deciding on foods and beverages, choose options that are full of nutrients and limited in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium. Start with these tips:
Connect at mealtimes
Sit down together for a meal when you can. Turn off the TV and put away screens and devices so you can “unplug,” interact, and focus on each other.
Plan your meals
Reduce stress at mealtimes by planning out meals before the week starts. Include quick and easy dishes, or leftovers, on nights that are extra busy.
Let everyone help
Kids learn by doing. Younger ones can mix ingredients, wash produce, or set the table; while older kids can help with ingredients. Everyone can help clean up.
Serve a variety of foods
Include choices from each food group – fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy and fortified soy alternatives – in meals and snacks throughout the week.
Let kids choose
Get kids engaged with meal preparation at home. Serve meals "family style" to encourage kids to be creative with their plates.
Offer nonfood rewards
Foods aren’t the only rewards that kids like. Younger kids may enjoy gathering points toward a special outing, and older kids could earn extra screen time or an allowance.