Six Easy Steps for Healthy Eating

1. Buy and serve more fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, canned, or dried). Let your child choose them at the store.

2. Buy fewer soft drinks and high-fat or high-calorie snack foods like chips, cookies, and candy. These snacks may be OK once in a while, but always keep healthy snack foods on hand. Offer the healthy snacks more often at snack times.

3. Make sure your child eats breakfast every day. Breakfast provides your child with the energy he or she needs to listen and learn in school. Skipping breakfast can leave your child hungry, tired, and looking for less healthy foods later in the day.

4. Eat fast food less often. When you do visit a fast food restaurant, encourage your family to choose the healthier options, such as salads with low-fat dressing or small sandwiches without cheese or mayonnaise.

5. Offer your child water or low-fat milk more often than fruit juice. Low-fat milk and milk products are important for your child’s development. One hundred percent fruit juice is a healthy choice but is high in calories.

6. Be aware that some high-fat or high-sugar foods and beverages may be strongly marketed to kids. Usually these products are associated with cartoon characters, offer free toys, and come in bright packages. Talk with your child about the importance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other healthy foods—even if these foods are not often advertised on TV or in stores.

—National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


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