- Encourage food choices for a healthy diet. When children are offered a balanced diet, over time they will develop good eating habits.
- Be patient.
- Young children may not be interested in trying new foods. Offer a new food more than once. Show your child how the rest of the family enjoys it. The food may be accepted when it becomes more familiar to your child.
- Be a planner.
- Most young children need a snack or two in addition to three regular daily meals.
- Offer foods from three or more of the major food groups for breakfast.
- Offer foods from four or more of the major food groups for the “main meal.”
- Plan snacks so they are not served too close to mealtime, and offer foods from two or more of the major food groups.
- Be a good role model.
- What you do can mean more than what you say. Your child learns from you about how and what to eat.
- Eat meals at the table with your children whenever possible. Turn off the TV and all other electronic equipment and have a conversation with your family.
- Try new foods and new ways of preparing them with your children. Both you and your children can be healthier by eating more dark-green leafy vegetables, deep-yellow vegetables, fruits and whole grain products.
- Walk, run and play with your children. Don’t just sit on the sidelines. A family that is physically active together has lots of fun.
MyPlate For Kids
MyPlate for Kids reminds children to be active every day and to make healthy food choices.
Be Physically Active Every Day
Do something active every day, like running, walking the dog, playing, swimming, biking, or climbing lots of stairs.
Every Color Every Day
The colors orange, green, red, yellow, blue and purple represent five different food groups plus oils. Children should remember to eat foods from all food groups every day.
Take One Step at a Time
You do not need to change what you eat and how you exercise overnight. Just start with one new good thing, and add a new one every day.
Make Choices That Are Right for You
ChooseMyPlate.gov is a website that will give everyone in the family personal ideas on how to eat better and exercise more.
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