Sticky Notes - Healthy Eating Guide For Kids
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Healthy Eating Guide For Kids

January 5, 2022 by Emily Moore

BEAN wanting your family to eat better? What is Healthy Eating?

Nut-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan? “Healthy eating” means different things to different people, but experts generally agree on one thing: eating healthy means eating real food. “Real” food is whole or minimally processed food that is fresh or flash frozen. And all the better if it’s locally grown and organic!​​​​​​​

Is Healthy Eating Important for Kids?

Absolutely. Children need proper nutrients to grow up healthy and strong. And establishing a foundation of healthy eating and nutritional knowledge helps them build the skills and habits that will serve them well for a lifetime. 

What Nutrients are in a Healthy Diet?

Generally, the more “real” the food, the more nutritious it is. So, opting for whole foods over packaged foods is a sensible first step. Beyond that, the Kid's Healthy Eating Plate, is a helpful nutrition guide developed by nutrition experts at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. It’s similar to the USDA's My Plate but geared toward kids. The Kid’s Healthy Eating Plate improves also upon My Plate in several ways including emphasizing the quality of nutrients and the importance of being active. 

In a nutshell, the recommendations are:
  • Fill half the plate with colorful fruits and vegetables, and the other half with equal parts healthy protein and whole grains.
  • Choose fresh, canned, or frozen fruits without added fats or sugars. 
  • Consume plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables. In short, eat the rainbow! ( Check out our whole series on Tik Tok! )
  • Choose lean protein (e.g., poultry, seafood, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds). 
  • Choose whole grain foods that are minimally processed and high in fiber. (Brown rice, wild rice, and steel-cut oatmeal are great options.)
  • Choose foods with healthy, unsaturated fats (e.g., fish, nuts, seeds, and plant-derived oils).
  • Get moving! (See these ideas for keeping kids active during the winter.)
  • Limit refined grains, added sugars, sodium, trans fats, and saturated fats. These include: sodas and other sugary beverages, highly processed cereals, pre-packaged snacks and baked goods, and fast food.
  • Get kids cooking! Try our ONLINE COOKING CLASSES, at SCHOOL CLASSES, and try our COOKBOOKS
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