Guide to Help your kids eat healthy at home

Toddler eating healthy foods

Give your kids the right amount of food.

How much a child should eat depends on their age. The table below shows how much children should eat each day based on how old they are:

Food6 to 10 years old11 to 13 years old14 to 18 years old
Fruits1 to 1½ cups1½ to 2 cups1½ to 2 cups
Vegetables1½ to 2 cups2 to 2½ cups2½ to 3 cups
Grains5 to 6 ounces6 to 7 ounces6 to 7 ounces
Dairy: low or non-fat2 to 3 cups3 cups3 cups
Lean meats, fish, chicken, beans, legumes or eggs4 to 5 ounces5 to 6 ounces5 to 6 ounces

How much is a cup of fruit or vegetables?

A cup is about the size of a baseball. Many oranges, apples, and peaches are these sizes. For vegetables, it’s good to remember that two » cups of raw vegetables will cook down to about a cup.

What foods have an ounce of grains?

1 slice of whole-grain bread» ½ cup whole-grain or enriched » pasta or rice (You can tell it’s enriched because it will say “enriched” on the front of the box or bag.) 1 cup of whole-grain cold cereal » or ½ cup enriched cooked cereal.

How much is a cup of dairy?

One cup of dairy equals 1 cup of low-fat or non-fat milk or » yogurt – the size of a baseball 1½ ounces of cheese – » 4 dice-sized pieces.

How much is an ounce of meat or other protein?

3 ounces of meat or fish is as » big as a deck of playing cards. Instead of meat, you can also feed your child: 1 egg» 1-2 tablespoons » peanut butter ¼ cup cooked lentils or » beans, such as navy beans or kidney beans

Tips to Help your kids eat healthy at home.

When you go food shopping, read the label. Choose healthy foods.

Choose 100% whole grain loaves of bread. The first ingredient on the label » should start with “whole,” like “whole wheat flour.” Choose cereals that are low in sugar and made from whole grains. Read the label and look for rolled oats, whole wheat, brown rice, rye, barley, triticale or buckwheat. A cereal could be made from one or all of these grains. Oatmeal is a good choice. Choose chicken or fish instead of beef.

For healthy snacking, keep these foods in the refrigerator

A bowl of fruit. Try slices of apple, fresh berries, orange slices, or cut up pineapple or mango. Keep the bowl covered with plastic wrap to keep the fruit fresh.  A bowl of fresh vegetables. Try cucumber sticks, carrot sticks, celery sticks, broccoli, slices of red pepper and green pepper, or slices of zucchini.   Slices or chunks of low-fat cheese. Non-fat or low-fat yogurt. It’s good alone or used as a dip for fruits and vegetables.  Non-fat or low-fat milk. It’s healthier than juice.

Do these simple things to make each meal healthier

Add 1 to 2 slices of low-fat cheese to a sandwich. Serve low-fat milk or soy milk with meals. Make meals that have more vegetables and beans and less meat. Broil, bake, grill or steam your food.

Other easy tips for healthy eating

Give kids water to drink during snack time and when they’re thirsty. Serve milk with meals. Serve a healthy breakfast, such as whole-grain cereal or toast, along with fruit and milk. Turn off the TV during meals and enjoy your meals together. Remember that kids will do what you do. If you make healthy choices, they will too!

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