Healthy Family Tips

Although adults usually decide what kids eat, we all know that kids eat what is available. Therefore, surrounding them with healthier options leaves them no choice but to eat better food.

When I started substituting foods at home, I read (and reread) articles from Let’s Move for some ideas on how to show my daughter eating healthy and exercising is FUN and it’s GOOD. Get your notepad ready!

Set Your Family Up for Success

Small changes in five key areas can make a huge difference and add up to real results: eat more fruits and vegetables, consume less sugar and fat, eat healthier snacks, watch portion size, and eat together as a family.

Fruits & Vegetables

  • Kids should eat five fruits and vegetables a day
  • Serve fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables; they all count
  • Provide fruit or carrot sticks as great snacks
  • Offer 100% juice, with no added sugar
  • Mix vegetables into dishes, like adding peas to rice, or cucumbers to a sandwich


Healthy Choices to Reduce Fat and Sugar

  • Switch to low or non-fat milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Choose lean cuts of meat like skinless chicken or extra lean ground beef for hamburgers or pasta sauces
  • Bake or grill instead of fry
  • Substitute olive or vegetable oil for butter
  • Substitute water or low-fat milk for sodas or sweetened beverages
  • Drink less soda or sugar-sweetened drinks
  • Switch to lower sugar breakfast cereals
  • Switch desserts like ice cream and cake for fruit based desserts



  • Reduce the number of snacks served each day
  • Leave a bowl of fruit or carrot sticks on the kitchen table
  • Differentiate between snacks that require permission (cookies), versus snacks that kids can take freely (fresh or dried fruit)
  • Have kids drink water at snack time
  • Save “treats” for special occasions
  • Portion Size

Kids are smaller than adults and should eat smaller portions

  • Use smaller plates for kids
  • Don’t force kids to clean their plates if they are full
  • Portions should be about the size of the back of a fist—a child’s fist for a child’s portion
  • Start with a small portion. Children can have seconds if they are still hungry
  • Eat Together

Family meals focus on eating and enjoying food and each other
Eating together is a chance to model good behavior
Regularly scheduled meal and snack times help kids learn structure for eating



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.