Food is fun, says MyPyramid for Kids. For kids, eating healthy means finding the right balance between good foods and not so good foods. Educating kids about proper nutrition is the first step in putting them on the right path. Some fun nutrition facts can help kids make good choices most of the time.
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Breakfast Makes Kids Smarter
Breakfast is an important meal. Kids who eat breakfast do better in school because they are better behaved and perform better, the American Dietetic Association explains. They also have an easier time maintaining a healthy weight. Some parents may struggle with getting their kids to eat in the morning, but breakfast can be quick and painless. Some simple yet nutritious breakfast options include whole-grain cereal and low-fat milk, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or whole-grain toaster waffles with fresh fruit.
Eat a Rainbow
Fruits and vegetables come in a variety of different colors. These colors represent different nutritional components, such as beta carotene in carrots and the anthocyanins in strawberries. MyPyramid for Kids recommends kids eat more dark green and orange vegetables. Kids should try to eat a different colored fruit and vegetable every day and make it goal to eat a rainbow of colors each week.
Healthy Bones Means More Than Just Milk
Milk and milk products are high in calcium, which is important for strong bones, says MyPyramid for Kids. Milk isn't the only source of calcium, it is also found in soy milk and fortified juices, says the Vegetarian Resource group. Some vegetables, such as broccoli and chinese cabbage, also contain calcium. Shellfish, salmon and sardines eaten with the bones, almonds and dried beans are also good sources of calcium, according to the National Institutes of Health Medline Plus.
Go Meatless For Protein
Protein can be found in a number of different foods, including meat, poultry, fish, beans, nuts, starches and vegetables. Protein is important for building muscle. Kids should choose low-fat meats and poultry, says MyPyramid for Kids. Kids should also eat more vegetarian sources of protein. Go meatless on Monday, say RD411. Meatless meal ideas include spaghetti with tomato sauce, bean burritos and grilled cheese.
Make The Most Out Of Snacks
Kids are snacking on more cookies and candy, and drinking more soda these days, says the Center for Science in the Public Interest. These high calorie treats aren't filling and contribute to weight gain in kids. To stay healthy, kids should choose low calorie nutritious foods to snack on. Food like apples, yogurt and carrots are very low in calories, but can help keep hunger away. A whole cucumber has fewer calories than one Oreo cookie, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.