Based on the percentages provided by the United States Department of Agriculture, the categories of the Food Guide Pyramid are a modern outline to support a healthy diet for children. Kids these days need nutritious snacks and healthy meals to help nourish and encourage them to make healthy choices in the future! Basically, six grain group servings, three vegetable servings, two fruit servings, as well as two meat group and 2 dairy group servings are needed to maintain a balanced diet to prepare your kids for each day. These food groups offer many colors to the pallet, and that is very much needed, but also very much missing on many children’s plates today. But children also need access to much more water than what they may be getting, and Eat Right recommends that children four to nine drink about five to ten cups of water daily. However, with the fast-paced activity-packed days that fill up our weeks, we know that sometimes these goals can be hard to meet. This is why we have created a few tips to make sure that you and your children can go throughout each day and enjoy living the healthy way!
Put good in, get good out! A healthy kid is a happy kid and a happy kid is able to take on each day’s adventures with energy and excitement.
- Color variation: Make sure the rainbow is represented throughout the day, and if your child has a favorite color let that be another way to find a food that they can chose as a healthy snack. Fresh foods will frequently have dull or bland colors, but often the foods that we can find that offer the most nutrition are those on our plates that have bright and fun colors to them!
- Shopping for foods by colors while your children are learning them is also a great way to make buying varied fresh foods fun. By making a color wheel checklist, it will be easy to get everyone excited about finding new and different foods to try.
- Kids eat with their eyes. Meaning, if a kid doesn’t think what is on their plate looks appetizing, picky eater or not, they probably won't take a bite. Allowing your kids to pick out their own foods from healthy options you steer your shopping cart to gives them the responsibility to eat whatever they picked out!
- Let your child be a part of the food preparation! This tip can be two activities all rolled into one as you incorporate an arts and crafts feature into a meal. Just as you might make a smiley face for your kids with breakfast foods in the morning, let them be the designers of their food experience. Eating a piece of broccoli becomes much more fun when it is part of a magical forest or when it is the arm of a green monster created by your child.
- A fun way to make getting the proper amount of water engaging rather than challenging is to have drinking a glass of water be the first step to a relay race or obstacle course. The course can start and end with a cup of water and after doing all the exercise and activities in the course they will definitely be thirsty for another glass.
- Another way to get your kids to drink more water is to add a drop of fresh juice to the water so that it turns a different flavor. Then you can say that the different flavors mean different super powers and let your child’s imagination take over. For example, blueberry juice could be water superpowers, apple juice could be earthly powers, watermelon juice could be fire yielding, and orange juice could be air bending!