An increasing number of children and teenagers are eating more meals and snacks away from their home and family. They may be choosing unhealthy ready-to-eat food options rather than spending time preparing a healthy snack or meal – and eating with their families. Encouraging children and teenagers to cook can build healthy lifestyle skills, creativity and healthy food choices. You also are helping them form good eating behaviors that will last a lifetime.
Providing nutritious snacks doesn’t have to be expensive but you may need to do some planning to make them readily available for your child. Getting kids to eat fruits and vegetables can be difficult. Make snack time fun. For example, provide a variety of cut-up fruits and vegetables and let your kids create their own kabobs. You also may want to try serving vegetables with low-fat dip to make them more appealing.
Think of snacks as minimeals that help provide nutrients and energy you need to grow, play and learn. Most kids do best when they eat four to six smaller meals a day.
Physical activity helps build and maintain a strong body. Be active every day! Kids need 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. Adults need at least 30 minutes of physical activity to stay healthy.
Children ages 9 to 13 need 1,300 milligrams of calcium a day to keep their bones and teeth strong. Children ages 4 to 8 need 800 milligrams of calcium per day. They also need vitamin D, which helps the body use the calcium. Milk is fortifi ed with vitamin D. Many foods contain calcium. The best sources are milk, yogurt and cheese. Fish, soy products and nuts also are good sources of calcium. Some fruit juices, cereals, breads, snacks and other foods have added calcium.
Eating breakfast fuels the body with needed nutrients, provides energy for an active day, gets you ready to learn and helps you keep a healthy body.
No matter the language, hand washing is an important step in the fight against germs. Follow these guidelines for proper hand-washing practices.