Healthy Families



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.

Set the Family Up for Success 

Small changes in five key areas can make a huge difference and add up to real results: 1. eat more fruits and vegetables, 2. consume less sugar and fat, 3. eat healthier snacks, 4. watch portion size, and 5. eat together as a family.

My Plate

 

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

Snacks

  • 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  

 

Here are two traditional health bar recipes from the National Museum of the American Indian

Dried Fruit Pemmican

Quinoa, Amaranth Bars

 

Check out some healthy Native American Recipes