What should children eat to stay healthy?

Child Caring Online - information about the Child and Adult Care Food Program

What should children eat to stay healthy?

Health and nutrition experts agree that meals planned around the recommendations made in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans means more healthful meals for children. So when planning your menus remember to consider these suggestions:

  • Offer a variety of foods for children to get the energy, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fiber needed for good health.

  • Serve meals that help maintain healthy weight to reduce chances of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, certain cancers and the most common type of diabetes.

  • Offer meals low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol to help reduce risk of heart attack and certain types of cancer later in life. A diet low in fat can also help maintain a healthy weight.

  • Serve plenty of vegetables, fruits and grain products to provide needed vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates and fiber. These foods are generally low in fat.

  • Use sugars only in moderation. Sugars and highly sweetened foods supply calories but are limited in vitamins and minerals and may lead to tooth decay.

  • Use salt and sodium only in moderation to reduce risk of high blood pressure.

  • Promote an alcohol-free and drug-free lifestyle.

Source: National Food Service Management Institute

Updated August 22, 2017 7:10pm