Healthy Eating for Kids and Families

Children tend to mimic their parents’ behavior, and more often, their mistakes. Teaching children healthy eating habits at an early age will keep them from having to change bad habits later. Eating is something we do throughout the day and often as a family.

You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and the USDA agrees. Eating breakfast improves attention span, concentration and learning ability. A healthy breakfast of whole grains, fruit and low-fat dairy products is a great way to start the day.

What Should You Eat?

If there is no junk food in the house, then no one can feel guilty about eating a few cookies or a handful of chips. Groceries should include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and crackers, low-fat cheese and little to no processed sugars to make it easy for children to make healthy selections for lunches and snacks.

Other tips for keeping your child’s diet on track include:

  • Introduce fun, new things such as smoothies
  • Teach your children to read nutrition labels so they can spot foods high in fat or sugar
  • Make daily exercise a family activity by taking walks, going to the park after school or playing outdoor games

The Food Pyramid has recently been reformatted to something we often see when we eat - a plate. The USDA recommends balancing your plate with fruit, vegetables, grains and protein. Parents should also pay attention to the level of sodium in certain foods.

Nutrition and Wellness Information

BayCare is dedicated to helping kids and families practice good nutrition and wellness habits. For more information about our children's health services in Tampa Bay, please call (888) 487-0183 or find a doctor. You can also browse our full list of children’s health and safety classes and events.