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Children and Healthy Eating- Jennifer Spilsted


By savanna - Posted on 16 February 2011

Healthy food choices give children the nutrients and energy needed for growing little bodies! Health Canada explains that being a good role model, like eating fruits and veggies in front of your children, is a great way to influence children towards healthy eating.

But what about picky eaters? Children who just don’t want to try new things?

Child& Family Canada suggest a few helpful tips:

 

-try interesting shapes or finger foods!

-try to make sure children are hungry at mealtimes

-make sure eating is associated with success (“I ate a whole carrot!”) rather than failure

-mince vegetables and add them to things like spaghetti, sauces, muffins and breads!

-don’t use food, beverages, or desserts as bribes or punishments

-involve children wherever possible in menu planning and meal preparation

-make games of trying new foods, encourage your child to experience foods with all five senses! (Compare the smell, taste, look and feel of different foods!)

-introduce new foods one at a time, when children are most hungry

 

The sneaky chef website also offers free recipes that give great ideas on how to sneak vegetables into everyday meals: http://www.thesneakychef.com/free_sneaky_chef_recipes.php


Health Canada also provides suggestions for quick, easy and healthy meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/using-utiliser/suggestions-eng.php

Smart snack suggestions can be found here: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/using-utiliser/snacks-collations-eng.php

And, for families with food allergies, "Kids with Food allergies" offers free recipes, support, resources and information: http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/

Here’s the Health Canada Food Guide broken down:

Recommended Number of Food Guide Servings per Day

 

Children  

Teens  

Adults  

Age in Years 

2-3

4-8

9-13

14-18 years

19-50 years

51 + years

Sex 

Girls and Boys

Females

Males

Females

Males

Females

Males

Vegetables and Fruit  

4

5

6

7

8

7-8

8-10

7

7

Grain Products

3

4

6

6

7

6-7

8

6

7

Milk and Alternatives

2

2

3-4

3-4

3-4

2

2

3

3

Meat and Alternatives

1

1

1-2

2

3

2

3

2

3

 

So what does one food guide serving look like?

Vegetables and Fruit

Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables
125 mL (½ cup)

Leafy vegetables
250 mL (1 cup)

Fresh, frozen or canned fruits
1 fruit or 125 mL (½ cup)

100% Juice
125 mL (½ cup)

 

Grain Products

Bread
1 slice (35 g)

Bagel
½ bagel (45 g)

Flat breads
½ pita or ½ tortilla (35 g)

Cooked rice, bulgur or quinoa
125 mL (½ cup)

Cereal
Cold: 30 g
Hot: 175 mL (¾ cup)

Cooked pasta or couscous 125 mL (½ cup)

 

Milk and Alternatives

Milk or powered milk (reconstituted)
250 mL (1 cup)

Canned milk (evaporated)
125 mL (½ cup)

Fortified soy beverage
250 mL (1 cup)

Yogurt
175 g (¾ cup)

Cheese
50 g (1 ½ oz.)

 

Meat and Alternatives

Cooked fish, shellfish, poultry, lean meat
75 g (2 ½ oz.)/125 mL (½ cup)

Cooked legumes
175 mL (3/4 cup)

Tofu
150 g or 175 mL (¾ cup)

Eggs
2 eggs

Peanut or nut butters
30 mL (2 Tbsp)

Shelled nuts and seeds
60 mL (¼ cup)

Happy Eating!