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Healthy food habits

Poor eating habits can have a devastating effect on the health of a child

According to the American Dietetic Association, 51 percent of children eat less than one serving of fruit a day, and more than 98 percent of school-aged children do not meet the Food Guide Pyramid recommendations for all five food groups.

For more information about the Healthy Family Adolescent Weight Management Program, contact the Novant Health Maya Angelou Women's Health & Wellness Center toll free:

1-888-218-1234   or   336-718-3780

Poor eating habits can have a devastating effect on the health of children. Parents who set food guidelines while their children are young can go a long way toward making sure that those healthy habits are continued into adulthood. Below are easy nutrition tips for your chidl/adolescent. These tips can help establish healthy eating habits for the entire family.

Kid-friendly nutrition tips:

Encourage your child and family to follow these healthy food habits:

  • Choose 1% or fat-free milk. This provides essential nutrients and minerals while limiting artery-clogging fat. (whole milk is recommended through age two.)
  • Eliminate cheese on sandwiches unless its low-fat or fat-free. Although cheese adds much-needed calcium to a child's diet, full-fat varieties add unneeded saturated fat.
  • Switch to low-fat luncheon meats. Keep lunches healthy by using turkey or chicken breast or low-fat ham, bologna or roast beef in sandwiches.
  • Include at least one serving of fruit in every lunch. In addition to apples, oranges and bananas, try pears, sliced melon, applesauce cups, grapes or pineapple.
  • Add vegetables such as lettuce, cucumber slices, tomato, green pepper or sweet onion on sandwiches.
  • Use whole grain bread instead of white bread. Whole grains are rich in fiber.
  • Limit cookies, snack cakes, doughnuts, brownies and other sweet baked-goods.
  • Pack baked chips, pretzels, Cheerios®:, bread sticks or low-fat crackers instead of potato, corn, tortilla or other chips made with oil.
  • Be vigilant about beverages, including juices. Watch out for drinks that are only 10% juice or less—they're soft drinks in disguise. Pack 100%-juice drinks instead. Water is always the healthiest option.
  • Steer clear of pre-packaged lunches. Make your own healthy substitute with low-fat crackers, low-fat lunch meat, fruit and a pure juice drink.

For more information about healthy family / adolescent weight management programs, contact the Novant Health Maya Angelou Women's Health & Wellness Center  at 336-718-3780 or call toll free 1-888-218-1234.