Healthy eating habits for children

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A balanced diet is essential for children and adolescents, to encourage healthy growth and development. Here are guidelines for creating a healthy childhood diet:

 

Watch portion sizes. 

The recommended daily amounts of healthy foods for children are:

  • Lean Protein (fish, chicken): 2 ounces every day for children between 2 and 3 years old, 3-4 ounces for children 4 to 8 years old, and 5-6 ounces for children 9 to 18 years old

  • Low-Fat Dairy: 2 cups for children under 8, and 3 cups for children 9 to 18

  • Fruit: 1.5 cups

  • Vegetables: 2.5 cups

  • Whole Grains: 6 ounces

 

Limit fast food. 

If you do eat out, make healthy choices (a grilled chicken sandwich instead of a bacon cheeseburger, for example) and keep portion sizes reasonable. 

 

Avoid sugary drinks. 

Instead, serve water and low-fat milk.

 

Go for 100%. 

Limit juice to less than 6 ounces per day and make sure it's 100 percent fruit juice. 

 

Choose whole grains. 

Brown rice, instead of refined grains such as white rice, adds nutrients and fiber.