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Healthy Children, Healthy Choices

Parents are in charge!

As a parent, your responsibility is to buy healthy groceries and serve nutritious food to your growing children. Start by establishing a routine, even if it is difficult at first. This means a set time for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Once you have a routine for meals and snacks, meal times are more relaxed. Most children are happier on a schedule and become hungry at regular times. You'll feel happier about your parenting job when the family has a routine.

  • So, be consistent! Children need a meal routine just like they need a bedtime routine. Plan for three meals and two snacks each day! Serve a vegetable or fruit at every meal. Fruits and vegetables are great for snacking too.
  • Instead of rewarding your child with food, reward them with attention (hugs, kisses, and smiles) and playful activities.

Money-Saving Ideas For Better Health
  • Avoid arguments about high-fat, high-sugar foods by not bringing them into the house. Leave the candy, soft drinks, chips, and cookies at the store.
  • Serve water when your child is thirsty. Water is cheap and healthy.

Portion Size for Young Children 2–6 Years Old
Serve child-sized portions, and let your child ask for more. Here are some examples of child-sized portions:
  • 1/3 to ½ cup of frozen veggies
  • 1 or 2 little cooked broccoli spears
  • ½ cup of tomato sauce
  • 5 to 7 cooked baby carrots
  • 1/3 to ½ cup of melon
  • 5 to 7 strawberries
  • ½ cup of apple sauce
  • 1 small tangerine
  • 1/3 to ½ cup of frozen or fresh berries
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz.) low-fat yogurt or nonfat milk
  • 1/3 to ½ cup of macaroni-and-cheese, rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes
  • 2oz. hamburger
  • ¼ cup ground meat such as turkey or pork, browned and drained
  • 1 or 2 drumsticks


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