These guidelines are important for all of us–whether trying to just eat healthily, to lose OR gain weight. By teaching these to your kids, you help them to establish lifelong healthy eating habits.

Eat without doing anything else–“mindful eating”

  • Eat at a table or “eating place”
  • Turn off the TV and video games, put away the newspaper and books
  • You will be less likely to overeat, if you do not eat while doing other things!

Eat with other people whenever possible

  • We eat more nutritiously when we eat with others.
  • Eating with family or friends helps us to eat more slowly
  • Children who eat 5 or more family meals per week have better school performance and are less likely to become overweight

Eat breakfast every day

  • Include protein, complex carbohydrate (e.g. whole grain cereal or bread) and a fruit or vegetable.
  • Breakfast should meet 20 to 30% of your total daily nutritional needs
  • Eating breakfast has been shown to decrease overeating in the evening!

Add a vegetable or fruit to every meal or snack

  • Vegetables and/or fruits make any meal/snack more nutritious
  • Because of their high water content, vegetables and fruits have fewer calories than most other foods, so help to prevent excess calorie intake.
    • If you are eating chips, add carrot sticks or an apple
    • If you are having a fast food burger OR fries, add a salad

Eat whole grains!

  • Whole grain breads, tortillas, rolls
  • Whole grain cereals  (oatmeal, 7 Grain hot cereal, Cheerios, Shredded Wheat)
  • Look for >3 grams fiber and < 7 gm sugar/100 calories)
  • Brown rice, whole grain pastas

Do Not Drink Your Calories

  • Drink milk or water with all meals–try 1% or NonFat milk
  • Try ice water with a slice of lemon or a teaspoon lemon juice
  • Try seltzer water with a slice of lemon or lime, and/or a splash of unsweetened cranberry juice to get your fizz on.
  • Avoid sugared drinks, including 100% fruit juice, soda pops, fruit drinks …