Healthy Tips (click to download PDF)
|Tip||Why It's Important|
|More exercise; less screen time||60 minutes of active play or exercise per day is important for children as it helps keep them healthy and contributes to maintaining a healthy weight.|
|Read nutrition labels||A parent may be surprised by what they read. Many foods, especially those marketed to children, that appear to be healthy may not be. It is important to be aware of what your child is consuming. Pay particular attention to the presence of added sugars.|
|Limit consumption of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)||HFCS is a major source of sugar consumption in children and is present in more foods and drinks than you might think. Too much sugar is unhealthy.
A single serving of soda pop, candy, sweetened yogurt or frozen snacks and meals often contain more than the daily recommendation for sugar.
|Drink water, not energy drinks, soda pop or fruit juices||Beverages are the principal source of sugar consumption for many children. 12 ounces of soda pop contain 1.5 times the daily sugar recommendation. Diet versions avoid sugar but contain other additives that may be harmful.
Fruit juices are high in sugar and, while having some health benefits, should be consumed in small portions (less than 12 ounces). Water is always the best option.
|Eat fruit, not candy or other sweets||A single candy bar typically contains 1.5 times the daily recommendation for sugar. Cakes, ice cream and cookies also have high sugar content.|
|Limit fast foods||Fast food generally isn’t high in sugar but contains high levels of sodium. A Big Mac with fries contains over 1500 grams of sodium and almost 1000 calories.
A chunky peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread is a better choice; including jelly adds sugar.
|Eat more fiber from good sources||Including fiber in your diet is important. Fiber slows the rate of sugar absorption into the blood stream, removes bacteria from the colon and contributes to regular bowel movements.
Beans, whole grain products, brown rice and broccoli are good sources of fiber. Fiber-added foods like frozen pizza and microwaveable dinners are less healthy as added fiber contains fewer vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants.
|Eat healthy snacks||Avoid sweets and junk food.
Snack on fruits, vegetables and nuts.
|Eat a healthy breakfast||Sweetened cereal, doughnuts and breakfast bars are not good breakfast choices.
Healthy breakfasts include eggs (no sugar and low in sodium), Cheerios (1 gram of sugar vs. 15 grams for Frosted Flakes) and oatmeal.
|Eat whole foods; limit processed food||Processed foods (which include canned foods, processed meats, fried foods and desserts) are high in sodium, may have excessive HFCS and contain empty calories.
Whole foods are rich in plant chemicals that have protection and disease prevention properties while also containing more minerals and vitamins than processed foods. Fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry and lean beef are healthy options.
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