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a_healthy_kid_lunchKid Food Pyramid

The kid food pyramid provides moms and caregivers with a valuable guide for healthy kid food planning. Daily food choices are based on the five major food groups of the food pyramid. The vegetable group, milk group, meat group, fruit group and the grain group are all essential for good health.

Shopping Tips for the Kid Food Pyramid

Healthy kid food planning begins with smart shopping and  knowing what the foods are on the pyramid and their serving amounts. The Kid Food Pyramid recommends:

  • Two servings of milk or dairy foods each day. Non-fat and low-fat dairy products are recommended.
  • Three servings of vegetables. Fresh and frozen are equally nutritious.
  • Two fruit servings. Fresh and frozen are fine.
  • Two meat servings. Lean cuts of meat and fresh fish are ideal.
  • Six grain servings. Whole grain pasta, cereals and bread are recommended.

Choosing great kid foods at the store begins first with careful planning at home. Plan your menu before shopping. How many meals are going to be prepared and what are the ingredients needed? The list should contain the healthy food choices listed above. Second, a list is needed to stay on track at the grocery store. A weekly inventory of staples will make forming a list much easier. Staples are items such as milk, bread, flour, pasta, oil, eggs, spices, sauces etc. Many of these items are bought each week and can be jotted down quickly. Group your items on the list into the five major food groups. Downloadable menus and shopping lists are available on the Internet. Now it's time to shop!

The healthiest food choices will be found in the outer isles and the perimeter of the store. Shop these areas first. After shopping the outer isles and perimeter, move to the inner isles. Canned and frozen items are found here. Less healthy items such as canned and processed foods are here as well, so be sure to check labels for nutritional content. Sugary and salty snacks may also be tempting, so keep the kid food pyramid in mind at all times. Remember that choosing great kids food will lead to healthy happy children.

Healthy kid food planning can also include a trip to the farmers market. Here the freshest locally grown produce is available. Food Co-Ops are also a good choice because these member-owned organizations often grow food organically and pesticide free.

Getting Your Kids to Eat Healthy Foods

Now that the shopping is over, it may be difficult getting kids to eat good food. Luckily there are some steps you can take to encourage the little ones to eat their vegetables.

  • Provide a variety of healthy foods for snacks.
  • Model good eating habits.
  • Avoid battles over food.
  • Have regular family meals together.
  • Involve the children in the choosing, purchasing and preparing of the food.

Healthy kid food planning involves following the recommendations of the kid food pyramid for types and amounts of food needed for healthy growth and development. Careful planning and organization makes shopping easier and involving children in the process encourages good eating habits and healthy kids. This is a goal worth all the effort.

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