For Parents and Guardians: Healthy Weight for Healthy Kids and Teens

3.3 Nourishing Your Child/Teen

Let’s keep it simple.  I will not mention lots of numbers to tell you how many grams, milligrams or micrograms of a nutrient your child/teen needs.  I could but do you really have time to count and keep track?!

Let’s focus on the big picture. Your child/teen should eat foods that nourish their body and support their growth and development.  Foods that are packed with nutrients.

Here’s a quick list to help your family stay on track with the basics of a nourishing diet.  Click here for more details.

  1. Colorful meals.  Eat foods that are dark green, yellow, orange, red, purple, and white; fruits and veggies.  These foods nourish and heal when they are not cooked with a lot of fat, salt and sugar. See lesson 5 for cooking techniques that focus on building flavor.
  2. Whole grains are the way to go!  Whether it is breakfast cereals, side dishes or salad, choose whole grains.  Read the ingredient list on packages to make sure that the first word says, “whole”.
  3. Drink fat-free dairy milk or a plant-based milk like almond or soy milk.  Make sure the label on the plant-based milk says that it has calcium.
  4. Try a meatless meal at least once per week.  Use a plant-based protein like beans, nuts, tofu, tempeh.  Did you know that some whole grains are rich in protein? Meatless Monday is a good start. Check out the next section in this lesson.
  5. Aim for drinking water as often as possible.  
  6. As much as possible try to incorporate fruits for dessert. Example-fruit salad, fruit popsicles, apple crisp or blueberry cobbler.
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