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The #1 key to raising healthy eaters is the division of responsibility – Parents Provide, Kids Decide!
The division of responsibility applies at all ages, infancy to early childhood to adolescence.
Whether your child is picky, eats too much or too little, or is too big or too thin, the solution is the same: do your jobs with feeding and let your child do his jobs with eating. Improve the mealtime experience with your children with guidance from the Satter approach.
Part of your feeding job is to trust your child to:
Children are “good” eaters when they:
The Munch Code helps you and your family make smart food choices when eating. It uses a traffic light system to label foods as green, yellow, or red to quickly and easily see what food and drinks are a healthy or less healthy choice.
|Food Group||Green Light||Yellow Light||Red Light|
|Vegetables||Almost all fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables without added fat and sauces||All vegetables with added fat and sauces||Fried potatoes, like French fries or hash browns|
|Oven-baked French fries||Other deep-fried vegetables|
|Fruits||All fresh, frozen, canned (in 100% juice), and dried fruit (without sugar added)||100% fruit juice||Fruits canned in heavy syrup|
|Fruits canned in light syrup|
|Dried fruits (with added sugar)|
|Grains||Whole-grain breads, pita bread||White refined flour bread, rice, and pasta||Croissants, muffins, doughnuts, sweet rolls|
|Tortillas, pasta, & brown rice||French toast, waffles, pancakes||Crackers made with trans fat|
|Hot & cold unsweetened whole grain breakfast cereals||Taco shells, cornbread, biscuits||Sweetened breakfast cereals|
|Dairy (Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese)||Fat-free or 1% reduced-fat milk||2%, low-fat milk||Whole milk (choose for children age 1-2 years)|
|Fat-free or low-fat yogurt||Full-fat cheese slices|
|Part skim, reduced fat, and fat-free cheese||Processed cheese spread||Whole-milk yogurt|
|Low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese|
|Protein (Meats, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, Beans, and Nuts)||Trimmed beef and pork||Ham, Canadian bacon||Untrimmed beef and pork|
|Extra lean ground beef||Regular ground beef; fried hamburgers|
|Chicken and turkey without skin||Chicken and turkey with skin||Ribs, bacon, fried chicken, chicken nuggets|
|Peanut butter, nuts and seeds||Low-fat hot dogs||Hot dogs, pepperoni, sausage|
|Tuna canned in water||Tuna canned in oil||Fried fish and shellfish|
|Eggs (cooked without added fat or salt)||Lunch meats||Whole eggs cooked with fat|
|Sweets & Snacks||Frozen 100% fruit juice bars||Pretzels||Cookies, cakes, pies, cheese cake|
|Ice cream, chocolate, candy, chips|
|Low-fat microwave popcorn||Buttered microwave popcorn|
|Other Calories||Vinegar, ketchup, mustard||Creamy salad dressing||Butter, margarine, lard, gravy|
|Fat-free creamy salad dressing||Low-fat mayonnaise||Regular creamy salad dressing, mayonnaise|
|Fat-free mayonnaise, fat-free sour cream||Low-fat sour cream||Tartar sauce, sour cream, cheese sauce|
|Vegetable oil, olive oil and oil-based salad dressing||Cream cheese dips|
|Beverages||Water||2% low-fat milk||Whole milk, regular soda|
|Fat-free milk or 1% reduced-fat milk||100% fruit juice||Sweetened iced teas and lemonade|
|Sports drinks||Fruit drinks with less than 100% fruit juice|
Juice can be part of a healthy diet…just stick to 100% juice and don’t drink too much!
Fruit and 100% fruit juices are excellent dietary sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Potassium. However, juice does not provide fiber like whole fruits. Fiber is important to make you feel fuller for longer.
Did you know: Juice can cause weight gain, cramps and gas, diarrhea, tooth decay, and poor appetite for healthier foods.
If given, limit to:
If the label reads 100% vitamin C, it is not necessarily 100% fruit juice.
See the Healthy Eating: Food Groups section for more information on food groups and MyPlate.
This post was last updated on October 14th, 2020 at 11:31 AM
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