Dallas, Madison, Polk and Warren Counties in Iowa
Our nutritionists can offer advice on feeding your family. Check out these guidelines on foods and beverages for your child.
Parents provide, kids decide. Provide a variety of foods at each meal, but let your child decide how much of each food they would like to eat. Your child is great at listening to his body and how hungry he is. At each meal, it is okay if he chooses not to eat one food and eat 3 servings of another.
Try to keep a structured eating schedule, for example, 3 meals and 2 snacks. Limiting snacks throughout the day will mean your child will be more likely to eat his meal.
Fruits and veggies
Try to make half of your child’s plate fruits and veggies at every meal. Fruits and veggies have a lot of similar nutrients, so don’t worry if your child doesn’t get both fruits and vegetables every day.
Offer a protein food at each meal. Chicken, beef, eggs, beans, and tofu are all great options.
Whole grains are the perfect thing to round out any meal. Options include brown rice, whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta, oatmeal, and potatoes.
We recommend no more than 16-24 oz. of dairy per day. This includes milk, cheese, and yogurt.
We recommend no more than 4 oz. of juice per day. Make those 4 oz. go farther by diluting it with water!
We believe all foods fit! It is okay for your children to eat special treats. Examples of treats could be cookies, ice cream, soda, and fast food options.
Keeping your child hydrated is important but not all drink choices are equal.
Drinks to enjoy daily
Drinks to ditch most of the time
Try this smart method of feeding your family. It can help build healthy eating habits and lead to less stress at mealtimes.
Family Roles and Responsibilities
With the “Parents Provide, Kids Decide” method, both parents and children have their own jobs at mealtimes. As a parent, you choose what foods to offer, when to have snacks or meals, and where your family will gather to eat. Your child decides how much food she would like to eat from her plate.
What to eat
When to eat
Where to eat
How much to eat
You can do many things to help your family lead a healthy lifestyle, such as eating meals together and vaccinating your children.
You have the power to develop healthy and happy children when you eat together. Say “yes” to family meals.
At the family table, you can:
You don’t have to sit at the table. It can be on a blanket in your living room or outside at a park. Just sit together in the same room with no distractions. Turn off the TV, cell phones, and computer when eating together.
Talking to your children at the family table gives you the opportunity to pass down memories and traditions! Think of the family table as a recipe for success and making your family stronger.
Five Why’s to Immunize
Preventing a disease is better than treating it after it occurs. Receiving vaccinations throughout our lifetime helps to prevent diseases such as smallpox, polio, chicken pox, and influenza.
More information can be found at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents