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Raising Children

Feeding your family

Whenever possible, choose breakfast foods such as whole grain cereals, breads, pancakes and bagels, as well as low fat muffins, milk, yogurt, fruit and fruit juices, eggs, peanut butter and cheese.

Get ready the night before by having the toaster, cereal and fruit ready for the morning. If possible, set the table with breakfast dishes so everyone can just sit and eat!

Try to wake up a bit earlier to make time for a relaxed family breakfast.

Involve the entire family in choosing the breakfast items, preparing the food, and cleaning up.

Make breakfast more exciting by trying:

  • Waffles cut into sticks and dipped in apple sauce with milk.
  • Fruit smoothie.
  • Grilled low-fat cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread, melon slices and 100% fruit juice.
  • Leftover pizza made with whole wheat crust and low-fat cheese and 100% fruit juice.
  • Whole wheat tortilla or pancake rolled with peanut butter and banana with milk.
  • Whole grain dry cereal or trail mix stirred into yogurt with a piece of fresh fruit.

Healthy snacks include at least 2 of the 4 food groups from Canada’s Food Guide. Try these great tasting snack ideas that are simple and nutritious:

  • Whole grain crackers with cheese.
  • Cottage cheese and banana or pineapple.
  • Whole grain toast with peanut butter.
  • Whole grain cereal (dry or with milk) and fruit.
  • Yogurt and berries.
  • Carrot sticks and boiled eggs.
  • Fresh or canned fruits and whole grain muffins.

Include balanced meals with food from all three food groups: vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and protein (meat/dairy) food.

  • Children need 3 meals a day and 1 to 3 snacks (morning, afternoon, and sometimes before bed).
  • The best foods are whole, fresh and not processed – consider eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy, meats, beans, peas, and lentils during meals and snacks.
  • Limit foods that have added sugar or sugar substitutes, salt/ sodium or are processed.
  • Offer water to quench thirst!
  • As a parent, it’s your job to set regular meal times, offer a healthy variety of foods from all food groups, gradually involve your child in age appropriate food preparation and table setting, and include your child in choosing, shopping for, and preparing meals.
  • It’s your child’s job to choose what and how much to eat from the food you’ve provided.
  • Remember that children’s appetites change day to day. If your child refuses a food item or meal, avoid offering them something until their next planned snack or meal.
  • Avoid distractions by not having screens or toys at the table, including the TV.
  • Make meal time family time – eat meals together often and use the time to get caught up with your family.
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