10 Tips to Healthy Eating
and Physical Activity for Kids President's Council on Physical
Fitness and Sport
- Start your day with
Breakfast fills your "empty tank" to get you going after a
long night without food. And it can help you do better in school. Easy to
prepare breakfasts include cold cereal with fruit and low-fat milk, whole-wheat
toast with peanut butter, yogurt with fruit, whole-grain waffles or even last
- Get Moving!
It's easy to
fit physical activities into your daily routine. Walk, bike or jog to see
friends. Take a 10-minute activity break every hour while you read, do homework
or watch TV. Climb stairs instead of taking an escalator or elevator. Try to do
these things for a total of 30 minutes every day.
- Snack smart.
Snacks are a
great way to refuel. Choose snacks from different food groups - a glass of
low-fat milk and a few graham crackers, an apple or celery sticks with peanut
butter and raisins, or some dry cereal. If you eat smart at other meals,
cookies, chips and candy are OK for occasional snacking.
- Work up a sweat.
work-outs - when you're breathing hard and sweating - help your heart pump
better, give you more energy and help you look and feel best. Start with a
warm-up that stretches your muscles. Include 20 minutes of aerobic activity,
such as running, jogging, or dancing. Follow-up with activities that help make
you stronger such as push-ups or lifting weights. Then cool-down with more
stretching and deep breathing.
- Balance your food choices -
don't eat too much of any one thing.
You don't have to give up foods
like hamburgers, french fries and ice cream to eat healthy. You just have to be
smart about how often and how much of them you eat. Your body needs nutrients
like protein, carbohydrates, fat and many different vitamins and minerals such
as vitamins C and A, iron and calcium from a variety of foods. Balancing food
choices from the Food Guide Pyramid and checking out the Nutrition Facts Panel
on food labels will help you get all these nutrients.
- Get fit with friends or
Being active is much more fun with friends or family. Encourage
others to join you and plan one special physical activity event, like a bike
ride or hiking, with a group each week.
- Eat more grains, fruits and
These foods give you carbohydrates for energy, plus
vitamins, minerals and fiber. Besides, they taste good! Try breads such as
whole-wheat, bagels and pita. Spaghetti and oatmeal are also in the grain
Bananas, strawberries and melons
are some great tasting fruits. Try vegetables raw, on a sandwich or salad.
- Join in physical activities at
Whether you take a physical education class or do other physical
activities at school, such as intramural sports, structures activities are a
sure way to feel good, look good and stay physically fit.
- Foods aren't good or
A healthy eating style is like a puzzle with many parts. Each part
-- or food -- is different. Some foods may have more fat, sugar or salt while
others may have more vitamins or fiber. There is a place for all these foods.
What makes a diet good or bad is how foods fit together. Balancing your choices
is important. Fit in a higher-fat food, like pepperoni pizza, at dinner by
choosing lower-fat foods at other meals. And don't forget about moderation. If
two pieces of pizza fill you up, you don't need a third.
- Make healthy eating and physical
Take advantage of physical activities you and your
friends enjoy doing together and eat the foods you like. Be adventurous - try
new sports, games and other activities as well as new foods. You'll grow
stronger, play longer, and look and feel better! Set realistic goals - don't
try changing too much at once.
The Food Guide Pyramid
Food Guide Pyramid is a practical
tool to help you make food choices that are consistent with the Dietary
Guidelines for Americans. Using the Pyramid enables you to eat a variety of
foods daily so that you can get the nutrients you need.
To make the most of the Pyramid, you
need to know what counts as a serving.
||1 cup raw, leafy vegetables, 1/2 cup cooked or chopped raw
vegetables or 3/4 cup vegetable juice
||1 slice bread, 1/2 bagel or English muffin, 1 ounce ready-to-eat
cereal, 1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice or pasta, or 5-6 small crackers
||1 medium piece of fruit, 1/2 cup mixed fruit or 3/4 cup fruit
||1 cup milk or yogurt, 1-1/2 ounces natural cheese or 2 ounces
||2-3 ounces cooked lean meat, poultry or fish (about the size of a
deck of cards.) Other foods which count as 1 ounce meat; 1/2 cup cooked dry
beans, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons peanut butter or 1/2 cup nuts
The Kids Activity Pyramid
Each week you can have fun and be active by
trying the following things...
With Friends: -Dance to
-Play games like tag and hopscotch
-Join a sports team at school or
With Family: -Go on a walk
-Play at the park
-Turn off the TV for a day
By Yourself: -Fly a kite
cartwheels, somersaults, or jumping jacks
-Practice sports skills
What's Your Nutrition and Physical Activity
Can you fill in the blanks to find these
secrets to healthy eating and physical activity?
1. Eat from the five food groups every day.
These include a) ??, cereals and grains, b) fruits, c) vegetables, d) milk,
yogurt and cheese and e) ?? And proteins.
2. Do moderate physical activities
for ?? minutes daily.
3. Eat ?? to get going in the morning.
activities make you ?? and breathe hard.
5. Eat a ?? of foods every
6. Take a 10 minute ?? break every hour while you read, ?? or do
7. Smart ?? are just what you need if you get hungry between
8. Be sure to ?? your muscles before and after work-outs.
the ?? Facts Panel and the Food ?? Pyramid to help you balance food
10. Keep ?? to stay in shape.
1. a) breads e)
6. Activity, watch
9. Nutrition, Guide
If you Want to Know More:
For additional information about food and
nutrition, or a reference to a registered dietitian (R.D.) In your area, call
the ADA's National Center for Nutrition and Dietetics (NCND) Consumer Nutrition
Hot Line (800/366-1655).
For more information about improving your
physical activity level, write the President's Council on Physical Fitness and
Sport at the address below.
The American Dietetic
National Center for Nutrition and Dietetics
216 West Jackson
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
International Food Information Council
1100 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
President's Council on Physical Fitness and
HHH Building, Room 738 H
200 Independence Avenue,
Washington, DC 20201