Healthy Eating - Children/Tweens

Recipes:

Children, who eat family meals together, eat more nutritionally.

They are likely to eat more fruits and vegetables, more dairy foods, and eat breakfast more often.

Family meals:

    Family meals are great because:

    • Children learn how to eat healthy.
    • Children increase their fruit, vegetable and dairy product consumption.
    • Children eat breakfast frequently.
    • Families talk more with each other.
    • Children feel loved and connected to their family.

Tips on how to create a family meal:

  • Turn the TV off.
  • Be a positive role model. Sit down and eat with your family at mealtime.
  • Make meal times relaxed. Enjoy each other’s company.
  • Space snacks and meal times so that kids arrive at the table hungry and ready to eat.
  • Involve your child/children in meal planning/preparation, and setting the table.
  • Expose your children to a variety of foods from the four food groups while allowing for occasional treats.
  • Use serving bowls on the table to allow everyone to serve themselves their own portions.
  • Children will gradually learn proper mealtime behaviour. Keep your expectations appropriate to the age of the child.
  • Your child should sit at the table and socialize even if they are not hungry.
  • Allow for flexibility. Get together for breakfast or lunch instead.
  • “Meals are as essential for nurturing as they are for nutrition… Without meals, home is just a place to stay.”
    Ellyn Satter, 1999


  • Children should eat 3 meals plus 1 to 2 snacks per day to provide the energy they need to get them through the day.
  • Trust your child’s appetite. When they are growing faster, they will be hungrier. When they are growing more slowly, they will eat less. Let them choose as much or as little as they want from the healthy foods you offer.
  • Use the resources below to help guide and support children through this transition and ensure they eat well.

Top 5 things you can do to get your kids to eat well:

  1. Have family meals.
  2. Be a positive role model.
  3. Plan, shop and cook with your kids.
  4. Make healthy eating the norm.
  5. Encourage but don't force healthy eating.

Top 5 common things parent request help with:

  1. Picky Eaters (external link)
  2. Healthy Snacks (external link)
  3. Healthy Meals (external link)
  4. Healthy Eating for the School Day (external link)
  5. Food for Student Athletes

Resources:

For more information consult with a Registered Dietitian

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It is possible to eat well on the run. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can have healthy meals throughout the week.

Local vegetables and fruit are fresh and taste great!
Buying from local farms supports the local economy and helps keep farms in business.
Picking your own vegetables and fruit is a great way for your family to be active together.

Local vegetable and fruit are fresh and taste great!

  • Looking to keep things local? From farm to plate we have the resources to help you locate Halton produced food.
  • Buying from local farms supports the local economy and helps keep farms in business.
  • Picking your own vegetables and fruit is a great way for your family to be active together.
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  • Consult with a Registered Dietician.
  • Dietitians of Canada (external link)
    Dietitians of Canada promote health and well being through expertise in food and nutrition. The site has consumer tips and tools for families.
  • EatRight Ontario (external link)
    EatRight Ontario’s "Ask A Dietitian" FREE service provides a direct link to registered dietitians to answer your healthy eating questions such as eating on the run, picky eaters, menu planning and more. Send an e-mail through an online form or by phone at 1-877-510-510-2
  • Eat Well Central (external link)
    Health Canada website where you’ll find lots of simple, user-friendly healthy eating tips to use every day.
  • Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide (external link)
    Learning more about Canada's Food Guide will help you and your family know how much food you need, what types of foods are better for you, and the importance of physical activity in your day.
  • My Food Guide (external link)
    My Food Guide is an interactive version of Canada’s Food guide that allows the user to customize age, gender, foods and activity levels.

Halton food goodness

Looking to keep things local? From farm to plate we have the resources to help you locate Halton produced food.

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