Healthy eating habits for kids

Instilling healthy eating habits in children is very important, as good nutrition lays the foundation for overall health and well-being. Providing children with the energy and nutrients they need helps them thrive both physically and mentally. By fostering healthy eating habits from a young age, we are helping at-risk children make smart food choices that can benefit them throughout their lifetime!

Balanced meals and snacks

Encourage children to enjoy a variety of foods from all food groups, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and dairy or dairy alternatives. Aim to create balanced meals that incorporate a mix of these food groups, so you can ensure they receive essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, proteins and fibers. You can also offer nutritious snacks like fresh fruit, yogurt, nuts or cut-up vegetables to keep hunger at bay between meals.


Get creative with fruits and vegetables


Make fruits and vegetables fun and appealing by getting creative with presentations. Incorporate colorful fruits and veggies into meals and snacks, and involve children in meal preparation and cooking whenever possible. Encourage them to try new fruits and vegetables and experiment with different flavors and textures to expand their palate and appreciation for wholesome foods.

Limit processed foods and sweet snacks


While occasional treats are okay in moderation, it's essential to limit the consumption of processed foods, sugary snacks and beverages high in added sugars. These foods provide little nutritional value and can contribute to weight gain, tooth decay and other health issues. Focus on whole, minimally processed foods that nourish the body and support overall health.


Drink plenty of water

Encourage children to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Water is essential for maintaining proper hydration, supporting digestion, regulating body temperature and promoting overall health. Limit sugary drinks like soda, fruit juices and sports drinks, which can be high in calories and contribute to tooth decay and other health problems.


Lead by example

As role models, parents and caregivers play a crucial role in shaping children's eating habits. Set a positive example by modeling healthy eating behaviors yourself and demonstrating a balanced approach to food. Enjoy meals together as a family whenever possible and use mealtime as an opportunity to share and connect with one another.


Educate and empower

Teach children about the importance of healthy eating and the benefits of nourishing their bodies with wholesome foods. Involve them in grocery shopping and meal planning, and educate them about the nutritional value of different foods. Encourage them to listen to their bodies' hunger and fullness cues and to eat mindfully.

Join us in helping at-risk children

By prioritizing healthy eating habits for children, we can set them up for a lifetime of good health and well-being. With a focus on balance, variety and moderation, we are helping at-risk children make nutritious food choices that support their growth, development and overall happiness.

DREAM offers nutritious meals as part of our after-school programs. We know some kids in our community aren’t able to access three full, nourishing meals every day, so we do what we can to help! If you’re interested in volunteering at our after-school programs, or if you’re an organization that wants to help teach kids about healthy eating, contact us today!